Applying Cognitive Grammar in the Classroom: Teaching English Tense and Aspect
The study reported in the present chapter explores the effects of teaching, on the basis of their Cognitive Grammar (CG) descriptions, the meanings, use as well as form of the tense/aspect pairings known from traditional pedagogical grammar as the present simple and the present continuous and compares them with the effects of teaching based on traditional pedagogical descriptions. The account of the study includes a full-blown description of the treatment based on CG, which is a pioneering example of pedagogical practice exploiting CG descriptions of grammatical phenomena. As a result of applying mainly quantitative and complementing it with some qualitative analysis of the data obtained in the course of a quasi-experimental study, it is concluded that explicit form-focused instruction based on CG descriptions, which brought about gains comparable to those secured by traditional instruction, may be at least moderately effective with respect to fostering learners’ explicit grammatical knowledge. This may be explained by CG’s emphasis on the meaningfulness of grammar and its use of pictorial representations of the meanings of grammatical features.