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Journal of Language and Learning Vol. 1 No.

2 2003 ISSN 1740 - 4983


Conceptual Metaphor, Language, Literature
and Pedagogy
Richard aile!
Nor"hu#$ria %ni&er'i"!( %)
*$'"rac"
+once,"ual #e"a,hor a' a #ean' of under'"anding and e-,laining language u'e i' $! no. .ell
e'"a$li'hed. /o.e&er i" ha' #ade li""le i#,ac" in language ,edagog!( nor doe' i" figure ,ro#inen"l! in
'"andard a,,roache' "o li"erar! a,,recia"ion. 0hi' ,a,er .ill ,ro&ide an o&er&ie. of "he "heor! of
conce,"ual #e"a,hor and ad&oca"e i"' u'efulne'' in language "eaching and "he '"ud! of li"erar! "e-"'. I"
.ill argue "he i#,or"ance of 1#e"a,horic co#,e"ence2 3Lo.( 19884 a' an indi',en'a$le ele#en" of
a.arene'' and 5no.ledge in language u'e. I" .ill con'ider "he '"a"u' of conce,"ual #e"a,hor in curren"
,rac"ice in 6ngli'h Language 0eaching 36L04 and #a5e "he ca'e for e-,lici" inclu'ion of #e"a,hor in
language "eaching ,rogra##e' ai#ed a" increa'ing ,roficienc! in L2. 7inall! i" .ill rela"e "he rele&ance
of a conce,"ual under'"anding of language "o "he gro.ing field' of in"ercul"ural '"udie' and
co##unica"ion.
1. Metaphor in Language and Thought
Since "he ,u$lica"ion of La5off and John'on8' 'e#inal .or5 on conce,"ual #e"a,hor( Metaphors We Live By 319804(
"here ha' $een a ra,id increa'e of in"ere'" in #e"a,hor '"udie'( ,rinci,all! in "he field' of ,'!cholog! and cogni"i&e
'cience. La5off and John'on re&ealed( "hrough "heore"ical argu#en" 'u,,or"ed $! e#,irical in&e'"iga"ion( "he
cen"rali"! of #e"a,hor "o "hough" e-e#,lified in "he u$i9ui"! of #e"a,horical for#' in e&er!da!( con&en"ional
language. *ccordingl!( .e "al5 a$ou" "hing' "he .a! .e concei&e of "he#( and "hi' i' fa'hioned "hrough and
grounded in e-,erience and cul"ure: our $a'ic conce,"ual '!'"e# 1i' funda#en"all! #e"a,horic in na"ure2. In
,rac"ical "er#'( "hi' "heor! of cogni"ion and language ,ro&ide' for ".o le&el' of #e"a,hor: conce,"ual #e"a,hor and
lingui'"ic #e"a,hor. 0he for#er are 'u,er-ordina"e( e,i'"e#ic and 'e#an"ic #a,,ing' "ha" "a5e "he for# of 0*R;60
<=>*IN IS?*S S=%R+6 <=>*IN. Lingui'"ic #e"a,hor' are #o"i&a"ed $! conce,"ual #e"a,hor' and are "he
reali'a"ion' "ha" a,,ear in e&er!da! .ri""en and ',o5en for#'. 7or e-a#,le( "he conce,"ual #e"a,hor LI76 3"arge"4
IS * J=%RN6@ 3'ource4 #o"i&a"e' co##on lingui'"ic #e"a,hor' 'uch a' were on the right (wrong) track (path),
weve come too far down this road to turn back now, hes looking for a change of direction( and a grea" #an! #ore
"!,ical e&er!da! e-,re''ion' a' .ell a' #ore ela$ora"e e-"en'ion' "ha" occur in ,oe"ic language. I" i' fro# "he'e
lingui'"ic in'"ance' "ha" .e are a$le "o h!,o"he'i'e "he e-i'"ence of a .ide range of conce,"ual for#'. *ll "he a$o&e
e-,re''ion' u'e differen" .ord' and if #e"a,hor .ere no #ore "han a lingui'"ic de&ice i" .ould no" $e ,o''i$le "o "al5
a$ou" "he# a' e''en"iall! "he 'a#e #e"a,horA $! loca"ing #e"a,hor a" "he conce,"ual le&el .e can iden"if! i" a' a
conce,"ual '"ruc"ure.
7or La5off and John'on( #e"a,hor i' in e''ence 1under'"anding and e-,eriencing one 5ind of "hing in "er#' of
ano"her2 3La5off B John'on( 1980: C4A i" i' a #a""er of "hough" ra"her "han language. 0radi"ionall!( figura"i&e
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Journal of Language and Learning Vol. 1 No. 2 2003 ISSN 1740 - 4983
language( e',eciall! in li"erar! con"e-"'( i' regarded a' 'o#e"hing u'ed for effec" or for orna#en" and con"ra'"' .i"h
1li"eral2 languageA cogni"i&e #e"a,hor challenge' "he &er! $a'i' of "ha" no"ion. De are a.are "ha" in "radi"ional
rhe"oric "here are 'u$"le difference' $e".een figure' of ',eech - $e".een #e"a,hor and #e"on!#!( for in'"ance.
+ogni"i&e lingui'"ic' recogni'e' "hi' difference. Dherea' #e"a,hor "rea"' one "hing( in cul"urall! de"er#ined and
cogni"i&el! recogni'a$le .a!'( a' ano"her for "he ,ur,o'e of under'"anding( a #e"on!#ic u""erance "a5e' one en"i"!
"o '"and for ano"her. If in "he ,u$ I re9ue'" 1a ;uinne''( ,lea'e2( I u'e a "!,ical( e&er!da! #e"on!#ic for# $!
