This research examined whether the cognitive linguistics (CL)-inspired method of presenting idioms in metaphoric groups leads to better form and meaning memorisation than the more traditional method of presenting them in functional groups. Findings indicate that provided learning is intentional and the idioms taught are highly transparent, the metaphoric grouping leads to better form – but not meaning – memorisation.
This research also compared the effectiveness of two CL applications of the common proposal that learners should be encouraged to infer the meaning of unknown vocabulary from context. In the sub-area of L2 idiom instruction, CL theory has been combined with the meaning inference method in two ways. The first is having learners infer the meaning of L2 idioms which are considered to be underlain by conceptual metaphors and/or metonymies. The second is having learners infer the meanings of L2 idioms while offering them metaphoric clues about these meanings. Research findings indicate that the second proposal is more effective than the first.
This research also led to the testing of theoretical claims about the nature of idiom transparency, both for native and second language speakers.