In this article we argue that figurative language, specifically realized as metaphor, must become an essential aspect of any pedagogical program. The ability to understand and produce appropriate metaphors in a second language can no longer remain on the margins of linguistic proficiency; on the contrary, without such ability a speaker cannot effectively express him or herself or comprehend fully what a native interlocutor may be intending to communicate. That is, to genuinely achieve an advanced level of proficiency it is necessary that a speaker develop a metaphorical capacity in the second language. We begin the article with a discussion of the theory of metaphor proposed by Lakoff and his colleagues. We explain the principal concepts of the theory that we believe to be relevant to second-language pedagogy. We then present some examples of materials from a pedagogical program that we have developed to teach metaphors that communicate emotions and that use colors, animals and sports as source domains. Included among the materials are a dictionary of metaphors, classroom activities, and a teacher’s guide to help instructors implement the activities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language