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Incidental Learning of the Figurative Meanings of Duplex Collocations from Reading: Three Case Studies

Macis, M (2018) Incidental Learning of the Figurative Meanings of Duplex Collocations from Reading: Three Case Studies. Reading in a Foreign Language, 30 (1). pp. 48-75. ISSN 0264-2425

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Abstract

There is little research available on incidental learning of figurative language from reading (Webb et al., 2013; Pellicer-Sánchez, 2017). This study looked at collocations that had both literal and figurative meanings, i.e. duplex collocations (Author Aa) and whether reading could enhance lexical knowledge of the figurative meanings of these collocations. In three case studies, relatively advanced L2 learners read a semi-authentic novel that contained 38 target items. Through one-to-one interviews, conducted one week and three weeks after the treatment, the study examined how much learning occurred at the meaning-recall level and how repetition affected this knowledge. Results showed that figurative language could be learned incidentally and that knowledge of more than half of the target collocations for each participant was enhanced either partially or fully. They also indicated that repetition was consistently positive, but that the correlations did not always reach the significance threshold.

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