Volume 18, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-9751
  • E-ISSN: 1877-976X
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In recent years, foreign language pedagogy has recognized the need to focus (i) on larger meaningful sequences of words (Nattinger & DeCarrico, 1992Wray, 2002Ellis & Cadierno, 2009Gonzalez Rey, 2013) and (ii) further on communicative goals (Nunan, 1991Widdowson, 1992Savignon, 2000). Difficulties in the learning process of a foreign language result from the conceptual and constructional differences between expressions in the native and foreign language. Teaching materials often propose a lexical approach with an unstructured set of constructed examples.

With the postulate of meaningful schematic templates, Construction Grammar (CxG) has a number of assets for foreign language teaching (FLT) and learning (FLL), it allows among others to establish a structured inventory of abstract constructions with prototypical exemplars and inheritance links between the constructions’ instantiations. To be proficient in a foreign language also means to use new words in constructions. Learners can be asked to extend the use of new lexical units as slot-fillers into constructional patterns. This is exemplified with the use of German posture and placement verbs in the caused motion construction and the corresponding intransitive locative construction.

But having learned a vast number of constructional templates of a language does not automatically imply that learners can produce L2-constructions and their instantiations in a creative way. Therefore, CxG must be enriched with further insights from Cognitive Linguistics which claims that conceptual categories and their linguistic expressions are the result of embodied processes (Lakoff, 1987). This chapter makes some suggestions for interactive activities which can foster ‘embodied teaching and learning’.


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