TEACHERS AS PATIENCE STONES: A METAPHOR ANALYSIS OF STUDENTS’ CONCEPTUALIZATIONS OF EFL TEACHERS IN TURKEY
With the application of cognitive linguistics to language teaching and learning, metaphor analysis has gained interest among researchers in recent years. This study, which is conducted in an EFL language environment in Turkey, aims to investigate students’ metaphors that underlie their conceptualizations on English language teachers. Participants are students of English (n=83) studying at a university in Turkey during 2014-2015 academic year. Students were first instructed on the concept of metaphor, then they were asked to complete the metaphor elicitation sheet including the prompt “An English teacher is like ... because ...” Data were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Conceptual Metaphor Theory defined and developed by Lakoff & Johnson (1980), who consider metaphors as mental constructs that shape human thinking about the world and reality, is used as the theoretical background for this study. The linguistic metaphors provided by the participants were first categorized thematically and then examined in parallel with previous studies (Oxford et al., 1998; Saban et al., 2006). Results revealed a variety of underlying conceptualizations that reflect different individual mappings across conceptual domains. The findings yielded new categories, which imply that culture as well as students’ personal experiences might shape their perceptions on language teachers. The study is significant in the sense that it highlights the use of metaphor as an effective cognitive tool to better understand students’ beliefs of their language teachers and their language learning process. In addition, it provides an opportunity for the teachers to have a self-reflection on their roles as language teachers.
International Burch University