Publication details [#696]

De Rycker, Antoon and Sabine De Knop. 2009. Integrating cognitive linguistics and foreign language teaching – Historical background and new developments. Journal of modern languages 19 (1) : 29–46. 18 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
University of Malaya / open access journal


Recently, Cognitive Linguistics has become more and more interested in turning its rich, body of research into a practical guide for language teachers, course designers, and materials writers. In the last ten years, scholars and teachers have extensively proposed practical applications of the tenets of Cognitive Linguistics to foreign language pedagogy. This article sums up the positive outcomes a Cognitive Linguistic-based pedagogy could give to language teaching: 1) it can move beyond the largely unmotivated rules, examples, and lists typical of the traditional paradigm; 2) it can produce results-driven grammar instruction and practice; And 3) it can ultimately balance all of this properly with new insights gained from second-language acquisition research. In the first part of the paper, the authors describe Cognitive Linguistics in the broader historical context of applied linguistics, and more particularly they discuss how it differs from such linguistic theories as transformational-generative grammar and pragmatics. The second part of the article is dedicated to the theoretical assumptions, basic units, and constructs used in Cognitive Linguistics that could offer learners a better understanding of the true nature of language and grammar.