Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. Candidate at Department of English, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Persian Language and Foreign Languages, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of English Language Teaching, Islamic Azad University Karaj Branch, Alborz, Iran


Using chunks is said to bring about fluency into speech as they save speakers from constructing their speech upon a word-by-word basis. Particle phrases (A term coined in this study to refer to phrasal verbs and their derived and deviated nouns and adjectives) are also among those chunks. This study seeks to see whether memorizing them will affect EFL learners' spoken fluency. To this end, 51 Persian speaking participants (37 females, 14 males) who were selected from 3 intact classes based on their performance in narrative video-based retelling constituted the sample of the study. The study was a quasi-experimental one in design because of the non-random assignment of the participants into either of the experimental and control groups. They were assigned to three groups: two experimental and one control. Both experimental groups received the same instructions on metaphorical concepts of particles (out, off, etc.) in the 150 phrasal verbs available in Garnier and Schmitt’s (2015) frequency list. They both engaged in self-generated contexts except that those in the first came up with hands-on task of drawing sketches, too. The control group, however, received none of the above treatments. The results of a one-way ANOVA procedure in the immediate post-test indicated that the participants in the first experimental group significantly outperformed not only the control group, but also the second experimental group that made more relative gains than their counterparts in the control group. The outperformance of the first experimental group was also found in the delayed post-test, which represented the long-term effects of the methods. The findings suggest several implications for this vital but surprisingly neglected issue of engaging students with self-generated sketches.


Abdollahpour, Z., & Gholami, J. (2018). Building blocks of medical abstracts: frequency, functions, and structures of lexical bundles. Asian ESP Journal14(1), 82-110.
Baddeley, A. (1990). Human memory: Theory and practice. Hove, UK: Erlbaum.
Becker, T. P. (2014). Avoidance of English phrasal verbs: Investigating the effect of proficiency, learning context, task type, and verb type. Asian Journal of English Language Teaching, 24, 1-33.
Boers, F. (2018). Learning lexical phrases. In A. Burns and J.C. Richards (eds), The Cambridge guide to learning English as a Second Language. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Boers, F., & Webb, S. (2018). Teaching and learning collocation in adult second and foreign language learning. Language Teaching51(1), 77-89.
Boers, F., Eyckmans, J., Kappel, J., Stengers, H., & Demecheleer, M. (2006). Formulaic sequences and perceived oral proficiency: Putting a lexical approach to the test. Language teaching research10(3), 245-261.
Bolinger, D. L. M. (1971). The Phrasal Verb in English. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
Brown, A. (2006). An examination of the rating process in the revised IELTS speaking test [online]. In: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Research Reports 6. Canberra: IELTS Australia and British Council, 1-30. 
Çandarlı, D. (2018). Changes in L2 writers’ self-reported metalinguistic knowledge of lexical phrases over one academic year. The Language Learning Journal, 1-17.
Celce-Murcia, M., & Larsen-Freeman, D. (1999). The grammar book: An ESL/EFL teacher’s course (2nd ed.). Boston: Heinle & Heinle.
Chambers, F. (1997). What do we mean by fluency? System, 25, 535-544.
Cheng, L., & Beal, C. R. (2020). Effects of student-generated drawing and imagination on science text reading in a computer-based learning environment. Educational Technology Research and Development68(1), 225-247.
Chitty, E. T. (2014). How we really talk using phrasal verbs in English. London: Amazon Publications
Cohen, A.D. (1998) Strategies in Learning and Using a Second Language. New York: Addison Wesley Longman Limited.
Cooper, R. (2017). Task-based approaches and interaction in the 1:1 classroom: A teacher’s perspective. University of Sydney Papers in TESOL, 45-79.
Cooper, T. C. (1999). Processing of idioms by L2 learners of English. TESOL Quarterly, 33(2), 233-262.
Cowie, A. (1993). Getting to grips with phrasal verbs. English Today 36, 9(4), 38-41.
