Cognitive Linguistics for Second Language Learning and Teaching

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
27 May 2020


Requisites for this module
LG216 or LG329



Key module for


Module description

This module offers an introduction to the discipline of cognitive linguistics and its application to second (L2) language learning and teaching. It focuses on cognitive linguistics views on the nature of language and language learning with specific reference to the L2 context. Cognitive linguistics sees meaning as the core of language both in relation to lexical items and grammar. Meaning is seen as closely related to general knowledge; grammar as shaped and constrained by general cognitive processes, by the needs of speakers in interaction, and by frequency of use. The module covers key concepts in the field, such as conceptualisation and construal, radial networks, encyclopaedic knowledge and its role in language comprehension and production, metaphor and metonymy, and embodied cognition. The module will familiarise you with the current state of research and knowledge in the field. It will also make you aware of how various concepts in cognitive linguistics can be applied to our understanding of L2 learning and how this understanding can inform L2 teaching, for example through the development of innovative teaching materials and methodologies.

Module aims

As suggested in the module description, the main aims of this module are as follows:
• To introduce students to cognitive linguistics and key concepts associated with this approach to the study of language and L2 learning
• To make students aware of the application of cognitive linguistics concepts to pedagogical practice in the L2 context
• To familiarise students with current research in the field

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will have achieved the following:

1. Awareness of key concepts and assumptions underlying cognitive linguistics;
2. Understanding of relationships between theory and practice by exploring how cognitive linguistics can be applied to L2 learning and teaching;
3. Familiarity with current research in cognitive linguistics within an L2 perspective.

Module information

The module covers key concepts in the field, such as conceptualisation and construal, radial networks, encyclopaedic knowledge and its role in language comprehension and production, metaphor and metonymy, and embodied cognition.

Week 1: Introduction: What is cognitive linguistics? Overview of key concepts and claims
Week 2: Conceptualisation and construal: Attention, perspective, constitution and categorization
Week 3: Radial networks: Polysemy, prototypes, and other language features
Week 4: Language and the role of encyclopaedic knowledge
Week 5: Metaphor and metonymy
Week 6: Embodied cognition, gesture, and movement
Week 7: Cognitive linguistics and pedagogical grammar
Week 8: Cognitive linguistics and pedagogical materials and techniques
Week 9: Approaches to L2 learning and teaching I: A usage-based perspective
Week 10: Approaches to L2 learning and teaching II: Sociocultural Theory

Learning and teaching methods

There will be one two-hour class per week for ten weeks. Each class will comprise a mixture of lecture-style and seminar-style teaching and learning activities. In the lecture part, students will be introduced to key themes and concepts as well as their implications for L2 pedagogy. We will also discuss research investigating L2 learning and teaching issues. The seminar part will focus on student-centred activities such as pair/group-work, discussion and exercises. Weekly readings as listed on Moodle will be compulsory as preparation for lectures. Further reading suggestions will be included on the reading list for the module. Module materials will be placed on Moodle: https://moodle.essex.ac.uk/



Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Quiz (Moodle)    20% 
Coursework   Written assignment (2500 words)    80% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Adela Ganem Gutierrez, email: aganem@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Adela Ganem Gutierrez
Adela Gánem-Gutiérrez aganem@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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