Publication details [#7456]

Low, Graham D. 1988. On teaching metaphor. Applied Linguistics 9 (2) : 125–147. 23 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


It is argued that metaphor should be given a more important place in language teaching than it has been in the past, for three reasons. Firstly, it is central to the use of language. Secondly, from a structural point of view it pervades large parts of the language system. And thirdly, enough is known to make such a reconsideration a feasible proposition. It is proposed that a reinterpretation of some of this knowledge in skill terms is a helpful prerequisite to the design of instructional programmes, not just because skills, expressed in one form or another, constitute an important part of most communicative syllabuses, but also because this reformulation suggests ways in which teaching materials can be designed. Lastly, some of the methodological implications of the theoretical points are tentatively examined, and it is argued (1) that multi-text exercises constitute an effective and relatively simple design for teaching materials, and (2) that the structure of a number of reference materials could be significantly improved if some, or all, of the theoretical points were taken up. (Graham D. Low)