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Is what you put in what you get out? Textbook-derived lexical bundle processing in beginner English learners

Northbrook, Julian; Conklin, Kathy


Julian Northbrook

Professor of Psycholinguistics


Usage-based approaches to second language acquisition put a premium on the linguistic input that learners receive and predict that any sequences of words that learners encounter frequently will experience a processing advantage. The current study explores the processing of high-frequency sequences of words known as ‘lexical bundles’ in beginner learners of English in Japanese secondary school. To do this we use a phrasal judgment task, testing students on items taken directly from their teaching materials. Students responded to lexical bundles that occurred in their textbooks significantly faster and more accurately compared with non-lexical bundles, and were sensitive to the frequency of occurrence in their textbooks. This study shows, perhaps for the first time, that even very low-level, beginner secondary students are sensitive to the frequency of lexical bundles which appear in the input they receive from teaching mater- ials, a finding that has important implications for teaching and material design.


Northbrook, J., & Conklin, K. (2019). Is what you put in what you get out? Textbook-derived lexical bundle processing in beginner English learners. Applied Linguistics, 40(5), 816-833.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 15, 2018
Online Publication Date Aug 16, 2018
Publication Date 2019-10
Deposit Date Oct 29, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 17, 2020
Journal Applied Linguistics
Print ISSN 0142-6001
Electronic ISSN 1477-450X
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Issue 5
Pages 816-833
Keywords Linguistics and Language; Communication; Language and Linguistics
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