Damen, A., & Al Hameed, T. M. A. (2013). Syntactic avoidance in the oral production of Arab EFL learners (Doctoral dissertation, University of Malaya).
Darwin, C. M., & Gray, L. S. (1999). Going after the phrasal verb: An alternative approach to classification. TESOL Quarterly, 33(1), 65-83.
De Jong , N. H. , Steinel , M. P. , Florijn , A. F. , Schoonen , R. , & Hulstijn , J. H . (2012). The effect of task complexity on functional adequacy, fluency and lexical diversity in speaking performances of native and nonnative speakers. In A. Housen , F. Kuiken , & I. Vedder (Eds.), Dimensions of L2 performance and proficiency investigating complexity, accuracy and fluency in SLA . Amsterdam: Benjamins .
Derwing, T. M., Munro, M. J., Thomson, R. I., & Rossiter, M. J. (2009). The relationship between L1 fluency and L2 fluency development. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 31(4), 533-557.
Ellis, R. (2009) Task-based language teaching: sorting out the misunderstandings. International Journal of Applied Linguistics19(3), 221-246.
Ellis, R., & Barkhuizen, G. P. (2005). Analysing learner language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Foster, P., & Skehan, P. (1996). The influence of planning and task type on second language performances. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 18, 299–323.
Fraser, B. (1976). The Verb-Particle Combination in English. New York: Academic Press.
Freed, B. F. (2000). Is fluency, like beauty, in the eyes of the beholder? In H. Riggenbach (Ed.), Perspectives on Fluency. (pp. 243-265). Michigan: University of Michigan Press.
Fulcher, G. (2003). Testing Second Language Speaking. London: Pearson Education.
Ganji, M. (2011). The best way to teach phrasal verbs: Translation, sentential contextualization or metaphorical conceptualization? Theory and Practice in Language Studies 1(11), 1497-1506.
Garcia, M. P. (2002). The effectiveness of two form-focused tasks in advanced EFL pedagogy. International Journal of Applied Linguistic, 12, 156-175.
Gardner, D., & Davies, M. (2007). Pointing out frequent phrasal verbs: A corpus-based analysis. TESOL Quarterly, 41(2), 339-359.
Garnier, M., & Schmitt, N. (2015). The PHaVE list: A pedagogical list of phrasal verbs and their most frequent meaning senses. Language Teaching Research, 1-22.
Gu, E. (2014). Formulaic sequences as fluency devices in the oral production of native speakers of Polish. Research in Language, 12(2), 113-129.
Hinkel, E. (2018). Teaching and learning formulaic sequences and prefabs. The TESOL encyclopedia of English language teaching, 1-7.
Housen, A., Kuiken, F., & Vedder, I. (eds.), (2012). Dimensions of L2 performance and proficiency: Complexity, cccuracy and fluency in SLA. Philadelphia: John Benjamins
Jaeger, A. J., Velazquez, M. N., Dawdanow, A., & Shipley, T. F. (2018). Sketching and summarizing to reduce memory for seductive details in science text. Journal of Educational Psychology110(7), 899.
Jeong, H., & Jiang, N. (2019). Representation and processing of lexical bundles: Evidence from word monitoring. System80, 188-198.
Kinney, J. (2012). Diary of a wimpy kid: The ugly truth. NY: Pearson
Kinney, J. (2013). Diary of a wimpy kid: Hard luck. NY: Abrams
Kinney, J. (2015). Diary of a wimpy kid: Old school. NY: Abrams
Koo, T. K., & Li, M. Y. (2016). A guideline of selecting and reporting intraclass correlation coefficients for reliability research. Journal of chiropractic medicine15(2), 155-163.
Koponen, M., & Riggenbach, H. (2000). Overview: Varying perspectives on fluency. In H. Riggenbach (Ed.), Perspectives on fluency (pp. 5–24). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Kormos, J. (2006). Speech production and second language acquisition. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Kovács, E. (2011). The traditional vs. cognitive approach to English phrasal verbs., accessed April 2017.
