A corpus study of structural types of lexical bundles in MUET reading texts

Christina Ong Sook Beng, Yuen Chee Keong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In view of the recurrent issues concerning university students' inability to comprehend reading passages in their studies, texts used in a Malaysian examination for tertiary education were analysed. This study investigates the use of lexical bundles (LBs) in the reading passages of Malaysian University English Test (MUET). A specialised corpus of MUET test papers comprised of only the reading passages grouped into two main disciplines namely arts and science was built. Besides identifying commonly used LBs, this study aims to compare and contrast structural types of LBs found in arts and science-based texts. Using WordSmith Tools version 5, the lists of LBs of the identified disciplines were generated. They were analysed qualitatively based on Biber, Conrad and Cortes' (2004) Structural Taxonomy. Findings revealed that the number of LBs in both disciplines differs significantly but many similar LBs are employed. It was also evident that science-based texts tend to employ more NP-based and VP-based LBs while the most commonly used structure in arts-based texts is dependent clause. In general, PP-based LBs are very significant in both science and arts-based texts. The extent to which LBs are specific to particular disciplines is therefore confirmed and an overview of how LBs in texts construct information is also obtained. Pedagogically, teachers should consider incorporating corpora-based material, to exploit consciousness raising tasks and not to emphasise too much on grammatical items so that LBs do not go unnoticed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-140
Number of pages14
Journal3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature
Volume20
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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art
science
taxonomy
consciousness
Lexical Bundles
Corpus Study
examination
university
teacher
education
student
Art and Science

Keywords

  • Lexical bundles
  • MUET
  • Reading test
  • Reading text
  • Structural types

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

A corpus study of structural types of lexical bundles in MUET reading texts. / Beng, Christina Ong Sook; Chee Keong, Yuen.

In: 3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2014, p. 127-140.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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