'u$'"i"u"ing "he na#e of "he ,roducer for "he ,roduc". u" #ore i' i#,lied: i" i' al'o a reference "o #! a""i"ude "o "he
,roduc"( i"' '"a"u' a#ong alcoholic $e&erage' and #! ,reference' a' a $eer drin5er. Li5e #e"a,hor'( #e"on!#ic
conce,"' '"ruc"ure and reflec" #ore "han Eu'" our u'e of language. In "hi' ,a,er( a' I 'u$'cri$e "o "he conce,"ual
na"ure of 'o #uch language u'e( #e"a,hor .ill $e u'ed a generic "er# "o co&er all a',ec"' of figura"i&e language.
7ir'"l!( 'o#e a',ec"' of "heor! of conce,"ual #e"a,hor are con'idered and "heir u'efulne'' in "er#' of language
under'"anding and ,edagog!.
2. The contemporary Theory of Metaphor
La5off8' 1993 ,a,er F0he con"e#,orar! "heor! of #e"a,hor2 'e"' ou" #ore conci'el! ho. "he "heor! of conce,"ual
#e"a,hor .or5'. /e di'"ingui'he' $e".een ".o "!,e' of $a'ic con&en"ional( conce,"ual #e"a,hor': generic-le&el
#e"a,hor' and ',ecific-le&el #e"a,hor'. 0he for#er are "ho'e .hich ha&e $eco#e a rou"ine and uncon'ciou' ,ar" of
our e&er!da! conce,"uali'a"ion - for e-a#,le( >=R6 IS %G?L6SS IS <=DN. 0he'e #e"a,hor' are li5el! "o occur
acro'' cul"ure' and $e "he #o'" in"ui"i&el! recogni'a$le "o L2 learner' .i"h cro''-lingui'"ic corre',ondence' .hich
can $e elici"ed and di'cu''ed in "he learning con"e-". S,ecific-le&el #e"a,hor' are al'o full! e'"a$li'hed $u" le''
,er&a'i&e and li5el! "o $e #ore cul"urall! ',ecific - "he L=V6?J=%RN6@ #a,,ing' referred "o earlier are e-a#,le'.
0he Fin&ariance ,rinci,leF hold' "ha" "he i#age-'che#a '"ruc"ure of "he 'ource do#ain #u'" $e con'i'"en" .i"h "he
inheren" '"ruc"ure of "he "arge" do#ain. 0hi' re,re'en"' a con'"rain" on ,o''i$le #a,,ing' and en'ure' con'i'"enc!A
in&aria$l!( "he "arge" do#ain "a5e' ,recedence and li#i"' "he for#' of lingui'"ic e-,re''ion .hich "he #e"a,hor #a!
#o"i&a"e. In "he conce,"ual #e"a,hor *+0I=NS *R6 0R*NS76RS( ac"ion' are conce,"uali'ed a' o$Eec"'
"ran'ferred fro# agen" "o agen". If I 'a! will give Lakoff a kick( "he 'ource do#ain allo.' u' "o "hin5 "ha" a' "he
reci,ien" of "he 5ic5 "he recei&er #a! "hen ,o''e'' i". u" "he "arge" do#ain o&erride' "hi' $ecau'e .e 5no. "ha"
ac"ion' do no" con"inue "o e-i'" af"er "he! occurA hence( "he co##on( e&er!da! #e"a,hor of gi&ing 'o#e$od! or
'o#e"hing a ,h!'ical ac"ion $u" .i"hou" "he corollar! of "he# 5ee,ing i".
*no"her i#,or"an" fea"ure of "he con"e#,orar! "heor! i' "ha" "here i' an inheri"ed hierarchical '"ruc"ure a#ong
#e"a,hor'. *#ong "he #o'" co##on for#' in e&er!da! "hough"( rea'oning and ',eech are e&en"-'"ruc"ure
#e"a,hor': a',ec"' of e&en"' 'uch a' '"a"e'( change'( ,roce''e'( ac"ion'( cau'e' and ,ur,o'e' are under'"ood in "er#'
of ',ace( #o"ion and force. * '"a"e( for e-a#,le( i' a $ounded region .e #a! $e Hin8 or Hou" of8( Hen"ering8 or
Hlea&ing8 3in a hurry( out of patience( e"c4 in accordance .i"h "he conce,"ual #e"a,hor S0*06S *R6 L=+*0I=NS.
In 6ngli'h( ',a"ial ,re,o'i"ion' are u'ed in a .ide &arie"! of #e"a,horical 'en'e'. 0here are nu#erou' cro''-
lingui'"ic corre',ondence' $u" "hi' conce,"ual $a'i' for language i' al#o'" en"irel! una&aila$le "o L2 learner' in
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Journal of Language and Learning Vol. 1 No. 2 2003 ISSN 1740 - 4983
#an! cour'e-$oo5 and reference #a"erial'. 0he 1inheri"ance hierarch!2 #ain"ain' "ha" $a'ic e&en"-'"ruc"ure
#e"a,hor' ,a'' on "heir '"ruc"ure' "o ',ecific-le&el #e"a,hor' fur"her do.n "he hierarch! - for e-a#,le( L=N;-
06R> G%RG=S67%L *+0IVI0I6S *R6 J=%RN6@S 3generic le&el - e&en" '"ruc"ure4( * G%RG=S67%L LI76 IS
* J=%RN6@ 3',ecific le&el4( L=V6 IS * J=%RN6@?* +*R66R IS * J=%RN6@ 3',ecific le&el4.
0he con"e#,orar! "heor! challenge' "he &ie.' of "radi"ional lingui'"ic'( .hich i' "he $a'i' of for#al 'e#an"ic'. 0he
"radi"ional &ie. #ain"ain' a di'"inc"ion $e".een li"eral and figura"i&e language. I" 'ee' "he .or5ing' and
in"er,re"a"ion of #e"a,hor "o $e in "he field of ,rag#a"ic' .here #e"a,horical #eaning i' deri&ed algori"h#icall!
fro# Hli"eral8 language according "o "he a,,lica"ion of cu#$er'o#e ,rinci,le' and "he influence of con"e-". +ogni"i&e
lingui'"ic' reEec"' "he no"ion "ha" #e"a,hor i' 'e,ara"e and under'"ood differen"l! fro# li"eral or con&en"ional
language.
