Contextual Effect in SLA: A Case Study of Polysemy and Metaphor

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Lexical acquisition is considered as the central task in Second Language Acquisition (SLA). Relevant research shows that context plays an important role in vocabulary acquisition, especially Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition (IVA), and there is contextual effect on lexical access. Since polysemy, whose derived meanings are mainly of metaphorical uses, constructs a major part for everyday lexicons, we consider the acquisition of metaphorical uses of polysemous words as the centre of lexical acquisition. This book has addresses two questions: how does the context help in the comprehension of the metaphorical uses of polysemous words; and to what extent will the level of difficulty of context best help the learner acquire the metaphorical uses of polysemous words? The results of a survey conducted to answer the above questions confirm that the adjustment of the context do exert influence on the comprehension to the metaphorical uses of polysemous words (both lexical and functional), in which the so-called appropriate contexts (i.e. contexts which are no more difficult than the current understanding level of the subjects and which are more familiar to them) are most helpful.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSaabrücken, Germany
PublisherLambert Academic Publishing
Number of pages120
ISBN (Print)9783659194436, 3659194433
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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