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Logo: Linguistischer Arbeitskreis Hannover
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Vortrag am 10.07.2018

 Prof. Dr. Ying-Hsueh Hu (Tamkang University, Taiwan): Figurative Language in the EFL Classroom: Friend or Foe?

The merits of raising the awareness of conceptual metaphors/metonymies and image schemas (CMs and IMs) underlying vocabulary and chunks such as idioms and phrasal verbs (pvs) in learning a foreign language are so far inconclusive. In terms of teaching English idioms to EFL learners, it has been, in particular, suggested that cultural-specific idiomatic expressions pose more challenge to learners. These difficulties arise out of different conceptualizations of the events, emotions, objects, persons or animals an idiomatic expression depicts. In the case of teaching pvs and prepositions, research results also suggest cross-cultural differences in the conceptualizations of space and time can frustrate foreign language learners. In these cases, first language conceptualizations are often counterproductively superimposed on those of the target foreign language. The talk aims to provide some insight into these discrepancies and difficulties. It will first introduce briefly the definition and identification of CMs and IMs within the framework of Cognitive Linguistics. Secondly, the talk will illustrate studies, including my own, that have adopted CM and IM approaches in the foreign language classroom. Finally, the talk will raise the issue whether raising the awareness of CMs and IMs in the target language, in this case, English, is indeed helpful or even necessary to learners. This issue is particularly pronounced against today’s globalized world where the call for learning English as an International Language (EIL) is increasingly being heeded.