3. Poetic Metaphor
In "he ,reface "o More than !ool "eason# $ %ield &uide to 'oetic Metaphor 319894( La5off and 0urner '"a"e:
7ar fro# $eing #erel! a #a""er of .ord'( #e"a,hor i' a #a""er of "hough" - all 5ind' of "hough" J I" i'
indi',en'a$le no" onl! "o our i#agina"ion $u" al'o "o our rea'on. ;rea" ,oe"' can ',ea5 "o u' $ecau'e
"he! u'e "he #ode' of "hough" .e all ,o''e''.
Dha" "he au"hor' go on "o 'a! in "hi' i#,or"an" .or5 i' "ha" li"erar!( ,oe"ic language i' no" 'o#e"hing ',ecial or
e-clu'i&e "o ,oe"' and acco#,li'hed .ri"er'. S"uden"' of 6ngli'h li"era"ure are accu'"o#ed "o high le&el' of
figura"i&e language in .ha" "he! read. 0radi"ionall!( "he'e are cla''ified according "o Hfigure' of ',eech8 and '"udied
in "er#' of effec" or e&oca"ion or o"her fea"ure' a''ocia"ed .i"h language .i"h no ,ar"icular reference "o or a.arene''
of underl!ing coherence. *' 6agle'"one 32000: 944 #en"ion'( #e"a,hor' #a5e u' "hin5 $! 1defa#iliari'ing2
language. * good #e"a,hor '"and' ou" and can $e con"ra'"ed .i"h one "ha" i' 'o co##on,lace in language "ha" .e
$arel! no"ice i" or 'i#,l! "a5e i" for gran"ed 3'o#e"i#e' referred "o a' Hdead #e"a,hor84. 0he "heor! of conce,"ual
#e"a,hor add' #ore in'igh". No&el( crea"i&e #e"a,horical e-,re''ion' in a language can $e "raced $ac5 "o a li#i"ed
nu#$er of underl!ing conce,"ual #e"a,hor' for#ed $! e-,erience and cul"ureA "he in'"an"ia"ion' are no&el $u" "he
#a,,ing' are ,re-e-i'"en" and re'ide in "he conce,"ual '!'"e#. u" "hi' doe' no" #ean "ha" #e"a,hor' are i##u"a$le
or "ha" .e canno" challenge "he#. =ne of "he in"ere'"ing "hing' a$ou" 'eeing #e"a,hor in "er#' of conce,"ual
'"ruc"ure' i' "ha" .e can anal!'e "he# and con'ider al"erna"i&e'. 6agle'"one #a5e' "he ,oin" "ha" ,ar" of 1doing
6ngli'h2 i' "o u'e #e"a,hor no" onl! "o defa#iliari'e language for rhe"orical effec" $u" "o #a5e choice' and change'
in order "o offer ne. .a!' of conce,"uali'ing "he .orld 3I$id.: 974.
La5off and 0urner di&ide no&el #e"a,hor' - "ho'e found in ,oe"r!( li"era"ure and ne. e-,re''ion' - in"o ".o:
e-"en'ion' of con&en"ional #e"a,hor' and i#age #e"a,hor'. 0he la""er occur fre9uen"l! in ,oe"ic language and are
of"en highl! a$'"rac". *n i#age #e"a,hor #a,' one #en"al i#age fro# one 'ource of 5no.ledge on"o #en"al i#age'
fro# a differen" 'ource. 0he! are differen" "o #a,,ing' in "he con&en"ional '!'"e#( .hich #a, #an! conce,"' in "he
'ource on"o corre',onding conce,"' in "he "arge" do#ain. La5off and 0urner u'e "he "er# 1one-'ho" #e"a,hor'2
3La5off B 0urner( 1989: 914 "o de'cri$e i#age #e"a,hor' a' "he! are no" ordinaril! ,ar" of "he .a! .e conce,"uali'e
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Journal of Language and Learning Vol. 1 No. 2 2003 ISSN 1740 - 4983
our e-,erience. 0he! "a5e a' an e-a#,le a highl! a$'"rac" and 'urreali'" ,oe# $! *ndre re"on a$ou" hi' .ife
en"i"led 17ree %nion2:
>! .ife .ho'e hair i' $ru'h fire
Dho'e "hough"' are 'u##er ligh"ening
Dho'e .ai'" i' an hourgla''.
0he de"ail' of "he #a,,ing' are #i''ing in "he e-a#,le' and "he reader can fill "hi' in. Dha" a',ec"' of a brush fire
can .e #a, on"o "he hair: colour( con"rolla$ili"!( &ola"ili"!K Dh! doe' i" 'ee# 'o na"ural "o charac"eri'e "hough"' in
"er#' of lightening( 0he la'" line ,re'en"' u' .i"h "he #en"al i#age of an hourgla'' and of a .o#an. De #a, "he
#iddle of "he hourglass on"o "o "he waist of "he .o#an $ecau'e .e are a.are of "he co##on 'ha,e. u" "hi' i' no"
',el" ou" in "he .ord' "he#'el&e'A "he #e"a,hor' e#ana"e fro# our conce,"ual '!'"e# and are no" a #a""er of
language.
In "heir in&e'"iga"ion in"o conce,"ual #e"a,hor in ,oe"r! and li"era"ure( La5off and 0urner h!,o"he'i'ed "he e-i'"ence
of a nu#$er of generic-le&el #e"a,hor' "o e-,lain a range of li"erar! de&ice'. Ger'onifica"ion i' found in a$undance
in ,oe"r! and li"erar! ,ro'e. 0o "a5e an e-a#,le( dea"h i' fre9uen"l! ,er'onified in "er#' of an ac"ion $! 'o#e agen".
