Call for Chapters
(Deadline for Abstracts: 16 November 2012)
Elicited Metaphor Analysis in Educational Discourse
Editors: Graham Low (The University of York, UK)
Wan Wan (The University of York, UK)
Scholars of metaphor have for several years collected evidence for the important claim that the use of elicited metaphor, as a research tool can be helpful in raising reflection and consciousness among students and teachers, uncovering belief systems/conceptualizations of their learning and/or teaching practices and ultimately in predicting behaviours likely to follow from them (e.g., de Guerrero & Villamil, 2002; Jin & Cortazzi 2011; Oxford et al., 1998; Zapata & Lacorte, 2007). Over the last few decades, a large number of published metaphor studies have examined teachers’ and students’ metaphors with regard to their teaching and/or learning experiences, which are normally either collected from analogical statements in conversation or writing (e.g., interviews or personal narratives) or via completion of a sort of sentence-completion task involving thinking of a metaphor or simile in what is often called an ‘X is (like) Y’ structure (e.g., Learning is like…, Teaching is like…). The majority of these studies employ some version of Conceptual Metaphor Theory (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980) and Vygotskyan notions of the interactive nature of language (i.e., metaphor) and thought (Vygotsky, 1978) within Sociocultural Theory, whereby metaphor is seen as both a cognitive and social phenomenon (Littlemore & Low, 2006), with language as one of several means of expressing it. Metaphor can accordingly act as a mediational tool whereby interpretations are constructed from accounts (preferably multiple accounts) given by people in specific social environments (Lantolf & Thorne, 2006).
Among these metaphor studies in education, an extremely small proportion has started to investigate participants’ academic literacies (e.g., Armstrong, 2007, 2008; Davis, 2009; Hart, 2009; Paul & Armstrong, 2011; Villamil & de Guerrero, 2005), examine the relationships between participants’ metaphorical conceptualizations and their associated actual practices (e.g., Wan, Low & Li, 2011), as well as explore the integration of metaphors within/between levels in an educational setting (e.g., Hart, 2009). Methodologically, although a few recent studies have reported the proportion of unsuccessful answers to this type of elicited metaphor task, and identified a number of issues connected with task difficulty indicating that the challenge of finding their own working metaphors can be very difficult for some people, there appears to be little published work that has seriously addressed the validity of the method used and suggested possible solutions (e.g., Armstrong, Davis & Paulson, 2011; Wan, 2011). In addition, although metaphor researchers have provided a general guide to metaphor analysis that involves “collecting examples of linguistic metaphors used to talk about the topic…generalising from them to the conceptual metaphors they exemplify, and using the result to suggest understandings or thought patterns which construct or constrain people’s beliefs or actions” (Cameron & Low, 1999, p. 88), it seems that specific procedures for analysing informants’ metaphors once collected are less often explicitly described (Armstrong, Davis & Paulson, 2011). One common criticism of the analysis (of both elicited and spontaneous metaphors) is that accurate determination of the conceptual metaphors via the investigation of linguistic metaphors given by the participants suffers from all the problems of the researcher’s ‘subjectivity’ involved in the interpretation. Moreover, the researcher cannot make assumptions that his/her interpretations of the participants’ metaphoric language are accurate depictions of their original meaning. However, the very fact is that very few metaphor studies discuss in any real detail the trustworthiness of their research findings.
The Overall Objectives of the book
The core aim of this proposed volume is to remedy these oversights in the elicited metaphor studies and to resolve the problems with validity of the metaphor elicitation techniques used. The essential research questions for this edited volume are as follows:
Q1. What is the current state of elicited metaphor research?
Q2. How far can the informants’ elicited metaphors be used to uncover their conceptualizations of their academic literacy practices?
Q3. What is the relationship between informants’ metaphorical conceptualizations about teaching/learning and their associated actual practices?
Q4. What happens when differential metaphors are used as groups/levels interact with each other in educational discourse?
Q5. Are there any possible solutions to improve the validity of metaphor elicitation techniques?
Q6. Are there any possible ways to establish trustworthiness of elicited metaphor research?
We hope the proposed volume can be one of the first to
• offer an overview of the current state of elicited metaphor research and of the gaps/problems for scholars concerned with the use of elicited metaphor in educational discourse;
• serve as a resource book utilized by both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the area of first/second language acquisition, educational linguistics and learner beliefs about language education;
• present quality reports of research studies that serve as useful models for PhD students, academics and professionals;
• suggest possible solutions to improve the validity of metaphor elicitation techniques and establish the trustworthiness of the research.
