Terminological Recognition in French for Specific Purposes

  • María Matesanz del Barrio Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • María Luisa Piñeiro Maceiras Universidad Rey Juan Carlos


Recognition of terminology is an essential cognitive activity for learners of languages for specific purposes and presents particular difficulties compared to general lexical recognition. This study attempts to identify and prioritize the main lexical difficulties that learners encounter in specialized texts. The effects of lexical fuzziness in recognizing specialized vocabulary are also analyzed. Two experiments were performed with 17 graduate students enrolled in a Spanish university’s foreign language business master’s program, specifically in the course titled French for Specific Purposes. These experiments were administered using two different methodologies – microsequences of learning and controlled definitions – that facilitate terminological recognition and conceptual precision; however, controlled definitions were not addressed in the present study. The results of this study provide an initial approximation of a typology of the difficulties involved in terminological recognition and of strategies used by learners to execute this lexical discrimination activity.

Author Biographies

María Matesanz del Barrio, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Departamento de Filología Románica, Filología Eslava y Lingüística GeneralLecturer
María Luisa Piñeiro Maceiras, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
  Departamento de Lenguas Modernas  Lecturer