0hi' allo.' u' "o h!,o"he'i'e a general #e"a,hor - 6V6N0S *R6 *+0I=NS - and co#$ine i" .i"h ',ecific-le&el
#e"a,hor' 'uch a' <6*0/ IS <6G*R0%R6 and G6=GL6 *R6 GL*N0S( and 'o e-,lain "he ,er'i'"ence of i#age'
of dri&er'( or coach#en( or rea,er' in "he ,o,ular ,er'onifica"ion of dea"h. /ere "he hierarchical ,rinci,le de'cri$ed
earlier i' a" .or5. In&ariance i' al'o ,re'en"A "he e&en" - de,ar"ure or rea,ing - i' concei&ed in "er#' of an o&erall
cau'al 'che#a in&ol&ing "he ac"ion of an agen". 0o under'"and an e&en" in "er#' of ac"ion'( "here #u'" $e cer"ain
corre',ondence': 1"he general 'ha,e of "he ac"ion #u'" confor# "o "he general 'ha,e of "he e&en"2 3I$id.: 774(
"here$! i#,o'ing a con'"rain" on acce,"a$le for#'. 0urner8' 319874 e-a#,le of +*%S*0I=N IS
GR=;6N6R*0I=N de#on'"ra"e' "he ,rinci,le: one can "al5 of )ir5egaard a' "he fa"her of 6-i'"en"iali'#( or Ne.
=rlean' a' gi&ing $ir"h "o EaLL( $u" no" of *lan Shearer a' "he fa"her of hi' #an! goal'( or of a recen" ha"-"ric5 a'
gi&ing $ir"h "o %ni"ed8' la'" ho#e &ic"or!.
4. Metaphoric Competence: a Rationale for Teaching Conceptual Metaphor
0he no"ion of a #e"a,horic co#,e"ence i' di'cu''ed $! Lo. 319884 in hi' ,a,er 1=n "eaching #e"a,hor2. 0he focu'
i' on aler"ing learner' 3L24 "o "he ,re'ence and effec"' of con&en"ional #e"a,hor and ,edagogical a,,roache' "o
achie&ing "hi' in 6L0 con"e-"'. 0herefore( "he e#,ha'i' i' on "he 1di'cour'al and ,rag#a"ic a',ec"' of #e"a,hor
ra"her "han li"erar! u'e'2 3I$id.4. /e iden"ifie' a nu#$er of func"ion' of #e"a,hor in language u'e and include' 1ho.
"hing' in life are rela"ed in '!'"e#a"ic .a!' .e can a" lea'" ,ar"iall! co#,rehend "hrough "he co#,le- '"ruc"ure of
conce,"ual #e"a,hor2 3I$id.4. *l"hough "he "er# 1co#,e"ence2 i' u'ed( Lo. .ri"e' in "er#' of '5ill or '"ra"eg! a'
"hi' carrie' .i"hin i" "he no"ion of 1$eha&iour .hich i' &aria$le $e".een indi&idual' and .hich a,,ear' "o $e al"era$le
under a,,ro,ria"e in'"ruc"ion2 3I$id.4 - '5ill' .hich na"i&e ',ea5er' are e-,ec"ed "o $e ,roficien" a" and .hich
learner' need "o #a'"er if "he! are "o $e co#,e"en" language u'er'. I" i' ,o''i$le "ha" Lo. u'e' "he "er# in a .a!
.hich i' analogou' .i"h Fco##unica"i&e co#,e"enceF 3/!#e'( 19724. In"rin'ic "o "he no"ion of co#,e"ence in "hi'
'en'e i' "he no"ion of '5ill( a &aria$le of an incre#en"al na"ure "ha" can $e influenced "hrough in'"ruc"ion and
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Journal of Language and Learning Vol. 1 No. 2 2003 ISSN 1740 - 4983
,rac"ice. 0o $e a '5illed language u'er i#,lie' $o"h rece,"i&e and ,roduc"i&e '5ill' in "he language. /o.e&er( in
addi"ion "o lingui'"ic 5no.ledge( learner' need 'ocio-lingui'"ic '5ill and 5no.ledge "o $e H,roficien"8( or "o ha&e
a""ained a le&el of ,roficienc! "ha" i' Hna"i&e-li5e8. *' +a#eron and Lo. 319994 ,oin" ou"( "he uni&er'ali"! and
'!'"e#a"ici"! of grounded( generic-le&el #e"a,hor' are #ore "ran',aren" and #ore ea'il! under'"ood $! #o'" L2
learner' $u" ,ro$le#' occur in lingui'"ic choice' .i"h a""e#,"' a" lingui'"ic #e"a,hor and "he ,rag#a"ic con"e-". Lo.
319884 enu#era"e' a nu#$er of area' "ha" could $e addre''ed $! language "eacher'( and cour'e and #a"erial'
de'igner' "hrough e-,lici" in'"ruc"ion in "he conce,"ual $a'i' of language. 0he'e are li'"ed $elo.. I ha&e included in
,aren"he'i' ".o "hing': "he a',ec" of #e"a,horical 5no.ledge #ainl! concerned and a func"ional de'igna"ion .hich I
"hin5 a,,ro,ria"e "o each area.
<e&elo,ing an under'"anding of "he #e"a,horical na"ure of language and "he nor#al #e"a,hor' F.e li&e $!F
3generic-le&el and ',ecific-le&el #e"a,hor'4 3#e"a,horic co#,e"ence4
*rri&ing a" ,lau'i$le #eaning' for u""erance' "ha" con"ain 'e#an"ic ano#alie' and con"radic"ion' 3in'"an"ia"ion'
of ',ecific-le&el #e"a,hor' and ho. #e"a,hor' are hierarchicall! '"ruc"ured4 3#e"a,horic co#,e"ence4
)no.ing "he $oundarie' of con&en"ional #e"a,horA under'"anding .ha" i' heard in "er#' of con&en"ional
#e"a,hor $u" al'o 5no.ing .ha" i' no" 'aid. Dha" are acce,"a$le e-"en'ion' of con&en"ional #e"a,horK Dhen
can ',ea5er' acce,"a$l! inno&a"eK Dhen can #e"a,hor' $e acce,"a$l! #i-edK 30hi' can $e addre''ed $!
