Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Education Theory and Practice

Content Description

1 online resource (ix, 165 pages) : color illustrations

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Istvan Kecskes

Committee Members

Rachel Giora, Alandeon Oliveira


cognitive linguistics, dual coding theory, figurative language, graded salience hypothesis, idioms, second language acquisition, English language, Second language acquisition, Dual-coding hypothesis

Subject Categories

Education | Language and Literacy Education | Reading and Language


This study relied on the assumption that literal meaning of some idiomatic expressions (i.e., their conceptual motivation) could have a positive effect on the comprehension of their correct figurative sense. To test this hypothesis, a Dual Coding elucidation technique, in which important elements of correct figurative meaning were mapped onto literal ones, was designed to facilitate the comprehension of 15 highly imageable idioms. This technique was administered in the form of an online questionnaire to Russian- and Korean-speaking EFL and ESL learners. The facilitative effect of this technique was assessed taking into account several relevant variables: the learners’ levels of metaphorical competence, i.e., the amount of interaction that the learners had with authentic English content and speakers, the cognitive style preferences of these learners, and the amount of verbal contextual support accompanying each idiomatic expression.