A Route to the Teaching of Polysemous Lexicon: Benefits from Cognitive Linguistics and Conceptual Metaphor Theory

Leonardo Veliz


This paper discusses some implications and applications of the field of Cognitive linguistics (CL) to the teaching of English as a second, foreign or additional language (ESL, EFL or EAL). Some of the areas to which CL has immensely contributed are the teaching and learning of grammar, including modality and prepositions (e.g. Langacker, 1991; Langacker, 2008), the teaching and learning of lexis, especially metaphorically-used words and expressions (e.g. Boers, 2004; Deignan, Gabrys, & Solska, 1997; Kalyuga & Kalyuga, 2008; Kövecses, 1996), and the teaching and development of literacy skills, in particular the skills to better understand texts with metaphors embedded (e.g. Boers, 2000). A discussion of all these areas is certainly beyond the scope of this paper. The area to which some attention is drawn in this article is that of teaching metaphorical lexis, with a particular focus on the teaching of polysemous words. General suggestions and teaching recommendations are made in an attempt to bring this field closer to language practitioners. 


cognitive linguistics, metaphor, language teaching, vocabulary, polysemy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.7n.1p.211


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