Kovecses, Z., & Szabcó, P. (1996). Idioms: A view from cognitive semantics. Applied linguistics17(3), 326-355.
Lantolf, J. P., & Johnson, K. E. (2007). Extending Firth and Wagner’s (1997) ontological perspective to L2 classroom praxis and teacher education. The Modern Language Journal, 91(1), 877-892.
Larsen-Freeman, D. (1978). An ESL index of development. TESOL Quarterly, 12(4), 439-448.
Lennon, P. (1990). Investigating fluency in EFL: A quantitative approach, Language Learning 40, 387-417.
Li, X. (2010). Conceptual metaphor theory and teaching of English and Chinese idioms. Journal of Language Teaching and Research 1(3), 206-210.
Lipka, L. (1972). Semantic Structure and Word- Formation: Verb- Particle Constructions in Contemporary English. Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag.
Liu, D. (2011). The most frequently used English phrasal verbs in American and British English: A multi-corpus examination. TESOL Quarterly, 45(4), 661-688.
Liu, D., & Zhan, H. (2018). Teaching prepositions and particles. The TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching 1, 1-6.
Marks, J. (2005). Phrasaled out? Don’t worry! Help is at hand. Retrieved March 2015 from
Mart, C. T. (2012). How to teach phrasal verbs. English Language Teaching, 5(6), 114-118.
Mehnert, U. (1998). The effects of different lengths of time for planning on second language performance. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 20, 83-108.
Mohylevska, V. (2020). Lexical chunks and speaking fluency of Ukrainian EFL learners. National Academy of Internal Affairs, Kiev, Ukraine.
Myles, F. (2012). Complexity, accuracy and fluency: The role played by formulaic sequences in early interlanguage development. In A. Housen, F. Kuiken, & I. Vedder (Eds.). Dimensions of L2 performance and proficiency: Complexity, accuracy and fluency in SLA. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Nassaji, H., & Tian, J. (2010). Collaborative and individual output tasks and their effects on learning English phrasal verbs. Language Teaching Research, 14(4), 397-419.
Negueruela, E. (2008). Revolutionary pedagogies: Learning that leads (to) second language development. In J. P. Lantolf & M. E. Poehner (Eds.), Sociocultural Theory and the Teaching of Second Languages (pp. 189-227). London: Equinox.
Newman, F., & Holzman, L. (1993). Critical psychology. Lev Vygotsky: Revolutionary scientist. Florence, KY, USA: Routledge.
Norris, J. M., & Ortega, L. (2009). Towards an organic approach to investigating CAF in instructed SLA: The case of complexity. Applied Linguistics, 30(4), 555-578.
Northbrook, J., & Conklin, K. (2019). Is what you put in what you get out?—Textbook-derived lexical bundle processing in beginner English learners. Applied Linguistics40(5), 816-833.
Polyakov, O. G., & Tormyshova, T. Yu. (2014). Fluency of speaking in a foreign language as a linguomethodological issue. Language and Culture, 28, 166-174.
Raddaoui, A. H. (2004) Fluency: A quantitative and qualitative account. The Reading Matrix, 4(1), 11-25.
Rahimpour, M., & Hazar, F. (2007). Topic familiarity effect on accuracy, complexity, and fluency of L2 oral output. The Journal of Asia TEFL, 4(4), 191-211.
Revesz, A., Ekiert, M., & Torgersen, E. (2014). The effects of complexity, accuracy, and fluency on communicative adequacy in oral task performance. Applied Linguistics37(6), 828-848.
Riguel, E. (2014). Phrasal verbs, “the scourge of the learner”. University of Sorbonne Nouvelle, 3, 1-19.