The papers in this collection will represent a shift in metaphor studies beyond using elicited metaphors to gain insights into informants’ belief systems/conceptualizations about general teaching and learning. Given the goals of the volume, empirical studies, review articles and state-of-the-art articles are all welcome on any of the following areas, but not limited to:
• Conceptualizations of informants’ academic literacy practices
• The relationship between informants’ beliefs/conceptualizations and their associated actions in the classroom contexts
• The applications of findings concerning the interaction of differential metaphor use within/between levels in educational discourse
• Methodological issues in doing elicited metaphor studies
• Strategies of establishing the trustworthiness in elicited metaphor research
• Theoretical framework used in doing elicited metaphor research in education
Contributing authors are encouraged to contact the editors before submitting a chapter proposal to determine whether the proposed submission is within the scope of this book.
Potential authors are invited to submit a maximum of two-page chapter proposals (including a few lines about the author(s)) in English to both editors by 16th November 2012 ([log in to unmask] & [log in to unmask]). The proposal should clearly state the objectives of the intended chapter and its contents, as well as how the
chapter fits into the overall objectives of the proposed book. Submissions should be made electronically in Microsoft Word Format. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by latest 31st Jan 2013. Upon acceptance of their proposals, authors will have to submit full chapters of up to 8,000 words by May 17th 2013. Guidelines for preparing the chapters will be sent upon acceptance of proposals. Inquiries and proposal submissions can be forwarded electronically to both editors. The book is scheduled to be published in spring/summer 2014 by an international publisher. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this book project.
Armstrong, S. L. (2007). Beginning the literacy transition: Postsecondary students' conceptualizations of academic writing in developmental literacy Contexts. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Armstrong, S. L. (2008). Using metaphor analysis to uncover learners’ conceptualizations of academic literacies in postsecondary developmental contexts. The International Journal of Learning, 15(9), 211-218.
Armstrong, S. L., Davis, H., & Paulson, E. J. (2011). The subjectivity problem: Improving triangulation approaches in metaphor analysis studies. International Journal of Qualitative Methods 10 (2), 151-163.
Cameron, L., & Low, G. D. (1999). Metaphor. Language Teaching, 32, 77-96.
Davis, H. S. (2009). Student and teacher conceptualizations of reading: A metaphor analysis study of scripted reading interventions in secondary classrooms. Unpublished PhD dissertation. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.
de Guerrero, M. C. M., & Villamil, O. S. (2002). Metaphorical conceptualization of ESL teaching and learning, Language Teaching Research, 6 (2), 95-120.
Hart, G. A. (2009). Composing metaphors: Metaphors for writing in the composition classroom. Unpublished PhD thesis. Ohio University, Ohio.
Jin, L., & Cortazzi, M. (2011). More than a journey: learning in the metaphors of Chinese students and teachers. In: Jin, L., Cortazzi, M. (Eds.), Researching Chinese learners: Skills, perceptions and intercultural adaptations (pp.67-92). Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Lantolf, J. P., & Thorne, S. L. (2006). Sociocultural theory and the genesis of L2 development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Littlemore, J., & Low, G. D. (2006). Figurative thinking and foreign language learning. New York: Palgrave McMillan.
Oxford, R., Tomlinson, S., Barcelos, A., Harrington, C., Lavine, R. Z., Saleh, A., & Longhini, A. (1998). Clashing metaphors about classroom teachers: Toward a systematic typology for the language teaching field. System, 26(1), 3-50.
Paulson, E. J., & Armstrong, S. L. (2011). Mountains and pit bulls: Students' metaphors for college reading and writing. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 54(7), 494-503.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind and society: The development of higher mental processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Villamil, O. S., de Guerrero, M. C. M. (2005). Constructing theoretical notions of L2 writing through metaphor conceptualization. In: Bartels, N. (Ed.), Applied linguistics in language teacher education (pp.79-90). New York: Springer.
Wan, W., Low, G. D. & Li., M. (2011). From students’ and teachers’ perspectives: Metaphor analysis of beliefs about EFL teachers’ roles. System, 39(3), 403-415.
Wan, W. (2011). An examination of the validity of metaphor analysis studies: Problems with metaphor elicitation techniques. Metaphor and the Social World, 1(2), 262–288.
Zapata, G. C., & Lacorte, M. (2007). Preservice and inservice instructors’ metaphorical constructions of second language teachers. Foreign Language Annals, 40(3), 521-534.