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Volume 12 Number 3, Autumn 2015, Pages 1-147 PDF Download

College EFL Learners' Metaphorical Perceptions of English Learning

    SU Fang

This article explores college EFL students' metaphorical perceptions of learning English in a minority area in Northwest China. 120 students (30 English majors and 30 non-English majors), participated in the study by completing a prompt “learning English is (like)… because…”. Through metaphor analysis, it is hoped to have an insights into how students currently perceive their experiences of learning English and what thinking the students' metaphorical perceptions of learning English may stimulate. 115 metaphors were used for analysis in terms of attitudes towards English, types of metaphors and perceptions revealed through metaphors. It was found that students had a good understanding of English learning. Their metaphors revealed their beliefs about the English learning, about English learning process and about themselves as language learners. They understood that language learning was hard process and that being a successful learner requires a variety of demands such as hard work, perseverance, patience, and a positive attitude. The results of the study may help students in exploring an important aspect of their past, present and even future lives and teachers who work in a similar context in understanding these perceptions and using them to facilitate and foster their students' English learning.

Keywords: metaphor, perception, English learning, college, China