reference "o "he '!'"e#a"ici"!( co#,le- coherence a' .ell a' con'"rain"' of #e"a,horical u'e de'cri$ed in "he
con"e#,orar! "heor!4 3#e"a,horic co#,e"ence?#e"a,horic e-"en'ion and inno&a"ion4
*rea' .here .ord-cla'' difference' and cro''-lingui'"ic ,reference' can lead "o uncon'ciou' inno&a"ion or
'i#,l! error in "he L2. In #an! ca'e' .here #e"a,hor' are anal!'ed cro''-lingui'"icall!( under'"anding can $e
achie&ed $u" "here are ,ro$le#' in "he lingui'"ic choice' L2 learner' #a5e 3in"er-cul"ural co##unica"ion?cro''-
lingui'"ic corre',ondence'4
0!,ical hedging de&ice' .hich are #e"a,horical in na"ure $u" ,ar" of na"i&e-',ea5er u'age 3for e-a#,le( "he u'e
of 1li"erar!2 in an u""erance .hen "he o,,o'i"e in reali"! ,er"ain'4 3#e"a,horic co#,e"ence?,rag#a"ic
a.arene''?in"er-cul"ural ,rag#a"ic'4
*.arene'' of #e"a,horical la!eringA #an! u""erance' and e-,re''ion' can $e in"er,re"ed on a nu#$er of le&el'
ea'il! ,ercei&a$le in "he L1 $u" re9uire #ore e-,lana"ion in L2 3#e"a,horical under'"anding4
Sen'i"i&i"! in "he u'e of #e"a,hor in "er#' of 'ocial and ,oli"ical correc"ne''. 0hi' i' i#,or"an" .hen learner'
co#e fro# di&er'e 'ocial and cul"ural $ac5ground' 3in"er-cul"ural ,rag#a"ic' and 'en'i"i&i"!4
<e&elo,ing an in"erac"i&e a.arene'' of #e"a,hor - .h! do ',ea5er' u'e #e"a,horK Dha" are "he ,o'i"i&e and
nega"i&e ,ur,o'e' of u'ing #e"a,horic language in e&er!da! u'e( in li"era"ure and in differen" .al5' of lifeK
Dha" do #e"a,hor' highligh" and hideK 3La5off B John'on( 19804 3#e"a,horical and in"er-cul"ural
under'"anding4
. Metaphor and Language Teaching
In recen" !ear'( in'igh"' in"o "he na"ure of language in u'e in &oca$ular! '"udie' ha&e e#erged "hrough cor,u'
anal!'i'. In ,ar"icular( "here i' grea"er e&idence of "he range in .hich .ord' occur "oge"her: colloca"ion. 0hi' ha'
I3
Journal of Language and Learning Vol. 1 No. 2 2003 ISSN 1740 - 4983
influenced 6L0 #e"hodolog! "o.ard' a focu' on .ord' in 1'"ring'2 or 1,hra'e'2 3Na""inger B <e+arrico( 19924 .i"h
an e#,ha'i' on func"ionali"! and ,rag#a"ic a.arene''. 0hi' fi"' .i"hin "he ,aradig# of co##unica"i&e language
"eaching and can $e found in #an! recen"l! ,u$li'hed cour'e $oo5' and 6L0 #a"erial'. I" i' de$a"a$le .he"her "hi'
ha' i#,ro&ed on 'i#,le i"e#-$!-i"e# ro"e learning
.i"h regard "o "he "eaching of le-i'. 0he e#,ha'i' on func"ionali"! i' li#i"ing a' i" e-clude' a clo'er e-a#ina"ion of
"he cul"ural a',ec"' of language a' .ell a' "he ele#en"' of '!'"e#a"ici"! and coherence iden"ified "hrough a
conce,"ual a,,roach. Lind'"o#$erg 319974 re&ie.ed a .ide range of ,u$li'hed 6L0 #a"erial'( learner'8 dic"ionarie'
and reference $oo5' and found no reference "o #e"a,hor. In #! o.n #ore li#i"ed re&ie. I found "he 'a#e 'i"ua"ion.
7or e-a#,le( "he )*ford $dvanced Learners +ictionary include' one ,age of e-,lana"ion on 1idio#'2A )*ford
!ollocations 'i#,l! ,u"' in ,aren"he'i' "he "er# Ffigura"i&eF "o de'cri$e u'ageA )*ford dioms ,ro&ide' an in&en"or!
of 'i#ilar e-,re''ion'( 'o "he &er$ blow ha' ".el&e en"rie' and defini"ion' and a 'hor" li'" of 'u$'"i"u"a$le for#' 'uch
a' F$lo.?'od "ha" for a lar5FA "he !ollins !obuild Learners +ictionary re9uire' "he learner "o loo5 u, differen" .ord'
"o chec5 for differen" figura"i&e u'age'. 3*n e-ce,"ion i' "he !ollins !obuild ,nglish &uide (-)# Metaphor( .hich
include' #ore de"ailed e-,lana"ion $u" 'ee#' onl! a,,ro,ria"e for ad&anced learner'4. *d&anced learner' #a! $e
#ore inclined "o con'ul" "he'auri for #ore ,reci'e infor#a"ion( $u" a' Lo. 319884 no"ed "he 'i"ua"ion i' no" #uch
i#,ro&ed a' "he learner i' li5el! "o $e confron"ed .i"h 3of"en unordered4 in&en"orie' of e-,re''ion'. In none of "he
a$o&e i' "here an! a""e#," "o con'ider "he conce,"ual $a'i' of languageA "here i' li""le a""e#," "o 'ho. ho.
e-,re''ion' can $e lin5ed or differen"ia"ed. 0he re'ul" i'( a' Lo. 319884 ,oin"' ou"( "ha" learner' are no" "old .hen "he
e-,re''ion #a! $e u'ed( .ha" "he ,o''i$le e-"en'ion' and con'"rain"' are( and .ha" a',ec"' of "he "arge" do#ain are
highligh"ed $! "he 'ource. In 'hor"( "here ha' $een and con"inue' "o $e li""le concern .i"h #e"a,hor in 6L0. In "eacher
"raining( "he ,u$li'hed '!lla$u'e' of "he Ro!al Socie"! of *r"' +er"ifica"e and <i,lo#a in 0eaching 6ngli'h a' a
7oreign Language "o *dul"' 3+er"?<i, 067L*4 #a5e no #en"ion of #e"a,hor or "he "eaching of figura"i&e for#'A
"herefore( no&ice "eacher' are induc"ed in"o 6L0 una.are of a conce,"ual $a'i' for language.
