Publication details [#5803]

Lai, Jiin-Chyuan M. 2007. Teaching culture as metaphor to adult learners in English as a foreign language curriculum. Louisville, Ky.. 284 pp.
Publication type
Ph.D dissertation
Publication language


This dissertation examines the use of cultural metaphors as tools in understanding American culture and enhancing English Acquisition among adult learners. It is based on the new approach to cognitive linguistics that metaphors are cognitive instruments that are used to organize linguistic categories and that these categories differ from one culture to another. The purpose of this study is to investigate the benefits of teaching culture through metaphor in the foreign language classroom, focusing on students engaged in English as a foreign language (EFL) curriculum in Taiwan. This study was primarily quantitative with a qualitative component, a mixed-method approach. This involved quasi-experimental research combined with qualitative methods. The impact of the Communicative Language Teaching with Cultural Metaphor Plan (CLTCMP), a cultural teaching style, has on facilitating the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students' English reading comprehension and their understanding of American culture was measured through the use of standardized tests. To analyze the quantitative data, the statistical analysis software, Standard Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) for Windows version 14.0, ANCOVA, Pearson Correlation and Point Biserial Correlation were utilized. In order to obtain the EFL students' and teachers' perspectives and experiences regarding the cultural metaphor of teaching and learning in EFL curriculum, interviews were conducted with both the experimental group and EFL teachers. Qualitatively, the Constant Comparison Method was used to analyze instruction and follow-up focus group interviews with the participants, 23 out of 26 students in the experimental group and personal interviews with seven EFL teachers after the experimental project. The statistical analysis indicated that the CLTCMP, the cultural metaphorical teaching method, affected the EFL students' English reading comprehension slightly, a significant difference between mean scores of the two groups, control M =65.72 and experimental M = 69.69. However, the statistical analysis indicated that the CLTCMP did greatly influence the participants' American cultural metaphor understanding, a significant difference between mean scores of the two groups, control M = 64.74 and experimental M = 93.04. Therefore, there were statistically significant differences between those trained in the CLTCMP method contrasted to those who were in more traditional classes. Literal translations are impossible due to great disparities between languages, cultures, social histories, and other salient features of symbolic interaction. Possible implications for further research include the function or role of translation and interpretation in the second or foreign language acquisition and cross-cultural communication. (Dissertation Abstracts)