Teaching English tense and aspect with the help of cognitive grammar: An empirical study
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Keywords

cognitive grammar
pedagogical grammar
traditional descriptions
tense
aspect

How to Cite

Bielak, J., & Pawlak, M. (2011). Teaching English tense and aspect with the help of cognitive grammar: An empirical study. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 1(3), 365–400. https://doi.org/10.14746/ssllt.2011.1.3.4

Abstract

Form-focused instruction is usually based on traditional practical/pedagogical grammar descriptions of grammatical features. The comparison of such traditional accounts with cognitive grammar (CG) descriptions seems to favor CG as a basis of pedagogical rules. This is due to the insistence of CG on the meaningfulness of grammar and its detailed analyses of the meanings of particular grammatical features. The differences between traditional and CG rules/descriptions are exemplified by juxtaposing the two kinds of principles concerning the use of the present simple and present progressive to refer to situations happening or existing at speech time. The descriptions provided the bases for the instructional treatment in a quasi-experimental study exploring the effectiveness of using CG descriptions of the two tenses, and of their interplay with stative (imperfective) and dynamic (perfective) verbs, and comparing this effectiveness with the value of grammar teaching relying on traditional accounts found in standard pedagogical grammars. The study involved 50 participants divided into three groups, with one of them constituting the control group and the other two being experimental ones. One of the latter received treatment based on CG descriptions and the other on traditional accounts. CG-based instruction was found to be at least moderately effective in terms of fostering mostly explicit grammatical knowledge and its effectiveness turned out be comparable to that of teaching based on traditional descriptions.

https://doi.org/10.14746/ssllt.2011.1.3.4
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