0here ha&e $een 'o#e in"ere'"ing con"ri$u"ion' #ade in "he li"era"ure of language "eaching. Lind'"ro#$erg 319914
ad&oca"ed rai'ing a.arene'' of #e"a,hor in "eaching 6ngli'h for S,ecific Gur,o'e' 36SG4. In 'u$Eec" ',ecific area'
'uch a' $u'ine''( la. or #edicine '"uden"'( .ill encoun"er 3in addi"ion "o "echnical "er#inolog! and genre
con&en"ion'4 a .ider range of e-"raneou' and un,redic"a$le le-i'. In "he'e con"e-"'( ',ecific-le&el #e"a,hor' a$ound
and can $e iden"ified and ca"egori'ed. 7or e-a#,le( "he co#,e"i"i&e na"ure of "he free-#ar5e" or "he &ola"ili"! of "he
'"oc5 e-change i' of"en concei&ed in "er#' of %SIN6SS IS D*R. S"uden"' can find in'"an"ia"ion' of "hi' #e"a,hor
and #a5e deci'ion' a$ou" "he#A "he! could al'o $e a'5ed "o reflec" on .ha" "hi' #e"a,hor 'a!' a$ou" "he cul"ure and
conce,"uali'a"ion of $u'ine''( and "o e-a#ine and co##en" on a',ec"' of "he #e"a,hor in "er#' of i"' i#,lica"ion'.
+ro''-cul"ural and cro''-lingui'"ic co#,ari'on' could al'o $e di'cu''ed. Lind'"ro#$erg #a5e' "he ,oin" "ha" in
learning 'u$Eec" #a""er( "he ,o"en"ial role of e-,lici" #e"a,hor "eaching ough" "o $e an area of urgen" in"ere'". In 6L0(
/ol#e 319914 con'ider' colla$ora"i&e ac"i&i"ie' for learner' "o .or5 on ,ara,hra'e' of #e"a,hor' ,ro&ided $! "he
"eacher fro# a "e-". S"uden"' are a'5ed "o #a5e "heir o.n &er'ion' and co#,are "he'e .i"h "he original'. * fur"her
ac"i&i"! re9uire' '"uden"' "o con'ider .h! "he .ri"er cho'e "he #e"a,hor' in 9ue'"ion. =ne area .hich lend' i"'elf "o a
,edagogic a,,roach "o conce,"ual #e"a,hor i' $a'ic ,re,o'i"ion' and ,ar"icle' in 6ngli'h. 0!,icall!( in a learner
dic"ionar! "he nu#erou' $u" rela"ed 'en'e' of $a'ic ,re,o'i"ion' are li'"ed a' ,ol!'e#e': "he learner i' confron"ed
I4
Journal of Language and Learning Vol. 1 No. 2 2003 ISSN 1740 - 4983
.i"h a &arie"! of #eaning' and need' "o iden"if! "he one needed. Lind'"ro#$erg 3199I4 ,oin"' ou" "ha" "hi' #e"hod
o&erloo5' "he '!'"e#a"ic na"ure of ,re,o'i"ional 'e#an"ic' and de#on'"ra"e' "hi' .i"h a loo5 a" "he ,re,o'i"ion on.
/i' "eaching "echni9ue' 319974 are induc"i&e( .i"h "he u'e of iconic and illu'"ra"i&e de&ice' in "he cla''roo#( and
in&ol&e loo5ing a" ,ro"o"!,ical #eaning' and focu'ing on "he roo"' of #e"a,horical e-,re''ion'. oer' and
<e#echel#eer 319984 "a5e a 'i#ilar a,,roach in a "rea"#en" of ,re,o'i"ion' and ad&er$' of direc"ion( e#,ha'i'ing
ho. a cogni"i&e 'e#an"ic anal!'i' of a ,re,o'i"ion can $e u'ed "o an"ici,a"e co#,rehen'ion ,ro$le#' a$ou" an area
of ,erennial difficul"! for learner' and "o facili"a"e grea"er co#,rehen'ion of unfa#iliar u'e'. ="her e-a#,le' include
cla''roo# ac"i&i"ie' .hich u'e ga,-fill and cla''if!ing ac"i&i"ie' and re9uire learner' "o con'ider a',ec"' of
#e"a,horic u'e 3LaLar( 199I4 and ',ecificall! cro''-lingui'"ic co#,ari'on' 3<eignan( e" al.( 19974. Lo. 319884
e#,ha'i'e' "he role of anal!"ic di'cu''ion in de&elo,ing #e"a,horical a.arene'' and under'"anding. 0hi' #e"hod i'
#ore a,,ro,ria"e "o "he ca,a$ili"ie' and need' of #ore ad&anced learner'. /o.e&er( a' +a#eron and Lo. 319994
co##en"( .hile "here i' 'o#e recogni"ion "ha" "he lin5ing of #eaning "hrough #e"a,hor can con"ri$u"e "o language
learning efficienc!( "hi' doe' no" 'ee# "o ha&e $een de&elo,ed in #ain'"rea# 6L0.
