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Metaphor and the ESL Classroom

Description: This paper concentrates on the viability of using metaphor as a teaching tool in the English as a Second Language classroom. In doing so, a semantically-based theory of metaphor, like that presented by Lakoff and Johnson (1980), is employed as a base for the examination. Such a theory of metaphor presents a dramatic shift from theories, especially Aristotle's, of the past. The theory of metaphor proposed by Lakoff and Johnson contends that language is essentially metaphorical and that much of our 'commonsense' knowledge about the world is derived from interpretations of reality and is manifested in metaphors central to a culture and its language. If this theory is true, then it stands to reason that a student attempting to learn English as a Second Language could profit greatly from metaphor instruction because such instruction would aid all areas of the language acquisition process.
Date: August 1985
Creator: Bishop, Ryan M. (Ryan Marion)