Applying Cognitive Linguistics: Preposition Acquisition in an ESL Context with Arabic Learners

University essay from Umeå universitet/Institutionen för språkstudier

Abstract: Teaching prepositions in the context of English as a foreign language (ESL) can be particularly challenging. The present research explored the ability of Arabic-speaking students to understand and use prepositions and examined the efficacy of using cognitive linguistics to train them on the for and to prepositions. The study was conducted through an online survey, the delivery of a pretest to the willing participants, the supply of the cognitive linguistics activities and traditional training activities, and the delivery of posttests to assess the participants. 16 participants agreed to participate in the study. A comparison of the average values of their pretest and posttest scores revealed that they performed better on the posttests, with the group that took the cognitive linguistics activity showing better improvement. The Mann Whitney U Test showed that the improvements were statistically significant for both groups. The findings demonstrate that cognitive linguistics produces better language acquisition among non-native speakers of English than traditional approaches and should be used in the teaching of English prepositions.

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