Cognitive linguistics approaches to Chinese second language acquisition

Ning Yu, Ben Pin Yun Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


This chapter reviews the empirical studies in the acquisition and instruction of Chinese as a second language that are informed by a number of key theoretical constructs in Cognitive Linguistics (CL), such as motivation, categorization, construal, metaphor, metonymy, and construction. The methods of data collection and analysis adopted by these studies include: (a) analysis of learner language samples drawn from learner corpora or collected through experimental elicitation; (b) effects-of-instruction experiments that examine the efficacy of CL-informed instruction on the Chinese language, as compared to traditional teaching methods; and (c) questionnaire surveys conducted to explore how CL-informed instruction is received by L2 Chinese learners. A general picture that emerges from research in this area is that CL has strong explanatory power for potential linguistic challenges faced by L2 Chinese learners. In addition, systematic CL-informed explanations of Chinese characters, vocabulary, and grammar can lead to more meaningful learning and less reliance on rote memorization on the part of the learner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Chinese Second Language Acquisition
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781317367918
ISBN (Print)9781138946606
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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