Facilitating learning about academic phraseology: teaching activities for student writers


  • Mary Davis Oxford Brookes University
  • John Morley University of Manchester




Formulaic phrases, academic writing, learning development, student writers, teaching activities


Academic Phrasebank is an online, open-access compendium of formulaic phrases for academic writers, created and continuously developed at the University of Manchester. Originally developed for student writers whose first language is not English, data suggests that over half of the many users are in fact native speakers of English. Underpinned by current approaches to academic text analysis and to understanding the phraseological nature of language, the Academic Phrasebank has become a well-known and widely-used resource which many learning support teachers recommend to students at all levels of study, mainly as a self-study or quick reference tool. In order to explore ways to facilitate learning about academic phraseology, this paper seeks to demonstrate how exercises developed from Academic Phrasebank can be used to help student writers to better understand the nature and role of academic phrases and to improve their academic writing. The usefulness of different exercise types is discussed, drawing on comments from learning developers. The implication of the study is that such teaching activities can facilitate student engagement with academic phrases and help them to write more effectively.

Author Biographies

Mary Davis, Oxford Brookes University

Senior lecturer of EAP, Oxford Brookes International

John Morley, University of Manchester

Director, University-wide language programmes




How to Cite

Davis, M. and Morley, J. (2018) “Facilitating learning about academic phraseology: teaching activities for student writers”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. doi: 10.47408/jldhe.v0i0.468.