!. Metaphor, Cultural "#arene$$ and %ntercultural Communication
+ul"ural a.arene'' i' a" "he hear" of in"ercul"ural co##unica"ion. * lo" of "hi' ha' "o do .i"h language and
$eha&iourA .i"h ,rag#a"ic'( $elief' and &alue'( for e-a#,le. u" in"ercul"ural co##unica"ion 'hould al'o highligh"
"he area' of co##onali"! a' .ell a' di&ergence in "er#' of cul"ural and lingui'"ic $eha&iour. *ll "oo of"en cul"urall!
'"ereo"!,ical $eha&iour i' o$Eec"ified and de'cri$ed .i"h in'ufficien" reference "o underl!ing fac"or' "ha" hel, e-,lain
and elucida"e. 0radi"ion'( cu'"o#'( in'"i"u"ion'( hi'"or! and 'ocial de&elo,#en"' can $e di'cu''ed and de'cri$ed fro#
differen" ,er',ec"i&e' and con"ra'"ed and co#,ared .i"h o"her cul"ure'. Grag#a"ic' e#,ha'i'e' "he influence of
con"e-" on lingui'"ic $eha&iour and lin5' "hi' "o cul"urall! rela"ed fac"or' 'uch a' ,ar"icular e-,ec"a"ion'( degree' of
,oli"ene'' and for#ali"!. * conce,"ual a,,roach "o language can dra. in"o focu' area' of di&ergence and
co##onali"! a" ano"her le&el of a.arene'' and ,ro&ide' an e-"ra di#en'ion "o "he under'"anding of lingui'"ic and
cul"ural nor#'. >ore ',ecificall!( ad&anced learner' in ,ar"icular need "o de&elo, a F#e"a,horic co#,e"enceF if "he!
are "o a""ain a le&el of ,roficienc! in 6ngli'h "ha" .ill e9ui, "he# for ,rofe''ional li&e' "ha" re9uire a high le&el of
language a.arene''( 5no.ledge( under'"anding and re'ourcefulne''. 7or "he'e '"uden"' a""aining a gra', of "he
conce,"ual na"ure of language i' li5el! "o $e a re&ealing and enriching challenge.
"&out the "uthor
IC
Journal of Language and Learning Vol. 1 No. 2 2003 ISSN 1740 - 4983
Richard aile! i' Senior Lec"urer in "he 6ngli'h Language +en"re a" Nor"hu#$ria %ni&er'i"!. /e lec"ure'
on "he +en"reM' >* ,rogra##e in *,,lied Lingui'"ic'.
6#ail: r.$aile!Nnor"hu#$ria.ac.u5
Reference$
oer'( 7 B >. <e#echeleer 319984 * cogni"i&e 'e#an"ic a,,roach "o "eaching ,re,o'i"ion'. ,L. /ournal,
C2( 3( 197-2040
+a#eron( L B ;. Lo. 319994 >e"a,hor 3Sur&e! ar"icle)0 Language .eaching. 32( 77-9I. +a#$ridge
%ni&er'i"! Gre''.
<eignan( *.( ;a$r!'( <. B *. Sol'5a 319974 0eaching 6ngli'h #e"a,hor' u'ing cro''-lingui'"ic a.arene''-
rai'ing ac"i&i"ie'. ,L. /ournal( C1( 4( 3C2-3I0.
6agle'"one( R 320014 +oing ,nglish# a guide for literature students. Rou"ledge. London.
/ol#e( R 319914 .alking te*ts. /arlo.( %): Long#an
/!#e'( < 319724 =n co##unica"i&e co#,e"ence. In 1ociolinguistics( Gride( J. . B J. /ol#e' 3ed'4
Genguin.
La5off( ;. 319934 0he con"e#,orar! "heor! of #e"a,hor. In *. =r"on! 3ed4 Metaphor and thought 32
nd
ed4
3,,. 202-2C14. Ne. @or5: +a#$ridge %ni&er'i"! Gre''.
La5off( ;. B >. John'on 319804 Metaphors We Live By. +hicago: %ni&er'i"! of +hicago Gre''.
La5off( ;. B >. 0urner 319894 More than cool reason# a field guide to poetic metaphor0 +hicago:
%ni&er'i"! of +hicago Gre''.
LaLar( ; 3199I4 %'ing figura"i&e language "o e-,and '"uden"'8 &oca$ular!. ,L. /ournal, C0( 1( 43-C1.
Lind'"ro#$erg( S 319914 >e"a,hor and 6SG: a gho'" in "he #achine. In ,nglish for 1pecific 'urposes
/ournal. Vol 10 3,,. 207-22C4. Gerga#on Gre'': %S*.
Lind'"ro#$erg( S 3199I4 Gre,o'i"ion': #eaning and #e"hod. ,L. /ournal( C0( 3( 22C-23I.
Lind'"ro#$erg( S 319974 2ocabulary teaching in the light of an awareness of metaphor# a few ways of
working. I*067L ,a,er. I*067L +onference righ"on.
Lo.( ;. 319884 =n "eaching #e"a,hor. In $pplied Linguistics( 9( 2( 12C-147. =-ford %ni&er'i"! Gre''
Na""inger( J. R. B J. S. <e+arrico 319924 Le*ical phrases and language teaching0 =-ford: =-ford
%ni&er'i"! Gre''.
0urner( >. 319874 +eath is the mother of beauty. +hicago: %ni&er'i"! of +hicago Gre''.
II
Journal of Language and Learning Vol. 1 No. 2 2003 ISSN 1740 - 4983
"ddendum 1
0he follo.ing ac"i&i"! i' ai#ed a" ge""ing ad&anced '"uden"' "o "hin5 a$ou" "!,ical con&en"ional #e"a,horic
e-,re''ion' u'ed in de'cri$ing argu#en"'. I" i' ,ar"icularl! rele&an" "o "he con"e-" of 6*G: "o '"uden"' .ho
are engaged in acade#ic '"ud! and u'ing acade#ic di'cour'e. I" focu'e' on iden"if!ing "he #e"a,horic
a',ec"' of language and cla''if!ing "he'e according "o conce,"ual '"ruc"ure'. S"uden"' are in&i"ed "o "hin5
of 'i#ilar e-a#,le' and ,o''i$le e-"en'ion' a' .ell a' cro''-lingui'"ic corre',ondence'.
