Analyzing the functions of lexical bundles in undergraduate academic lectures for pedagogical use

Chen Yu Liu, Hao Jan Howard Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Good listening comprehension contributes greatly to academic performance. One factor in developing good listening comprehension is knowing the functions of lexical bundles. While some research has been done on lexical bundles, their functions in academic lectures have not been extensively investigated. Drawing on an 8.8-million-word corpus of academic lectures across four disciplines, we investigated the functions of high-frequency lexical bundles in academic lectures and examined the similarities and differences in the four disciplines. We discovered that lexical bundles most often perform referential and stance functions in academic lectures, although their function as discourse organizers is also important. Given these and other functions of high-frequency lexical bundles, instruction targeting functions can contribute to improving core listening skills, such as listening for details and listening and predicting, and overall comprehension of lectures. Apart from important functions, we also found variations and similarities in the use of lexical bundles across disciplines, suggesting that these should be taken into account in bundle instruction to help students become more proficient in lecture comprehension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-137
Number of pages16
JournalEnglish for Specific Purposes
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr


  • Academic lectures
  • Academic listening
  • Disciplinary variations
  • Discourse functions
  • Lexical bundles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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