Using cognitive mapping techniques to teach English at university


In an increasingly globalised and technology-driven world, cognitive tools have proven extremely successful in learning. As far as English language learning is concerned, cognitive mapping techniques can facilitate comprehension, encourage critical thinking and help learners to retain information. This work is aimed at showing how cognitive mapping techniques can be applied to English language teaching at university by focusing on the potential benefits of using several cognitive maps to teach both English grammar or general English (GE) and English for Specific Purposes (ESP). These maps can be seen as potentially successful ways of representing complex and/or dense information and, as such, they are recognised as valuable educational and visualisation tools, which assist students in organising, sharing and representing knowledge. The aim of this work is to evaluate whether the use of cognitive maps can help to improve the quality of English language teaching at University. This paper provides a case study of an English course taught to Italian university students of dentistry in their first year and highly significant differences were found and evaluated between the control group and the experimental group. This experimental study represents part of a larger, ongoing research project on the validity and feasibility of using cognitive mapping techniques as a means of enhancing students’ English language learning and information retention and recall.


DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v48p175

Keywords: Cognitive maps; English grammar; ESP; English language learning; University language teaching.


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