Vigo International Journal
of Applied Linguistics VIAL
Andrea Tyler (1), Charles Mueller (2) and Vu Ho (1): Applying
Cognitive Linguistics to Learning the Semantics of English to,
for and at: An Experimental Investigation. VIAL. Number 8/2011:
Recent years have witnessed growing interest in cognitive linguistics (CL) and
its potential insights for L2 learning. However, few experimental investigations have
applied a CL perspective to instructed L2 learning. English prepositions represent a
promising target for the application of CL to instructed L2 learning since, contrary
to traditional approaches, CL represents the many meanings associated with a single
preposition as being systematically related in principled ways. This article lays out the
fundamentals of a CL analysis of the semantics of English prepositions and reports
on a quasi-experimental study examining the efficacy of applying a CL approach
to instructed L2 learning of the semantics of English to, for and at. Comparison of
pre- and post-test results show significant gain scores (p >.0003), indicating that the
group of 14 advanced learners who received instruction based on a CL perspective
experienced substantial improvement in their understanding of the semantics of the
Keywords: Applied cognitive linguistics, instructed second language learning,
prepositions, English prepositions, semantics.
(1) Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA.
(2) George Washington University, Washington DC, USA.
Back to Contents of Number
full text of this article in pdf format