The Comprehension of Body-Part Idioms by EFL Learners: A Cognitive Linguistics-Inspired Approach

Year
2017
Volume 18
Issue 2
Pages
175-200
Authors
Monira Ibrahim Al-Mohizea
Abstract
his paper addresses the comprehension of body-part idioms by Arabic- speaking EFL learners from a cognitive linguistics-inspired perspective. A test was devised to examine participants’ receptive knowledge of body-part idioms. Participants’ performance was assessed in relation to similarity of idioms to L1 and their level of transparency, moderated by language proficiency. The variables were carefully operationalised, and the data was analysed following a mixed method design employing think-aloud (TA) protocols. The findings reveal that language proficiency and the scores on the test of idioms correlate significantly. Similarity to L1 and the level of transparency of idioms also correlated significantly with the scores on the test of idioms. The findings also show interesting insights related to body-part lexis, such as imageability, concreteness and familiarity.

Keywords: L2 idiom comprehension, language pro ciency, similarity to L1, transparency, strategy use