Jun-min Kuo

Tunghai University, Taiwan



The present study describes how an English learning activity with an emphasis on metaphorical thinking was taught in a class of 46 college freshmen in Taiwan. The activity investigated students’ beliefs about love from their perspective. Conducted during the 2005 spring semester, this 2-week activity combined different types of learning input, including (1) an introduction to figurative language, metaphors, similes, and metaphorical thinking in general, (2) examples taken from Chinese song lyrics and from a weblog essay about a blind date, (3) classroom discussions, and (4) an English song, “Perhaps Love.” Data included (1) my teaching entries, (2) students’ discussion sheets, and (3) students’ writing assignments about love. The process followed a general approach to metaphor analysis: (1) collecting examples of metaphorical expressions about love from students; (2) generalizing the figurative expressions that students used, and (3) eliciting thought patterns that expressed students’ beliefs and actions. The study suggests that reader-based metaphorical responses to texts allow for the demonstration of specific cultural understanding and social consciousness. In addition, the study indicates that English instruction should involve a process in which students (1) discuss themes relevant to their lives and (2) read the texts reflectively through their personal experiences. With regard to second language learning, the present instruction provided a mix of skills (especially listening and reading abilities) and creativity drawing on students’ reader-based responses to texts usually encountered outside the classroom. To sum up, EFL instruction should build on relevance, engagement, poetic possibilities, and language development.


Key Words: popular culture, conceptual metaphor, metaphorical thinking








此研究描述在台灣一個有46名大一生的課堂裡,如何進行一個重視隱喻思維的英語學習活動;該活動是以學生們的觀點,以探究他們關於愛的信念。研究實施於2005年的第二學期,為期兩週的活動,結合了不同類型的學習內容,包括(1)對一般的隱喻多譯詞、隱喻、明喻以及隱喻思維的介紹、(2)取自中文歌詞以及一部落格文章中,有關盲目約會的相關例子。(3)課堂討論、以及(4)一首英文歌「Perhaps Love」。研究的資料包括(1)我的教學記錄、(2)學生討論的資料、以及(3)學生們關於愛的寫作。研究流程是依循一個隱喻分析的方式(1)從學生的作品蒐集到有關愛的隱喻表達的例子、(2)統整學生們所使用的隱喻表達、以及(3)引導出表達了學生們的信念、以及行為的思維模式。此研究建議以讀者為本對文本的隱喻式回應,能提供文化理解以及社會意識。此外,研究指出英語教學必須經歷以下的一個過程(1)討論與生活相關的議題、以及(2)透過個人的經驗,來反思性地閱讀文本。關於第二語言學習,此教學模式提供了能力的結合(尤其是聽力跟閱讀能力)以及學生們以讀者為本對於在教室外所接觸的文本所做的回應產生的創造力。總之,EFL的教學應該建立在相關性、投入程度、富有想像力的可能性、以及語言發展上。


關鍵字: 流行文化、概念隱喻、隱喻思維