Dr Frank Boers

Professor

Profile

Although I am now better known for my work in the discipline of Applied Linguistics, my first research endeavours were in the area of Linguistics. My PhD project was on lexicology (more specifically, a study of English prepositions) and also my other early publications (in the 1990s) concerned lexical semantics, such as the nature and use of metaphor in argumentative discourse.

At the same time, I was working full time as an EFL teacher, first in various secondary schools and subsequently in diverse faculties of higher education. This extensive teaching experience led me to shift my research interests from Linguistics to Applied Linguistics.

I made my debut in the world of Applied Linguistics research in the early 2000s by applying ideas from a school of thought known as Cognitive Linguistics to language teaching. In essence, I explored avenues for insightful (as opposed to rote) learning of vocabulary, often with a focus on multiword expressions such as idioms and phrasal verbs.

I have since broadened my scope of research interests to various other facets of second / foreign language acquisition and teaching, although cognition (in particular the workings of memory) has remained a recurring theme. Recent strands include evaluations of language exercises presented in course books, evaluations of classroom tasks intended to foster oral fluency, and investigations of learners’ intake of multimodal materials.

I have been fortunate to work with and learn from many great people, including established scholars as well as M.A. / PhD students (see ‘recent publications’ for names of co-authors).

Prior to my appointment at Western, I taught on the Applied Linguistics and TESOL programs of Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (2010-2017).

In 2014 I took on the role of editor of Language Teaching Research, a prestigious peer-reviewed journal which champions applied linguistics research of the kind that has clear pedagogical implications.

Expertise Areas

Recent Publications

A selection of my publications in the area of Applied Linguistics since 2000:

Pellicer-Sánchez, A., & Boers, F. (2018-in press). Pedagogical approaches to the teaching and learning of formulaic language. In A. Siyanova Chanturia & A. Pellicer-Sánchez (Eds.), Understanding formulaic language: A second language acquisition perspective. Routledge.

Boers, F. (2018-in press). Learning phrases and chunks. In A. Burns & J. Richards (Eds.), The Cambridge guide to learning English as a second language. CUP.

Piquer-Piriz, A.M. & Boers, F. (2018-in press). La lingüística cognitiva y sus aplicaciones a la enseñanza de lenguas extranjeras. In I. Ibarretxe-Antuñano, T. Cadierno & A. Castañeda (Eds.) Lingüística Cognitiva y Español como lengua extranjera. Routledge.

Boers, F. (2018-in press). Exploring linguistic motivation. In J. Liontas (Ed.), TESOL Encyclopaedia of English Language Teaching. Wiley.

Nguyen, C-D., & Boers, F. (2018). The effect of content retelling on vocabulary uptake from a TED talk. TESOL Quarterly (online early view).

Hoang, H., & Boers, F. (2018). Gauging the association of EFL learners’ writing proficiency and their use of metaphorical language. System, 74 (in press).

Mohd Jelani, N. A. & Boers, F. (2018). Examining incidental vocabulary acquisition from captioned video: Does test modality matter? ITL International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 169, 168–190.

Boers, F., & Webb, S. (2018). Research timeline: Teaching and learning collocation in adult second and foreign language learning. Language Teaching, 51, 77-89.

Thomson, H., Boers, F, & Coxhead, A. (2017). Replication research in pedagogical approaches to spoken fluency and formulaic sequences: A call for replication of Wood (2009) and Boers, Eykmans, Kappel, Stengers & Demecheleer (2006). Language Teaching (online early view).

Boers, F., & Thai, C. (2017). Repeating a monologue under increasing time pressure: A Replication of Thai and Boers (2016). TESOLANZ Journal.

Gharibi, K. & Boers, F. (2017). Influential factors in lexical richness of young heritage speakers’ family language: Iranians in New Zealand. International Journal of Bilingualism (online early view).

Boers, F., Warren, P., Grimshaw, G., & Siyanova-Chanturia, A. (2017). On the benefits of multimodal annotations for vocabulary uptake from reading. Computer Assisted Language Learning,30, 709–725.

Boers, F., Warren, P., He, L., & Deconinck, J. (2017). Does adding pictures to glosses enhance vocabulary uptake from reading? System, 66, 113–129.

Boers, F., Demecheleer, M., He, L., Deconinck, J., Stengers, H., & Eyckmans, J. (2017). Typographic enhancement of multiword units in second language text. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 27, 448–469.