I7
Read "he follo.ing and "hen .or5 on e-erci'e' 1 O C.
3e presented a solid argument
,ach one of her points was shot down in flames
.here is nothing new in this argument
.here appears to be little foundation to your position on this issue
$ttack the weak points of their argument
4ou need to buttress this with some clear e*amples
.heir criticisms were really on target
.here are a few contradictions in what you are saying
4ou need to defend you position vigorously
.his argument does not contain the slightest truth
.heir argument collapsed under the weight of opposition
4ou need to go on the offensive if you want people to listen to you
We need a better framework in which to present our case
$t the centre of your position there is a weakness
.hat argument is devoid of credibility
+once,"ual #e"a,hor' for argu#en"' '"ruc"ure no" onl! "he .a! .e "al5
a$ou" "he# $u" "he .a! .e concei&e of "he# in our cul"ure.
14 %nderline "he #e"a,horical ele#en" in "he a$o&e 'en"ence'
3e.g. solid i' u'ed "o de'cri$e "he a$'"rac" en"i"! argument in "he fir'"
e-a#,le 'o underline "he'e ".o .ord'4.
24 +la''if! "he a$o&e according "o follo.ing:
*R;%>6N0S *R6 +=N0*IN6RS
*R;%>6N0S *R6 %IL<IN;S
*R;%>6N0S *R6 D*R
34 In grou,' "hin5 of 'o#e #ore .a!' of "al5ing a$ou" argu#en"' and
decide if !ou .ould include "he'e under "he #e"a,hor' a$o&e.
44 Dha" for#' of lingui'"ic #e"a,hor .or5K +an !ou 'a! .h! a ,ar"icular
#e"a,hor .or5' in one ca"egor! $u" #igh" no" do in ano"herK +an .e #i-
#e"a,hor'K Dha" 9uali"ie' do #e"a,hor' need "o 'hare "o #i- effec"i&el!K
C4 0hin5 a$ou" 'en"ence' de'cri$ing argu#en"' in !our o.n language and
"ran'la"e?"ran'li"era"e "he'e in"o 6ngli'h. <o "he! fi" in"o "he a$o&e
ca"egorie'K *re "here an! difference'K
Journal of Language and Learning Vol. 1 No. 2 2003 ISSN 1740 - 4983
"ddendum 2
0he follo.ing ,oe# .a' .ri""en $! +hri'"ina Ro''e""i 31830-18944. She i' one of "he grea" .o#en ,oe"' of
"he Vic"orian era. >or"ali"! .a' a con'"an" "he#e a#ong #an! .ri"er' in "he 19
"h
cen"ur! a' #an! 'uffered
fro# ill-heal"h and di'ea'e' .hich #odern #edicine ha' con9uered. Religiou' $elief .a' al'o an i#,or"an"
,ar" of life and ar"i'"ic e-,re''ion. Read "he ,oe# and co#,le"e "he e-erci'e'.
Re&ie.
I8
+oes the road wind uphill all the way(
4es, to the very end0
Will the days 5ourney take the whole day long(
%rom morn to night, my friend0
But is there for the night a resting place(
$ roof for when the slow dark hours begin0
May not the darkness hide it from my face(
4ou cannot miss that inn0

1hall meet other wayfarers at night(
.hose who have gone before0
.hen must knock, or call when 5ust in sight(
.hey will not keep you waiting at that door0
1hall find comfort, travel6sore and weak(
)f labour you shall find the sum0
Will there be beds for me and all who seek(
4ea, beds for all who come0
14 In "he ,oe# "he .ri"er i' in con&er'a"ion .i"h 'o#eone el'e. Dho i' i"K Dha" i' "he ,oe# a$ou"
in #e"a,horical "er#'K
24 In "he ,oe# find in'"an"ia"ion' of "he follo.ing conce,"ual #e"a,hor':
LI76 IS * J=%RN6@
* LI760I>6 IS * <*@
<6*0/ IS SL66G?<6*0/ IS NI;/0
<6*0/ IS ;=IN; 0= * 7IN*L <6S0IN*0I=N?<6*0/ IS <6G*R0%R6
34 0here are a nu#$er of i#age #e"a,hor' or #en"al #a,,ing'. +on'ider "he i#age' of 1roof2(
1inn2( 1door2 and 1$ed'2A "he'e are o$li9ue #en"al i#age'. Dha" do "he! #a5e !ou "hin5 a$ou"K
0he i#age of "he 1inn2 ha' a ,ar"icular 'ignificance in "he ,oe#. +an !ou e-,lain "hi' in #ore
de"ailK
44 Loo5 a" "he con&en"ional e-,re''ion' $elo. and cla''if! "he# according "o "he conce,"ual
#e"a,hor' in e-erci'e 2.
t is important for young people to get off to a good start
3ere lies 3enry 1mith7 may he rest in peace0
.he poor guys really ill7 think hes on the way out
n their twilight years people often look back over their lives
.his is a place of rest and should be respected
ve got my life on track now and want to keep it that way
&randdad left us last year but he lived to a good age
We all need a little help along the way
8Long dark night is a comin on down9(lyrics by Bob +ylan)
n his last years 3enry loved to play golf7 now hes playing on that great fairway in the sky
C4 /o. .ould !ou e-,re'' "he'e in !our o.n languageK Dha" o"her conce,"ual #e"a,hor' can !ou
"hin5 of for life and dea"hK *re "he! "he 'a#e or differen" "o "he one' a$o&eK
;lo''ar!:
Wind O "o go in a &er!
indirec" direc"ion
nn- a ,lace of re'" for
"ra&eller' a" "he end of
"he da!
Wayfarers O "ra&eller'
.he sum O "he end
1eek O loo5 for
4ea - !e'