Abstract Phrasal verbs are one of the most difficult types of vocabulary to learn a language for ESL/EFL learners whose L1 is a non-Germanic language due to its multiple meaning and word construction. Traditionally, students were taught to learn meanings of phrasal verbs by heart and these would be kept in short term memory and difficult to remember in a longer period. Conceptual metaphor is a method emphasizing on cognitive performance to stimulate students to guess the meaning of phrasal verbs and this will also help to have them kept in the learners’ long term memory. The present study aimed to investigate the effectiveness the conceptual metaphor technique in teaching phrasal verbs to a class of 31 twelfth graders studying at a secondary school under the Secondary Educational Area Office 15 in Southern Thailand. These students were purposively selected as the research subject. They had a generally low English proficiency according to the Ordinary National Educational Test (O-NET) results. The research is a one-group pre and post-test design. Two hundred and ten phrasal verbs were intensively taught to students within 8 weeks to examine the influences of the technique on students’ knowledge and retention of these phrasal verbs. Results showed that students learned more phrasal verbs and they could retain the knowledge of phrasal verbs under investigation at a significant level of 0.01. Results from questionnaires on students’
awareness of the conceptual metaphor technique and learning attitudes revealed that the students found that the conceptual metaphor generally helped them learn phrasal verbs. Key word: conceptual metaphor technique, acquisition and retention of phrasal verbs
4th International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences April 21, 2012 Faculty of Liberal Arts, Prince of Songkla University
1. Background Vocabulary is a component of language that maintains all of information about meaning and use of words in a language. Vocabulary takes a more important role in learning a foreign language than often components of the language. As Wilkins (1972, cited in Thornbury, 2002) stated “Without grammar very little can be conveyed; without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed”. Learners need to have a sufficient amount of vocabulary
knowledge in learning and using the language (Nation, 2001). One kind of vocabulary which is problematic for ESL/EFL learners is phrasal verbs. These verbs comprised of a base verb and particle. Celce-Muricia and Larsen-Freeman (1999) pointed out that learning phrasal verbs is one of the most difficult tasks for learners of English as a second language on account of their semantic and syntactic properties. Phrasal verbs are generally polysemous. They have a number of difference meanings. Macmillan Phrasal Verbs Plus Dictionary (Rundell, 2005) gives “put off” which is a relatively common phrasal verb six different meaning of: 1) make sb not want/like sth; 2) delay sth you do not want to do; 3) make sth happen later; 4) arrange to see sb later; 5) prevent sb from concentrating ; and 6) let a passenger get off. Its polysemic meaning and word construction can be problematic in acquiring phrasal verbs.
Besides the above mentioned semantic complexities of phrasal verbs, (Kocacs, 2009), their syntax is also governed by complex and unpredictable rules. Consider the following examples (Rundell, 2005) (1) You can’t put the decision off any longer. (2) You can’t put off the decision any longer. (3)...