Boers, F., Dang, C.T., & Strong, B. (2017). Comparing the effectiveness of phrase-focused exercises. A partial replication of Boers, Demecheleer, Coxhead, and Webb (2014). Language Teaching Research, 21, 362–280.

Boers, F. (2017). Incidental and intentional learning of grammar. In J. Liontas (Ed.), TESOL Encyclopaedia of English Language Teaching. Wiley.

Gharibi, K. & Boers, F. (2017). Influential factors in incomplete acquisition and attrition of young heritage speakers’ vocabulary knowledge. Language Acquisition, 24, 52–69.

Deconinck, J., Boers, F., & Eyckmans, J. (2017). “Does the form of this word fit its meaning?” The effect of learner-generated mapping elaborations on L2 word recall. Language Teaching Research, 21, 31–53.

Hoang, H. & Boers, F. (2016). Re-telling a story in a second language: How well do adult learners mine an input text for multiword expressions? Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 6: 513–535.

Thai, C. & Boers, F. (2016). Repeating a monologue under increasing time pressure: Effects on fluency, accuracy and complexity. TESOL Quarterly, 50, 369–393.

Eyckmans, J., Boers, F., & Lindstromberg, S. (2016). The impact of imposing processing strategies on L2 learners’ deliberate study of lexical phrases. System, 56, 127–139.

Stengers, H., Deconinck, J., Boers, F., & Eyckmans, J. (2016). Does copying idioms promote their retention? Computer Assisted Language Learning, 29, 289–301.

Boers, F. & Strong, B. (2016). An evaluation of textbook exercises on collocations. In B. Tomlinson (Ed.) Second language acquisition research and materials development for language learning (pp. 139–152). Routledge.

Boers, F. (2015). Words in second language learning and teaching. In J. Taylor (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of the word (pp. 582–596). OUP.

Boers, F. & Webb, S. (2015). Gauging the semantic transparency of idioms: Do natives and learners see eye to eye? In R. Heredia & A. Cieslicka (Eds.), Bilingual figurative language processing (pp. 368–392). CUP.

Stengers, H. & Boers, F. (2015). Exercises on collocations: A comparison of trial-and-error and exemplar-guided procedures. Journal of Spanish Language Teaching, 2, 152-164.

Boers, F. (2014). A reappraisal of the 4/3/2 activity. RELC Journal, 45, 221–235.

Boers, F., Eyckmans, J., & Lindstromberg, S. (2014). The effect of a discrimination task on recall of L2 collocations and compounds. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 24, 357–369.

Deconinck, J., Boers, F., & Eyckmans, J. (2014). Looking for form-meaning motivation in new L2 words: A think-aloud study among proficient learners of English. English Text Construction 7, 249–280.

Boers, F., Lindstromberg, S., & Eyckmans, J. (2014). Is alliteration mnemonic without awareness-raising? Language Awareness, 23, 291–303.

Boers, F., Lindstromberg, S, & Webb, S. (2014). Further evidence of the comparative memorability of alliterative expressions in second language learning. RELC Journal, 45, 85–99.

Boers, F., Lindstromberg, S., & Eyckmans, J. (2014). When does assonance make L2 lexical phrases memorable? The European Journal of Applied Linguistics and TEFL, 3, 93–107.

Boers, F., Lindstromberg, S., & Eyckmans, J. (2014). Some explanations for the slow acquisition of L2 collocations. VIAL - Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 11, 41–62.

Boers, F., Demecheleer, M., Coxhead, A., & Webb, S. (2014). Gauging the effects of exercises on verb-noun collocations. Language Teaching Research, 18: 54–74.

Boers, F. (2014). Idioms and phraseology. In J. Taylor & J. Littlemore (Eds.), The Bloomsbury companion to Cognitive Linguistics (pp. 185–201). Bloomsbury.

Boers, F. (2013). Cognitive Semantic ways of teaching figurative phrases: An assessment. In F. Gonzalvez-Garcia, M. S. Pena Cervel, & L. Perez Hernandez (Eds.), Metaphor and metonymy revisited beyond the contemporary theory of metaphor (pp. 229–263). John Benjamins.

Godfroid, A., Boers, F., & Housen, A. (2013). An eye for words: Gauging the role of attention in L2 vocabulary acquisition by means of eye-tracking. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35, 483–517.

Boers, F. (2013). Cognitive Linguistic approaches to second language vocabulary: Assessment and integration. Language Teaching, 46: 208–224.

