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Language Education

Controversies, Observations and Proposals


Edited By Danuta Stanulewicz, Karolina Janczukowicz and Małgorzata Rocławska-Daniluk

This collection of papers explores various issues in English language teaching in Poland, mainly at the secondary and tertiary levels. The topics include Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), English for Specific Purposes (ESP), and e-learning. The contributions also deal with teaching public speaking, pronunciation and writing. The contributors explore language education from the perspective of cognitive linguistics and propose solutions concerning English for Specific Purposes (Technical Writing in English and Maritime English) as well. The book also investigates teaching not only languages but also, inter alia, geography and linguistics, concentrating on the use of metaphors, prototypes and cognitive models.

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Explanatory metaphors and the matryoshka phenomenon (Olga Sokołowska)


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Explanatory metaphors and the matryoshka phenomenon

Olga Sokołowska

University of Gdańsk

Abstract: Conceptual metaphors, accessible through the study of linguistic expressions instantiating them, have been recognized to perform an important cognitive function – as a means to facilitate or even entirely enable comprehension of intangible phenomena and abstract notions. In the former case, they assume the explanatory and in the latter – the constitutive function. Those functions need not be permanently established for particular mappings; they are often relative depending on the needs of a language user. The explanatory function is extremely important in education, which is why figurative expressions are commonly found in the language of instruction in school courses. Metaphorical means are also used in texts introducing readers to the very theory of conceptual metaphor.

Keywords: comprehension, education, explanation, metalanguage, metaphor

1. Introduction

The aim of the present chapter is to take a closer look at the language of instruction in the field of the theory of conceptual metaphor developed within the cognitive linguistics current of research. Special attention is paid to figurative expressions used to introduce the basic assumptions and notions of the theory, i.e., to metaphors employed for the sake of explaining metaphor. The concept of matryoshka, i.e., a folk Russian toy in the form of a set of dolls of decreasing size placed inside one another, seems to constitute an appropriate source domain in terms of which to construe the...

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