Usage-Inspired Insights into Second Language Learning: A Comparative Review of Usage-Based Studies on Vocabulary Development

Change log

This paper examines how usage-based perspectives make contributions to insights about second language (L2) learning in the field of education. It first locates usage-based approaches in language learning, in particular L2 learning. It moves on to highlight two key usage-based features, namely frequency and salience, that have been applied successfully in the context of L2 learning and particularly in the two selected usage-based studies in this paper. Based on these two core features and chosen pieces of research, this paper aims to underpin usage-based investigations on lexical development in L2 learners, which is believed to not yet be researched substantially in the field. In marked contrast to the paucity of such studies, this paper seeks to illustrate how research focus on vocabulary learning could complement the predominantly studied acquisition of syntactic constructions. Despite the real likelihood of conducting usage-based lexical analyses, this paper subsequently counterargues that considerable limitations exist in researching lexicons from usage-based approaches. With a view to fulfilling these study aims, a comparative analysis of two chosen studies was carried out to draw on empirical evidence, affording usage-inspired insights into L2 learning in the educational discipline.

usage-based, second language learning, vocabulary, frequency, salience
Journal Title
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
Publisher DOI
Publisher URL