First Advisor

Jeanette S. DeCarrico

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Applied Linguistics


Vocabulary -- Study and teaching, Metaphor -- Study and teaching, English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers



Physical Description

1 online resource (150 p.)


This thesis addresses the problem of teaching and learning vocabulary in English as a Second Language (ESL), and proposes that a vocabulary based on the process of metaphoric extension could be taught directly. Despite the fact that an inadequate vocabulary is one of the main obstacles for intermediate-level ESL students, both ESL teachers and applied linguists have emphasized other aspects of English more than the study of vocabulary teaching and learning. Consequently, ESL students have few strategies for learning vocabulary other than reliance on the dictionary, and the predominant strategy for teachers is to present words rather unsystematically in the reading curriculum. In an effort to overcome this inadequacy, current vocabulary research is identifying central patterns of word usage, including lexical phrases and other 'chunks', core words, and semantic fields. One central pattern of usage that has not yet been researched is metaphoric extension. Since the so-called 'dead' metaphors produced by that process are lexical items expressing either literal or conventional meaning, they are also candidates for direct teaching.


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Persistent Identifier