Cognitive Linguistics and the Second Language Classroom



Cognitive Linguistics (CL) makes the functional assumption that form is motivated by meaning. CL also analyses form-meaning pairings as products of how cognition structures perception. CL thus helps teachers to fit language to the nature of the cognition that learns whilst devising modes of instruction that are better attuned to the nature of the language that has to be learnt. This paper argues that facets of a new approach are starting to emerge and that these can be broadly isolated according to four principles that comprise: embodied learning, conceptualization, the lexico-grammatical continuum, and usage. The principles interact one with another to consolidate the use of some older classroom methods and to point towards new ways of analyzing and presenting English lexis and grammar. They also set down key principles to direct research into classroom learning.