Publication details [#12842]

de Guerrero, María and Olga S. Villamil. 2002. Metaphorical conceptualizations of ESL teaching and learning. Language Teaching Research 6 : 95–120. 26 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


The use of metaphor is widespread among language teachers and in language learning theory. Metaphors also play a significant role as vehicles for reflection and awareness raising among educators. This study, framed within a socio-cultural theory approach, explored the basic conceptualizations of ESL teaching and learning reflected in metaphorical representations of an ESL teacher. Nine distinct conceptual metaphors for an ESL teacher (co-operative leader, provider of knowledge, challenger/agent of change, nurturer, innovator, provider of tools, artist, repairer, gym instructor) with entailed views of the ESL learner and the teaching/learning processes emerged. Appropriation of various theoretical models of language learning was observed in the participants' metaphors.