Wim Gombert

88 CHAPTER 6 in relation to chunks: frequency of occurrence; association of words (notably by native speaker norms); and comprehension and production of chunks as a whole (Wray, 2000; Myles, 2012; Forsberg, 2010; Gustafsson & Verspoor, 2017). Our working de nition of chunks is that they are frequently used linguistic forms that represent native speakers’ preferred ways of expressing a concept, and are generally learned, processed, and produced as whole linguistic items. It is assumed that especially frequency of exposure drives the entrenchment process, enabling both L1 and L2 learners to consolidate these form-meaning mappings until they are automatized (Ellis, 2003). Once automatized, chunks facilitate short-cuts in processing (Pawley & Syder, 1983; Wray & Perkins, 2000): “It seems that we use prefabricated sequences as a way of minimizing the e ects of a mismatch between our potential linguistic capabilities and our actual short-term memory capacity” (Wray & Perkins, 2000, p. 15). As frequency of exposure is assumed to drive the entrenchment process, it would make sense that learners in teaching programs that use the target language almost exclusively, such as Content Language Integrated Learning, use more chunks in their writings than learners taught on the basis of pedagogical approaches with less authentic exposure (c.f. Gustafsson & Verspoor, 2017; Piggott, 2019). Frequency of exposure has also been related to more uent and complex language (cf. Rousse-Malpat & Verspoor et al., 2012; Piggott, 2019). In other words, there seems to be a relationship between complexity and uency measures on the one hand and the use of chunks on the other hand. L2 studies have shown that chunks are good indicators of pro ciency level (Forsberg, 2010; Hou et al., 2018; Verspoor et al., 2012), and that the types of chunks used may change at di erent stages of development. For example, Verspoor et al. (2012) distinguished between partially schematic chunks, which have slot llers, and fully xed chunks, which have to be learned as a whole. Fully xed chunks occurred relatively more at higher levels of pro ciency. Likewise, Hou et al. (2018), who investigated chunk development in 18 Chinese advanced learners of English over a period of 18 months, found that, overall, learners used more fully xed chunks (in Hou et al. referred to as lexical), especially more collocations. In terms of French chunk development, Forsberg (2010) analyzed L2 French oral production of native Swedish speakers across four di erent pro ciency levels. ese ranged from teenage beginners a er one month of French instruction to adult ‘very advanced speakers’ who had spent at least 4.5 years in France. Each group consisted of 6 participants, whose production was analyzed for chunk use and subsequently compared to French natives. In her study, chunk quantity, category distribution, and frequency were analyzed, and quantity was found to be the most predictive measure of pro ciency. L2 pro ciency and chunk use are thus clearly linked, and essentially the more chunks are used the more pro cient the learner is.