The Applicability of Teaching Lexical Bundles on Medical Students' Writing Proficiency in an EFL Context

Document Type : Original Article


1 Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 English Department, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Kish International Campus, University of Tehran, Iran


This study aimed at investigating the applicability of teaching lexical bundles to the writing performance of medical students in an EFL context.  Four components of the writing proficiency, namely Task Response (TR), Lexical Resource (LR), Grammatical Range and Accuracy (GRA) and Cohesion & Coherence (CC), were investigated with regard to the effect of teaching lexical bundles.  Thirty medical students in the preclinical stage at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences participated and the study was performed through a two-phase procedure. In the first phase, paragraph and essay writing principles were taught after a pretest.  The posttest was administered following the treatment. Data were analyzed through T test. The results of the first phase indicated that all components except GRA changed significantly. In the second phase, the students were introduced and exposed to four-word lexical bundles extracted from the medical corpus. Having access to the corpus analysis software, the students could explore the corpus and learn the lexical bundles contextually. They were also given the list of lexical bundles for explicit exposure and were guided to use them appropriately in their writing assignments. The essays assigned following the lexical bundle teaching were regarded as the posttest of the second phase while the posttest of the first phase was regarded as the pretest of the second phase. Data analysis revealed that LR changed significantly and the students were able to benefit from lexical bundles to improve their LR that enabled them to write more naturally and use collocations more appropriately. Students, writing instructors, syllabus designers, and material developers can best benefit from the findings of the present study.


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  • Receive Date: 17 August 2017
  • Revise Date: 04 June 2018
  • Accept Date: 30 July 2018
  • First Publish Date: 04 October 2018