The cognitive linguistic approach to teaching idioms: a case study with Estonian secondary school EFL students



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Tartu Ülikool


Since idioms appear difficult for the EFL students to understand and comprehend and the traditional teaching methods are stated to be inefficient, it is necessary to look for alternative ways of teaching. One of the ways praised by several scholars is the cognitive linguistic approach. Therefore, this thesis focuses on the applicability of the cognitive linguistic approach of teaching idioms to secondary school EFL students and to assess its efficiency. Furthermore, comparisons with the traditional teaching method are provided as well. The thesis is divided into two main chapters – literature review of teaching idioms in EFL classroom and the empirical study. The first chapter is divided into two sections. The first section includes the definition of idioms and gives an overview of the concept of metaphoric idioms. The second section focuses on teaching idioms in EFL classroom via using the traditional teaching method and the cognitive linguistic approach. The necessity of teaching idioms is highlighted and the challenges of teaching such complex vocabulary elements are addressed. Furthermore, the opportunities of the cognitive linguistic approach are introduced by examining previous studies done in that field. The second chapter provides an overview of the empirical study, which consisted of an experiment conducted with 24 Estonian secondary school students. Furthermore, the results of the study are discussed in accordance with the used literature. Additionally, the main findings of the experiment are discussed and concluded. The shortcomings of the study are addressed as well. The conclusion emphasises the importance of the topic and summarises the main findings. It gives an overview of how the results can be beneficial for the EFL teacher. Finally, possible options for further study are provided as well.



inglise keel, kognitiivne lingvistika, fraseologismid