In recent years, many researchers have examined how second and foreign language learners benefit from cognitive linguistics insights, especially in their acquisition of polysemy. However, teachers are not linguists and usually do not have enough knowledge about cognitive linguistics to apply it to their everyday teaching. This paper proposes using animation in teaching English prepositions, one of the major research themes in cognitive linguistics. The animations attached to each description of polysemous meanings of 20 prepositions have been developed based on Langacker's framework. One of the main advantages of using animation is that the cognitive linguistic framework can be utilized without academic terms difficult for students to understand. For instance, red objects in our animated figures stand for “landmarks” in Langacker’s terms, and blue objects for “trajectors”. Watching the short animations repeatedly, students can understand the image-schema of the preposition through the colors, without using the academic terms. Another advantage is that we can see the movement of blue objects, or trajectors, in animation. When a trajector moves along the arrow in the animation for a preposition such as “across”, it will help students understand the various meanings of “across”, its central and metaphorical meanings at the same time. Pre- and posttests were conducted. The group used the image-schematic animations showed higher scores in the posttest than those in the pretest, and their posttest scores are higher than those of the group used conventional method of teaching. The results indicate that using image-schematic animations in teaching prepositions is effective.
Tomoko Tsujimoto, Osaka Institute of Technology, Japan