The Effect of Conceptual Metaphor Awareness on Learning Phrasal Verbs by Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners

Document Type: Original Article


English Department, Chabahar Maritime University


The ability to comprehend and produce phrasal verbs, as lexical chunks or groups of words which are commonly found together, is an important part of language learning. This study investigates the effect of Conceptual Metaphor Awareness, as a newly developed technique in Cognitive Linguistics, on learning phrasal verbs by Iranian intermediate EFL learners. To meet this objective, two groups of Iranian intermediate EFL learners were included. In the control group, the phrasal verbs were presented with traditional methods of repetition and memorization without giving any explicit explanation about the metaphorical nature of the meaning of phrasal verbs. In the experimental group, the phrasal verbs were presented with an explicit emphasis on the metaphorical nature of the meanings of phrasal verbs contributed by their particles. Both groups took a comprehensive pre-test; another comprehensive test was given to the subjects at the end of the study, in order to investigate the performance of the subjects in the two groups in terms of guessing the meanings of the phrasal verbs based on the instructional methods they had been provided with. The results showed that the experimental group had significantly outperformed the control group; accordingly the outcome of this study let out positive results on teaching phrasal verbs with cognitively oriented methods like conceptual metaphor awareness.