Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 14. Number 2 June 2023                                             Pp. 19-29

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The Inclusion of Polysemes in Non-native English Textbooks: A Corpus-based Study

 Hicham Lahlou
English Language Studies, School of Humanities,
Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
Corresponding Author:

 Hajar Abdul Rahim
English Language Studies, School of Humanities,
Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

Received:01/26/2023         Accepted:05/09/2023                 Published: 06/24/2023


Despite the large number of studies conducted on polysemy, they mostly compare the different methods and techniques to learn a language and establish the extent to which particular sense relations facilitate the learning of second language vocabulary. To our best knowledge,  no research has been conducted to determine whether or not polysemy is emphasized in non-native English textbooks. The objective of the present research was to determine the degree to which polysemy is incorporated in English textbooks. Thus, the research question guiding the current study is: To what extent is polysemy incorporated in non-native English textbooks? The study is a corpus-based research that used a data set of 500 words, i.e., 250 words from each of the two books, utilizing the Sketch Engine word list tool and concordance. The polysemy of the resulting words in the concordance lines generated was semantically annotated manually using WordNet and English dictionaries. The results indicated that polysemy is barely stressed in the textbooks under investigation. The study’s results have substantial implications for polysemy in particular and second or foreign language teaching in general.
Keywords: Corpora, English textbooks, polysemy, second language, vocabulary

Cite as:  Lahlou, H. , &  Abdul Rahim, H. (2023). The Inclusion of Polysemes in Non-native English Textbooks: A Corpus-based Study.  Arab World English Journal, 14 (2) 19-29.


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Received: 01/26/2023
Accepted: 05/09/2023  
Published: 06/24/2023   

Hicham Lahlou (Ph.D.) is a Senior Lecturer at the English Language Studies Section, School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia. His research interests include cognitive linguistics, semantics, morphology, and corpus linguistics.

 Hajar Abdul Rahim (Ph.D.) is a professor of linguistics at the English Language Studies Section, School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia. Her current research interests include TESL, Corpus Linguistics and Lexical Studies.