Rossiter, M. J., Derwing, T. M., Manimtim, L. G., & Thomson, R. I. (2010). Oral fluency: The neglected component in the communicative language classroom. Canadian Modern Language Review66(4), 583-606.
Rudzka-Ostyn, B. (2003). Word power: Phrasal verbs and compounds: A cognitive approach. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Schmitt, N., Dornyei, Z., Adolphs, S., & Durrow, V. (2004). Knowledge and acquisition of formulaic sequences: A longitudinal study. In N. Schmitt (Ed.), Formulaic sequences Acquisition, processing, and use (pp. 55–86). Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Segalowitz, N. (2010). Cognitive bases of second language fluency. New York: Routledge.
Serrano-Lopez, M., & Poehner, M. E. (2008). Materializing linguistic concepts through 3-D clay modeling: A tool-and-result approach to mediating L2 Spanish development. In J. P. Lantolf & M. E. Poehner (Eds.), Sociocultural theory and the teaching of second languages (pp. 321-346). London: Equinox.
Side, R. (1990). Phrasal verbs: Sorting them out. ELT Journal, 44(2), 144-152.
Siyanova, A., &. Schmitt, N. (2007). Native and non-native use of multi-word vs. one-word verbs. IRAL, 45(2), 119-139.
Siyanova-Chanturia, A. (2015). On the ‘holistic’ nature of formulaic language. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory, 11, 285–301. 
Skehan, P. (2009). Modelling second language performance: Integrating complexity, accuracy, fluency, and lexis. Applied Linguistics, 30(4), 510–532.
Skehan, P. (2016). Tasks versus conditions: Two perspectives on task research and their implications for pedagogy. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 36, 34-49.
Skehan, P., & Foster, P. (1997). The influence of planning and post-task activities on accuracy and complexity in task-based learning. Language Teaching Research, 1(3), 16-33.
Skehan, P., & Foster, P. (1999). The influence of task structure and processing conditions on narrative retellings. Language Learning, 49(1), 93 – 120.
Skehan, P., Xiaoyue, B., Qian, L., & Wang, Z. (2012). The task is not enough: Processing approaches to task-based performance. Language Teaching Research, 16, 170-187.
Sroka, K. A. (1972). The Syntax of English Phrasal Verbs. The Hague: Mouton.
Teng, M. F. (2017). The effectiveness of group, pair and individual output tasks on learning phrasal verbs. The Language Learning Journal, 1-14.
Thim, S. (2012). Phrasal verbs: The English verb-particle construction and its history. Boston: Walter de Gruyter
Thom, D. (2017). A cognitive linguistic approach to phrasal verbs: A teacher's guide" (2017). Honors Senior Theses downloaded July 2018 from ttps://
Toni, A., Hassaskhah, J., & Birjandi, P. (2017). The Impressibility of Speaking Accuracy/Fluency among EFL Undergraduates: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of English Language Pedagogy and Practice10(21), 184-225.
Verspoor, M. H., & Lowie, W. M. (2003). Making sense of polysemous words. Language Learning53(3), 547-586.
Wells, G. (2002). The role of dialogue in activity theory. Mind, Culture, and Activity: An International Journal, 9, 43–66.
White, B. (2012). A conceptual approach to the instruction of phrasal verbs. The Modern Language Journal, 96(3). 419-438.
Wiley, J. (2019). Picture this! Effects of photographs, diagrams, animations, and sketching on learning and beliefs about learning from a geoscience text. Applied Cognitive Psychology33(1), 9-19.
Wood, D. (2006). Uses and functions of formulaic sequences in second language speech: An exploration of the foundations of fluency. Canadian Modern Language Review, 63(1), 13-33.
Wood, D. (2010). Formulaic language and second language speech fluency: Background, evidence and classroom applications. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Wray, A. (2002). Formulaic language and the lexicon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Yasuda, S. (2010). Learning phrasal verbs through conceptual metaphor: A case of Japanese EFL learners. TESOL Quarterly, 44(2), 250-273.