A brief review of the effects of image schema theory on the acquisition of polysemy


  • Jie Yu Southeast University




image schema theory, image-schema-based instruction, polysemy acquisition, cognitive linguistics


Cognitive linguistics can inspire language pedagogy. As one of the core conceptions of cognitive linguistics, image schema theory can be integrated into foreign/second language teaching to facilitate learners’ acquisition of word meanings, especially those polysemous words which have long been difficult points for both learners and instructors. This research conducts a thorough review of the image schema theory and polysemy in cognitive linguistics and discusses the feasibility, and potential benefits of the teaching method based on image schema theory. Also, this research synthesizes the previous empirical studies about the effects of image schema theory on the acquisition of polysemy. It is found that the effectiveness of image-schema-based instruction has been generally recognized; however, the inconsistencies in the previous studies necessitate further exploration. Also, future studies can pay more attention to the effects of image schema theory on the acquisition of polysemous verbs.


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Author Biography

Jie Yu, Southeast University

Jie Yu is pursuing his MA in Applied Linguistics at School of Foreign Languages, Southeast University. His research interests include second language acquisition, English language teaching, and language policy and planning.


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How to Cite

Yu, J. (2022). A brief review of the effects of image schema theory on the acquisition of polysemy. Journal of Language Teaching, 2(4), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.54475/jlt.2022.004



Original Research