Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1877-9751
  • E-ISSN: 1877-976X
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



The present study examines two cognitive linguistics approaches to foreign language teaching. One draws on the conventionality of language use that a variety of expressions can be understood as instances of more general patterns, e.g., and as verb-object-particle, whereas the other centers on linguistic creativeness such as novel combinations or associations, e.g., . Noting that English verb-particle constructions (VPCs) exemplify both linguistic conventionality and creativeness, two types of instruction have been developed–namely, top-down instruction and bottom-up instruction. The top-down instruction presents VPCs as instances of conventional argument structures such as motion and resultative constructions (Goldberg, 2015), whereas the bottom-up instruction focuses on creative compositions of literal and metaphorical meanings (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980). The two types of instruction were provided for Korean EFL learners, and their knowledge of VPCs was measured by a pretest, an immediate posttest, and a four-week delayed posttest. Results of the immediate posttest showed that both types of instruction were effective in improving the learners’ knowledge of literal and figurative VPCs. In the delayed posttest, significantly greater retention was observed for the construction-based top-down instruction. This finding highlights the importance of argument structures as super-constructions in teaching VPCs to EFL learners.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Alejo, R.
    (2010) Making sense of phrasal verbs: A cognitive linguistic account of L2 learning. AILA Review, 23(1), 50–71. 10.1075/aila.23.04ale
    https://doi.org/10.1075/aila.23.04ale [Google Scholar]
  2. Biber, D., Johansson, S., Leech, G., Conrad, S., & Finegan, E.
    (1999) Longman grammar of spoken and written English. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Boers, F.
    (2000) Enhancing metaphoric awareness in specialised reading. English for Specific Purposes, 19(2), 137–147. 10.1016/S0889‑4906(98)00017‑9
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0889-4906(98)00017-9 [Google Scholar]
  4. (2004) Expanding learners’ vocabulary through metaphor awareness: What expansion, what learners, what vocabulary?InM. Achard & S. Niemeier (Eds.), Cognitive linguistics, second language acquisition, and foreign language teaching (pp.211–232). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110199857.211
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110199857.211 [Google Scholar]
  5. Boers, F., & Lindstromberg, S.
    (2012) Experimental and intervention studies on formulaic sequences in a second language. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 321, 83–110. 10.1017/S0267190512000050
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0267190512000050 [Google Scholar]
  6. Bowerman, M.
    (1982) Reorganizational processes in lexical and syntactic development. InL. Geitman & E. Wanner (Eds.), Language acquisition: The state of the art (pp.319–346). CUP Archive.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Cappelle, B.
    (2006) Particle placement and the case for “allostructions”. Constructions SV1-7, 1–28.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Celce-Murcia, M., & Larsen-Freeman, D.
    (1999) The grammar book (2nd edition). Boston: Heinle & Heinle.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Choi, S., & Bowerman, M.
    (1991) Learning to express motion events in English and Korean: The influence of language-specific lexicalization patterns. Cognition, 411, 83–121. 10.1016/0010‑0277(91)90033‑Z
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0010-0277(91)90033-Z [Google Scholar]
  10. Condon, N.
    (2008) How cognitive linguistic motivations influence the learning of phrasal verbs. InF. Boers & S. Lindstromberg (Eds.), Cognitive linguistic approaches to teaching vocabulary and phraseology (pp.133–158). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110199161.2.133
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110199161.2.133 [Google Scholar]
  11. Csábi, S.
    (2004) A cognitive linguistic view of polysemy in English and its implications for teaching. InM. Achard & S. Niemeir (Eds.), Cognitive linguistics, second language acquisition, and foreign language teaching (pp.233–256). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110199857.233
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110199857.233 [Google Scholar]
  12. Dagut, M., & Laufer, B.
    (1985) Avoidance of phrasal verbs: A case for contrastive analysis. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 7(1), 73–79. 10.1017/S0272263100005167
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263100005167 [Google Scholar]
  13. de Knop, S., & Gilquin, G.
    (2016) Applied construction grammar. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9783110458268
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110458268 [Google Scholar]
  14. Fraser, B.
    (1976) The verb-particle combination in English. New York: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Gardner, D., & Davies, M.
    (2007) Pointing out frequent phrasal verbs: A corpus-based analysis. TESOL Quarterly, 41(2), 339–359. 10.1002/j.1545‑7249.2007.tb00062.x
    https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1545-7249.2007.tb00062.x [Google Scholar]
  16. Geld, R.
    (2009) From topology to verbal aspect: Strategic construal of in and out in English particle verbs. Doctoral dissertation, University of Zagreb, Croatia.