Boers, F. & Lindstromberg, S. (2012). Experimental and intervention studies on formulaic sequences in a second language. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 32, 83–110.

Boers, F., Lindstromberg, S., & Eyckmans, J. (2012). Are alliterative word combinations comparatively easy to remember for adult learners? RELC Journal, 43, 127−135.

Stengers, H., Boers, F., Housen, A., & Eyckmans, J. (2011). Formulaic sequences and L2 oral proficiency: Does the type of target language influence the association? International Review of Applied Linguistics, 49, 321–343.

Boers, F. (2011) Cognitive Semantic ways of teaching figurative phrases: An assessment. Review of Cognitive Linguistics, 9. 227–261.

Deconinck, J., Boers, F., & Eyckmans, J. (2010). Helping learners engage with L2 words: the form-meaning fit. AILA Review, 23, 95–114.

De Knop, S., Boers, F., & De Rycker. A. (Eds.) (2010). Fostering language teaching efficiency through Cognitive Linguistics. Mouton de Gruyter.

Boers, F., De Rycker, A., & De Knop, S. (2010). Fostering language teaching efficiency through Cognitive Linguistics: Introduction. In S. De Knop, F. Boers & A. De Rycker (Eds.), Fostering language teaching efficiency through Cognitive Linguistics (pp. 1–27). Mouton de Gruyter.

Stengers, H., Boers, F., Housen, A., & Eyckmans. J. (2010). Does chunking foster chunk uptake? In S. De Knop, F. Boers & A. De Rycker (Eds.), Fostering language teaching efficiency through Cognitive Linguistics (99–117). Mouton de Gruyter.

Boers, F., Deconinck, J., & Lindstromberg, S. (2010). Choosing motivated chunks for teaching. In S. De Knop, F. Boers & T. De Rycker (Eds.), Fostering language teaching efficiency through Cognitive Linguistics (pp. 239–256). Mouton de Gruyter.

Godfroid, A., Housen, A., & Boers, F. (2010). A procedure for testing the Noticing Hypothesis in the context of vocabulary acquisition. In M. Pütz & L. Sicola (Eds.) Cognitive processing and second language acquisition: Inside the learner’s mind (pp. 169–197). John Benjamins.

Boers, F., Piquer Píriz, A. M., Stengers, H., & Eyckmans, J. (2009). Does pictorial elucidation foster recollection of figurative idioms? Language Teaching Research, 13, 367–388.

Boers, F. & Lindstromberg, S. (2009) Optimizing a lexical approach to instructed second language acquisition. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Lindstromberg, S. & Boers, F. (2008). The mnemonic effect of noticing alliteration in lexical chunks. Applied Linguistics, 29, 200–222.

Lindstromberg, S. & Boers, F. (2008). Phonemic repetition and the learning of lexical chunks: The mnemonic power of assonance. System, 36, 423–36.

Lindstromberg, S. & Boers, F. (2008). Teaching chunks of language. Rum, Austria: Helbling.

Boers, F. & Stengers, H. (2008). Adding sound to the picture: An exercise in motivating the lexical composition of metaphorical idioms in English, Spanish and Dutch. In L. Cameron, M. Zanotto, & M. Cavalcanti (Eds.), Confronting metaphor in use: An applied linguistic approach (pp. 63–78). John Benjamins.

Boers, F. & Lindstromberg, S. (Eds.) (2008) Cognitive Linguistic approaches to teaching Vocabulary and Phraseology. Mouton de Gruyter.

Boers F & Lindstromberg, S. (2008). How cognitive linguistics can foster effective vocabulary teaching. In F. Boers, F. & S. Lindstromberg (Eds.), Cognitive Linguistic approaches to teaching vocabulary and phraseology (pp. 1–61). Mouton de Gruyter.

Boers, F., Lindstromberg, S., Littlemore, J., Stengers, H., & Eyckmans, J. (2008). Variables in the mnemonic effectiveness of pictorial elucidation. In F. Boers & S. Lindstromberg (Eds.), Cognitive Linguistic approaches to teaching vocabulary and phraseology (pp. 189–116). Mouton de Gruyter.

Boers, F. & Lindstromberg, S. (2008). Structural elaboration by the sound (and feel) of it. In F. Boers, & S. Lindstromberg (Eds.), Cognitive Linguistic Approaches to Teaching Vocabulary and Phraseology (pp. 329–353). Mouton de Gruyter.

