Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D Candidate, Department of English Language &Literature, Faculty of Foreign Languages, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.

2 University of Isfahan

3 English Department, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran



Mastery of English phrasal verbs is regarded as a stumbling block for English language learners, even at advanced levels. Possible sources of difficulty can be a lack of clear meaning and the random nature of particles. The lack of an organized approach to present phrasal verbs to the learners might be a factor that could exacerbate the situation of learning them. This study takes this issue as its point of departure. It investigates whether employing radial categories, conceptual categories with one prototypical concept and some peripheral members that are organized around it, is influential in the learning and long-term retention of these verbs. Moreover, the effect of employing radial categories to teach PVs on learners' cognitive load is investigated. For this purpose, 60 intermediate high school students in 10th and 11th grade were assigned to two groups, one experimental and one control group, each containing 30 students. The study results indicated that the experimental group learners who were taught phrasal verbs using radial categories outperformed control group learners who were taught using a traditional approach. This result suggests that radial categories may help facilitate learning phrasal verbs.


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