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Cognitive Linguistics, Sociocultural Theory and Content and Language Integrated Learning: Researching Development of Polysemous L2 Lexis

Issue: Vol 6 No. 2 (2019)

Journal: Language and Sociocultural Theory

Subject Areas: Writing and Composition Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/lst.35805


This study applies cognitive linguistics (CL) to what Llinares et al. (2012) refers to as the three overlapping theoretical perspectives of content and language integrated learning (CLIL): (a) systemic functional linguistics, (b) Vygotskian-based sociocultural theory, and (c) dialogic inquiry. CL is complimentary to these theoretical perspectives because it views language development as conceptually motivated, meaning making, and usage-based (Langacker, 2000). Academic genre-based theory is another factor integrating content, language, and learning in CLIL. The specific meaning-meaning making under analysis is polysemous lexis that has both everyday and scientific (Vygotsky, 1978) or genre-specific meanings. Results of an empirical study indicate that using a CL-based approach within the zone of proximal development raises L2 learners' awareness of the metonymically motivated extension in meaning from everyday to genre-specific and significantly improves their comprehension of both meanings. This study concludes that by including CL as a conceptual link CLIL's pedagogical efficacy could be enhanced to further integrate content, language and learning: i.e., content and language conceptually integrated learning.

Author: Kent Hill

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