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LINGUIST List 21.896

Tue Feb 23 2010

Diss: Applied Ling: Skoufaki: 'Investigating L2 Idiom Instruction...'

Editor for this issue: Di Wdzenczny <dilinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Sophia Skoufaki, Investigating L2 Idiom Instruction Methods

Message 1: Investigating L2 Idiom Instruction Methods
Date: 23-Feb-2010
From: Sophia Skoufaki <sophiaskoufakintu.edu.tw>
Subject: Investigating L2 Idiom Instruction Methods
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Institution: University of Cambridge
Program: PhD in English and Applied Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2005

Author: Sophia Skoufaki

Dissertation Title: Investigating L2 Idiom Instruction Methods

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Dissertation Director:
Richard Breheny
Gillian Brown
John Williams

Dissertation Abstract:

Despite the great difficulty idiom learning poses to foreign language
learners and although idioms are considered necessary for near-native
language attainment, idiom instruction proposals have not been tested
experimentally. My PhD research uses psychological experiments to
investigate the relative effectiveness of proposed L2 idiom presentation

Initially, my research examines the nature of idiom transparency, since
views about its origins inform predictions about the effectiveness of
different L2 idiom presentation methods. The rest of the experiments
compare the form and meaning retention of English VP idioms by adult
advanced-level Greek learners of English after they have been presented
with them according to different methods. Factors affecting the
effectiveness of each of these methods are also investigated.

My research forms part of the current attempt in Applied Linguistics to
offer practical solutions to language teaching instead of conducting
theoretical work and then speculating on its possible applications to
second language instruction and learning. My research results may,
therefore, prove useful not only to the academia but to language
pedagogists as well, since they lead to concrete proposals about idiom
instruction. From a theoretical point of view, my research examines the
cognitive basis of idiom transparency intuitions and assesses what
Cognitive Linguistics can bring to L2 idiom instruction. As far as the area
between Language Pedagogy and Linguistic Theory is involved, that is,
Applied Linguistics, my research suggests, among other things, that each
vocabulary instruction method should not be proposed wholesale, since
specific kinds of figurative expressions may benefit from one instruction
method but not others and that the exact way in which each proposal is
implemented affects greatly the instructional outcome.

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