Cognate Vocabulary in Language Acquisition and Use: Attitudes, Awareness, Activation

Author: Agnieszka Otwinowska

Related Formats:
Paperback, Ebook(PDF), Ebook(EPUB)
Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
234mm x 156mm
Price: £109.95
Price: $149.95
Price: €134.95

This book brings together linguistic, psycholinguistic and educational perspectives on the phenomenon of cognate vocabulary across languages. It presents a large-scale, long-term research project focusing on Polish-English cognates and their use by bilingual and multilingual learners/users of English. It discusses extensive qualitative and quantitative data to explain which factors affect a learner's awareness of cognates, how adult learners can benefit from raised awareness and whether cognate vocabulary can be used with younger learners as a motivational strategy. The work shows how cognate vocabulary can be examined from a range of methodological perspectives and provides considerable insights into crosslinguistic influences in language learning. While the focus of the studies is Polish-English cognates, the research will be of interest to anyone teaching learners of different language constellations, levels, ages and backgrounds.

This is a welcome addition to the literature on cognate vocabulary across languages. While its emphasis is on Polish-English cognates, the volume will equally appeal to teachers and researchers interested in the topic. The chapters offer an up-to-date review of the literature on crosslinguistic influence and an unambiguous distinction between bilingual and multilingual behaviour. This is an excellent volume that will be read widely.

Thoroughly researched and elegantly written, this book offers a much-needed introduction to the role of cognates in SLA, a comprehensive and up-to-date synthesis of research on crosslinguistic similarities, and a richly-documented case study of cognate awareness used as a motivational strategy in a foreign language classroom. This text will be a valuable resource for scholars of multilingualism and for foreign language teachers looking for better ways to motivate their students and to make them more fluent and eloquent.

This book offers one of the most extensive treatments of crosslinguistic lexical similarity. Otwinowska defines cognates broadly as words with similar forms and meanings across languages and discusses the origins of such words, how they become associated in the mind, what types of crosslinguistic influences arise from these associations, and how language learners and teachers can make the best use of them…a great resource for both researchers and teachers.

Agnieszka Otwinowska is Assistant Professor at the Institute of English Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland. Her research interests include crosslinguistic influences, bilingual and multilingual language acquisition in children and adults, language teaching, bilingual education and CLIL. She is the co-editor of Teaching and Learning in Multilingual Contexts (with Gessica De Angelis, Multilingual Matters, 2014).


Part I

Bilingual and Multilingual Language Use

Chapter 1. Language Users and Language Use

Chapter 2. Attitudes towards Multilingual Language Use: The European and Polish Perspective

Part II

Defining Lexical Crosslinguistic Similarity

Chapter 3. Where does Crosslinguistic Similarity Come From?

Chapter 4. Crosslinguistic Lexical Similarity

Part III

Lexical Crosslinguistic Similarity in Use

Chapter 5. Crosslinguistic Similarity and Crosslinguistic Influences

Chapter 6. Cognate Vocabulary in Language Processing

Chapter 7. Cognate Vocabulary in Second Language Acquisition

Chapter 8. Language-Related Factors in Lexical CLI

Chapter 9. Learner-Related Factors Affecting Lexical CLI

Chapter 10. Reliance on Lexical CLI as a Strategic Behaviour

Part IV

Investigating Lexical Crosslinguistic Similarity in Language Learning

Chapter 11. Introduction: Researching the Awareness of Cognates in Polish Learners of English

Chapter 12. Investigating the Awareness of Cognate Vocabulary: Polish Adult Learners of English

Chapter 13. Using Cognates as a Vocabulary Learning Strategy: Polish Adult Learners of English

Chapter 14. Awareness of Cognates as a Motivational Strategy: The Age Factor

Chapter 15. Towards Plurilingual Education: Conclusions and Implications for Teaching

Postgraduate, Research / Professional
« Back