Revolutionary Potential of Metaphors for English Language Teaching and Learning


Metaphors, in the form of visual symbols or stories, have been long used by our ancestors to bestow their wisdom and belief to their children. It is essentially not a new tool in the education field for it is long used to present ideas and to gain insights for generations. Metaphors help us describe, visualize, and make sense of the world around us. Recent studies highlighted how metaphors play a prominent role in structuring thought and motivating everyday language. It is one of the major forces behind linguistic creativity and is not only used to create lexical domains but also for grammatical constructions. A crucial mark in the study of metaphor from a cognitive perspective was established by Lakoff and Johnson in 1980 with the publication of their revolutionary book Metaphors We Live By. According to this view, human thinking is largely structured in metaphorical terms. The theory puts forward the idea that both verbal and non-verbal language used to express perceptions and feelings, as well as ordinary language, are significantly linked to our capacity to conceive one thing in terms of another (events, entities, concepts). Using exploratory research design, this paper investigates the possibilities of utilizing metaphors for English language teaching and learning and how metaphors may be used to develop learner's knowledge on English language and literature, as well as their own native cultures. A description of teaching practices and various literary sources upon metaphors are presented to offer the new insight on ELT issues.

Author Information
Irene Kusumawardani, Universitas Brawijaya, Indonesia

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2018
Stream: Nurturing Creativity & Innovation: New, Innovative & Radical Education

This paper is part of the ACE2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon