Formulaic Writing: A Novel Approach to Writing Instruction



The present study seeks to introduce and investigate an approach to teaching writing in the EFL classroom which draws heavily on the use of formulaic expressions. In contrast to its predecessors, this approach includes both the application of process writing techniques and the teaching of grammar and vocabulary into its syllabus. Two groups of 30 EFL learners participated in this study. One group was taught writing through the proposed method, while the other group received instruction of a grammatical and structural nature. Following the courses, learners of both groups were asked to write an argumentative essay. A comparison of the essays written by the participants of the two groups revealed that those who were taught with the formulaic approach were more successful in fulfilling the purpose of the task, as well as creating more coherent and structurally accurate texts. The authors of this study argue for the use of formulaic expressions in teaching writing, especially in proficiency test preparation courses, due to its usefulness in fulfilling the communicative requirements of such examinations.