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A new doctoral dissertation by Parvin Gheitasi at Umeå University in Sweden explores the different functions of prefabricated phrases in young learners’ oral language production. These phrases provided learners with an instrument to overcome their lack of knowledge, to improve their fluency, and to enjoy some language play.

“The young learners in this study remind us that it could be frustrating and sometimes demotivating to be in an environment where one cannot communicate easily due to lack of words and/or a low proficiency level in language structure”, says Parvin Gheitasi, doctoral student at the Department of Language Studies, and continues: “Yet, they suggest that one could accept this challenge and try to enjoy both learning something new and becoming part of a community. They show how to be observant and attentive to the input from the more competent language users and pick up some prefabricated phrases to be able to produce an utterance, which could be fluent and accurate”. (1)

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CAS, 了解, translation, 我...

We prefer to be ready to speak.

Than actually know what we talk about.

We prefer to be fluent with words we do not understand.

Than try to stay silent with the things we know.

We prefer to be awake and be dazzled by the light.

Than be mesmerized by the wise darkness and dream.

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Translating in a “dead” language. More “freedom”. Thinking without thinking.

We have defined cosmos as something void of anything.

And now we are just happy we have the words to describe it…

We used to be part of One.

But it was too hard to talk about it.

We then invented Zero.

And we just can’t stop talking…

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