English Education and Cognitive Linguistics (PART1)

The papers written below were written from the perspective of how best to bridge the application of cognitive linguistics findings, and also represent the author’s stance on English language education. Please note that this article will be presented in a series of several articles. In this article, part of the outline and introduction will be presented.


Cognitive linguistics began gradually in the early 1980s (Lindner, 1981; Langacker,1982; Lakoff & Johnson,1980) and blossomed significantly in the late 1980s and 1990s (Lakoff,1987; Johnson,1987; Langacker,1990; Goldberg,1995), and it is still gaining momentum in the 200s0s (Croft&Cruse,2000; Talkmy,2000; Tomasello,2003). Cognitive linguistics is characterized by explaining linguistic phenomena within the three categories of human beings, the world, and language. This feature is completely different from the theory of generative grammar originated by Norm Chomsky. By introducing variables such as “bodily knowledge,” “perception,” and “concept formation,” which have not been considered in linguistics until now, it is clear that “semantic motivation” is at work between languages. Cognitive linguistics is a field that is highly compatible with English language education because it includes the above characteristics. Therefore, various findings have been applied to it, mainly in the field of semantics. In this paper, we will study linguistics, which has such a high affinity with English education.

Introduction – What is polysemy?

Vocabulary serves as a measure of a learner’s English proficiency (Nation, 2001). However, when asked about and reflecting on the question “what is vocabulary proficiency?” there is no clear definition in the world of linguistics. Therefore, we believe that the most important thing to keep in mind when discussing the question of what vocabulary is is to define vocabulary ourselves and then base our discussion on that definition. In this paper, in accordance with Tanaka (1990), vocabulary power is taken as “consisting of basic word power and extended word power. Next, it is necessary to attempt to define basic vocabulary and expanded vocabulary. First, basic vocabulary ability can be defined as “the ability to use vocabulary in different ways. In other words, it is the ability to use different meanings of the vocabulary and calculate the appropriate five. In this paper, we would like to express vocabulary proficiency based on such conditions. In second language acquisition research, the following three points have been pointed out regarding vocabulary research. These three points are (1) vocabulary depth (Depth), (2) vocabulary width (Width), and (3) cognitive speed (Vermeer, 2001).

IIntroduction2ーmportance of basic wordsー

In studies of second language vocabulary acquisition, the importance of acquiring basic words has been pointed out many times (Maera, 2002; Nation, 2001; Schmitt, 2000; and many others). The reason for this is not only that basic words are often frequent, but also because they form the basis of language activity. A dictionary used by learners is usually about 2,000 pages long and is said to contain 100,000 words. The number of basic words (here, “words that are frequently used and learned in the early stages of learning”) is said to be about 500. 500 words in 2,000 pages is a considerable amount. And those words are covered in the dictionary over 1000 pages. This tells us how great the semantic potential of individual words is. In this paper, we will focus on “basic verbs” among them. The “basic verbs” here are words with high semantic frequency in the early stages of learning, and this paper will focus on basic verbs among the basic words of English. Basic verbs here refer to words that are so familiar to most Japanese learners. And because they are words introduced in the early stages of learning, they tend to be regarded as “basic and easy words. In fact, such basic words are regarded as “already learned words” in high school, and not much time is devoted to teaching them. However, knowing basic words and having basic language skills are two completely different things. Even if you know them, you cannot use them all the time.