Boers, F. & Stengers, H. (2008). A quantitative comparison of the English and Spanish repertoires of figurative idioms. In F. Boers, & S. Lindstromberg (Eds.), Cognitive Linguistic approaches to teaching vocabulary and phraseology (pp. 355–373). Mouton de Gruyter.

Boers, F. & Lindstromberg, S. (2008). From empirical findings to pedagogical practice. In F. Boers & S. Lindstromberg (Eds.), Cognitive Linguistic approaches to teaching vocabulary and phraseology (pp. 375–393). Mouton de Gruyter.

Eyckmans J., Van de Velde H., Van Hout R., & Boers F. (2007) Learners’ response behaviour in Yes/No Vocabulary Tests. In H. Daller, J. Milton, & J. Treffers-Daller (Eds.), Modelling and assessing vocabulary knowledge (pp. 59–76). CUP.

Boers, F., Eyckmans, J., & Stengers, H. (2007). Presenting figurative idioms with a touch of etymology: More than mere mnemonics? Language Teaching Research, 11, 43–62.

Eyckmans, J., Boers, F., & Stengers, H. (2007). Identifying chunks: Who can see the wood for the trees? Language Forum, 33, 85–100.

Boers, F, Eyckmans, J., Kappel, J., Stengers, H., & Demecheleer, M. (2006). Formulaic sequences and perceived oral proficiency: Putting a lexical approach to the test. Language Teaching Research, 10: 245–261.

Boers, F. & Lindstromberg, S. (2005). Finding ways to make phrase-learning feasible: The mnemonic effect of alliteration. System, 33, 225–238.

Boers, F. & Lindstromberg, S. (2006). Cognitive Linguistic approaches to second or foreign language instruction: Rationale, proposals and evaluation. In G. Kristaensen, R. Dirven, M. Achard, & F. Ruiz-Mendoza (Eds.), Cognitive Linguistics: Current applications and future perspectives (pp. 305–358). Mouton de Gruyter.

Boers, F., Eyckmans, J., & Stengers, H. (2006). Motivating multiword units: Rationale, mnemonic benefits, and cognitive style variables. In S. H. Foster-Cohen, M. M. Krajnovic, & J. M. Djigunovic (Eds.), EUROSLA Yearbook Vol. 6, (pp. 169–190). John Benjamins.

Lindstromberg, S. & Boers, F. (2005). From movement to metaphor with manner-of-movement verbs. Applied Linguistics, 26, 241–261.

Boers, F., Demecheleer, M., & Eyckmans, J. (2004). Cultural variation as a variable in comprehending and remembering figurative idioms. European Journal of English Studies, 8, 375–388.

Boers, F., Demecheleer, M, & Eyckmans, J. (2004). Etymological elaboration as a strategy for learning figurative idioms. In P. Bogaards & B. Laufer. (Eds.), Vocabulary in a second language: Selection, acquisition and testing (pp. 53–78). John Benjamins.

Boers, F. (2004) Expanding learners’ vocabulary through metaphor awareness: What expansion, what learners, what vocabulary? In S. Niemeier & M. Achard (Eds.), Cognitive Linguistics, second language acquisition, and foreign language teaching (pp. 211–234). Mouton de Gruyter.

Boers, F. (2003). Applied linguistics perspectives on cross-cultural variation in conceptual metaphor. Metaphor and Symbol, 18, 231–238. 

Boers, F. & Littlemore, J. (Eds.) (2003). Cross-cultural differences in Conceptual Metaphor: Applied Linguistics perspectives. Special issue of Metaphor and Symbol. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Boers, F. & Demecheleer, M. (2001). Measuring the impact of cross-cultural differences on learners’ comprehension of imageable idioms. ELTj, 55, 255–262.

Boers, F. (2001). Remembering figurative idioms by hypothesising about their origin. Prospect, 16, 35–43.

Boers, F. (2000). Metaphor awareness and vocabulary retention. Applied Linguistics, 21, 553–571.

Boers, F. (2000). Enhancing metaphoric awareness in specialised reading. English for Specific Purposes, 19, 137–147.

Teaching and Supervision

I supervise M.A. and PhD research projects on diverse topics, as long as they have clear relevance for second/foreign language learning and teaching.

My ‘recent publications’ page gives an impression of the sort of topics that have attracted my interest in the past, but I am always willing to consider venturing into new areas.