A Contrastive Study on the Use of Lexical Chunk Among Chinese Learners of Different Proficiency Levels

Zonghui HE


This study examines the juniors’ and sophomores’ writings with the same prompt, attempting to investigate the general pictures of their lexical chunk (“lexical chunk” is abbreviated to LC) use and the main features of using LC categories. The study shows the following results: (a) Juniors generally have higher frequency of using LC, especially in using 4 LC categories: topic-related LC (TRLC), sentence-building LC (SBLC), general LC (GLC) and opinion-presented LC (OPLC), except discourse LC (DLC). (b) In terms of using LC categories, juniors show a better proficiency of SBLC noticeably, which is revealed by their better-structured sentences, rich diversity of SBLC and more native-like sentence logic. (c) Juniors and sophomores show similarity in using TRLC in that their choices of topic-related lexical phrases are both extremely influenced by writing prompt. (d) Juniors employ less DLC than sophomores because juniors attach more importance to the idea, opinion and proof, while sophomores rely more on the signal words of passage due to the purpose of gaining scores and using DLC as facilitators to make the whole passage coherent. (e) Juniors use OPLC more frequently and diversely, while sophomores overuse a certain OPLC.


Lexical chunk; Lexical chunk category; English major; Writing

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/8216


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