Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

College freshman and ESL instructors' use of metaphor in classroom discourse
by Sasaki, Akiko, Ph.D., New Mexico State University, 2010, 255; 3448962
Abstract (Summary)

It is a simple fact that metaphorical expressions are very difficult for non-native English speakers to understand. Thus, American university classroom discourse may be a challenge for international students to comprehend due to a lack of common metaphorical language between the students and professor. It may be hypothesized that many ESL instructors, due to their linguistic and cultural awareness, reduce the quantity and difficulty of culturally bound metaphors in their classroom speech to encourage comprehension in learners from differing L1 backgrounds. Conversely, instructors who are less accustomed to teaching to a second language population may not be fully aware of the linguistic needs of their students.

As a result, they may unintentionally be less prone to making linguistic accommodations for their English Language Learners (ELLs) by reducing the culturally bound metaphors in their classroom discourse. This study provides an understanding of different styles of metaphorical usage among professors with and without ESL teaching experience. The goals of this study were accomplished by direct observation of classroom instructors and a subsequent analysis of their actual lesson talk for metaphorical content. The classes of three ESL and three college English instructors' classroom were observed over approximately three hours each, giving a total of thirty hours of transcripts. The transcripts were analyzed for the usage of twenty canonical metaphors. Comparison of these usage patterns formed the basis of the conclusion of this study.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rutledge, David
Commitee:
School: New Mexico State University
School Location: United States -- New Mexico
Source: DAI-A 72/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: English as a Second Language, Language
Keywords: Case study, Discourse, Discourse analysis, English as a second language, Metaphor, TESOL
Publication Number: 3448962
ISBN: 978-1-124-55634-5
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