Resources not rulebooks
Metaphors for grammar in teachers’ metalinguistic discourse
This paper explores the way that teachers use metaphors to think and talk about grammar and what this means for classroom practice. It does so by employing conceptual metaphor theory to analyse teachers’ metalinguistic discourse, focusing particularly on construals of grammar and grammar teaching. Based on a series of interviews with 24 UK-based secondary school English teachers, the findings suggest that teachers make extensive use of metaphor, often mapping the abstract domain of grammar with concrete domains such as construction material and rulebook. The discipline of English studies itself was often construed as a series of separate parts, with grammar occupying a physical space that was often seen as disconnected to other aspects of the curriculum. The findings are discussed in relation to sociocultural contexts, including the current climate of English teaching in the UK, educational policy discourse, public and professional views on language, and the place of grammar on the curriculum.
Keywords: grammar, metaphor, metalinguistic discourse, grammar pedagogy, teacher identity
Published online: 05 November 2019
Blake, J., & Shortis, T.
Cajkler, W., & Hislam, J.
Department for Education
Hudson, R. & Walmsley, J.
Lave, J., & Wenger, E.
Myhill, D., Jones, S., Lines, H., & Watson, A.
Quirk, R., Greenbaum, S., Leech, G., & Svartvik, J.
Cited by 2 other publications
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