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Cognitive grammar and its applicability in the foreign language classroom

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Title:Cognitive grammar and its applicability in the foreign language classroom
Authors:Arnett, Carlee
Jernigan, Harriett
Date Issued:01 Jan 2010
Publisher:Heinle Cengage Learning
Citation:Arnett, C., Jernigan, H. (2010). Cognitive grammar and its applicability in the foreign language classroom. The American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Foreign Languages Programs (AAUSC), 198-215.
Abstract:The theory of Cognitive Grammar (CG), despite its compatibility with preferred theories of
instruction and teaching methodologies, has yet to make its way into the foreign language
classroom. This chapter introduces CG, outlining the basic principles that are most useful
in the language classroom: cognitive domains, which function well as instructional tools in
a communicative classroom, and the concept of schemas and prototypes, which help students
examine the relationships between syntax and meaning. A lesson plan illustrates how
one applies the principles of CG to explicit grammar instruction, supplementing students’
grammatical metalanguage and establishing a cognitive domain the instructor can use for
future grammar lessons. CG, because it encourages experimentation and interpretation,
complements communicative language teaching and speaks to the goals of the report from
the Modern Language Association (MLA) Ad Hoc Committee on Foreign Languages (MLA,
2007), which calls for teaching students translingual and transcultural competence at the
secondary and postsecondary level.

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