Avoidance or phrasal verbs: The case of chinese learners of English

Liao, Yan D.
Fukuya, Yoshinori
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This study investigates the avoidance of English phrasal verbs (PVs) by Chinese learners in relation to their proficiency levels (advanced, intermediate), PV types (figurative, literal), and test types (multiplechoice, translation, recall). Each of the six groups of Chinese learners took one of the three tests and a group of native speakers took the multiple-choice test. The ANOVA results showed that the intermediate learners, whose L1 lacks the PV structure, tended to avoid using PVs and preferred their one-word equivalents. Also, both advanced and intermediate learners tended to produce less figurative than literal PVs, which was manifested in the translation test alone. Incorporating the findings of three previous studies on the same topic, this study claims that learners’ PV avoidance behavior is a manifestation of IL development and that the semantic nature of the PVs tends to interact with the translation test.
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