  17. Gibbs, R. W.
    (1991) Semantic analyzability in children’s understanding of idioms. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 341, 613–620. 10.1044/jshr.3403.613
    https://doi.org/10.1044/jshr.3403.613 [Google Scholar]
  18. Gilquin, G.
    (2015) The use of phrasal verbs by French-speaking EFL learners: A constructional and collostructional corpus-based approach. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory, 11(1), 51–88. 10.1515/cllt‑2014‑0005
    https://doi.org/10.1515/cllt-2014-0005 [Google Scholar]
  19. Goldberg, A. E.
    (1995) Constructions: A construction grammar approach to argument structure. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. (2006) Constructions at work: The nature of generalization in language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. (2015) Tuning in to the verb-particle construction in English. InL. Nash & P. Samvelian (Eds.), Approaches to complex predicates (pp.110–141). Leiden: Bril.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Gorlach, M.
    (2004) Phrasal constructions and resultativeness in English: A sign-oriented analysis. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing. 10.1075/sfsl.52
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sfsl.52 [Google Scholar]
  23. Hulstijn, J. H., & Marchena, E.
    (1989) Avoidance: Grammatical or semantic causes?Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 11(3), 241–255. 10.1017/S0272263100008123
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263100008123 [Google Scholar]
  24. IBM Corp
    IBM Corp (2012) IBM SPSS statistics for windows: Version 21.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Kim, H., & Rah, Y.
    (2021) Applying constructionist approaches to teaching English argument structure constructions to EFL learners. TESOL Quarterly, 55(2), 568–592. 10.1002/tesq.3002
    https://doi.org/10.1002/tesq.3002 [Google Scholar]
  26. Kovecses, Z., & Szabo, P.
    (1996) Idioms: A view from cognitive semantics. Applied Linguistics, 17(3), 326–355. 10.1093/applin/17.3.326
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/17.3.326 [Google Scholar]
  27. Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M.
    (1980) Metaphors we live by. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Liao, Y., & Fukuya, Y. J.
    (2004) Avoidance of phrasal verbs: The case of Chinese learners of English. Language Learning, 54(2), 193–226. 10.1111/j.1467‑9922.2004.00254.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2004.00254.x [Google Scholar]
  29. Littlemore, J.
    (2009) Applying cognitive linguistics to second language learning and teaching. Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/9780230245259
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230245259 [Google Scholar]
  30. Longman Phrasal Verbs Dictionary
    Longman Phrasal Verbs Dictionary (2000) Essex: Pearson Education Limited.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Lu, Z., & Sun, J.
    (2017) Presenting English polysemous phrasal verbs with two metaphor-based cognitive methods to Chinese EFL learners. System, 691, 153–161. 10.1016/j.system.2017.07.016
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2017.07.016 [Google Scholar]
  32. Nhu, N., & Huyen, P.
    (2009) Conceptual metaphor and its application in teaching phrasal verbs to English majors at Thuc Hanh High School, HCMC. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Ho Chi Minh City University of Education, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
  33. Side, R.
    (1990) Phrasal verbs: Sorting them out. ELT Journal, 44(2), 144–152. 10.1093/elt/44.2.144
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/44.2.144 [Google Scholar]
  34. Slobin, D. I.
    (2017) Typologies and language use. InI. Ibarretxe-Antuñano (Ed.), Motion and space across languages: Theory and applications (pp.419–446). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/hcp.59.17slo
    https://doi.org/10.1075/hcp.59.17slo [Google Scholar]
  35. Slobin, D. I., Bowerman, M., Brown, P., Eisenbeiss, S., & Narasimhan, B.
    (2011) Putting things in places: Developmental consequences of linguistic typology. InJ. Bohnemeyer & E. Pederson (Eds.), Event representation in language and cognition (pp.134–165). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Sung, M.
    (2020) Underuse of English verb-particle constructions in an L2 learner corpus: Focus on structural patterns and one-word preference. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory, 16(1), 189–214. 10.1515/cllt‑2017‑0002
    https://doi.org/10.1515/cllt-2017-0002 [Google Scholar]
  37. Talmy, L.
    (2000) Toward a cognitive semantics, vol. 1: Concept structuring systems. Cambridge, MS: MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Tomasello, M.
    (1987) Learning to use prepositions: A case study. Journal of Child Language, 141, 79–98. 10.1017/S0305000900012745
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000900012745 [Google Scholar]
  39. (1992) First verbs: A case study of early grammatical development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511527678
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511527678 [Google Scholar]
  40. Trebits, A.
    (2009) The most frequent phrasal verbs in English language EU documents: A corpus-based analysis and its implications. System, 37(3), 470–481. 10.1016/j.system.2009.02.012
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2009.02.012 [Google Scholar]
  41. Verhelst, N., Van Avermaet, P., Takala, S., Figueras, N., & North, B.
    (2009) Common European framework of reference for languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. White, B. J.
    (2012) A conceptual approach to the instruction of phrasal verbs. The Modern Language Journal, 96(3), 419–438. 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.2012.01365.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2012.01365.x [Google Scholar]
  43. Yasuda, S.
    (2010) Learning phrasal verbs through conceptual metaphors: A case of Japanese EFL learners. TESOL Quarterly, 44(2), 250–273. 10.5054/tq.2010.219945
    https://doi.org/10.5054/tq.2010.219945 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error