Enhancing Conceptual Fluency through Conceptual Metaphor: A Case of Turkish EFL Learners

Farjamı A., Çakır C.

III. International Conference Research in Applied Linguistics - ICRAL2019, Konya, Turkey, 24 - 26 October 2019, pp.70

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Konya
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.70
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


Enhancing Conceptual Fluency through Conceptual Metaphor: A Case of Turkish EFL Learners

The most attempt at English as a Foreign Language (EFL) has been directed towards the enhancement of linguistic and communicative competences. We have almost been successful in training L2 learners to have a good command of grammar and communication; however, there is something still not quite apparent in the actual L2-learner discourse; something that goes beyond grammatical and communicative proficiency, i.e. something that cannot be explained in precisely grammatical and/or communicative terms (Danesi 1992). While L2-learner discourse might show a high degree of verbal fluency, it invariably seems to lack the conceptual appropriateness that typifies that of natives. L2 learners usually apply TL words and structures as carriers of their own L1 concepts. This analysis is conducted following the Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT), a model proposed by Lakoff and Johnson (1980), the predominant framework in cognitive studies of metaphor in recent years. Under this approach, the metaphor is not only an integral part of everyday communication but also constitutes an important tool that helps gain an understanding of the surrounding world. This paper illustrates how metaphors are employed in sports in the English language and its importance in improving Turkish students' learning styles. Sports, which is a cultural production and unites citizens within a nation, are always regarded as an icon of a country, such as a game of soccer among European countries, baseball in the USA and oil wrestling in Turkey. A set of selected English baseball expressions and idioms from different sources are collected. These idioms are then applied to the controlled group with traditional instruction and for the experimental one through a cognitive linguistic approach for CMT awareness-raising. The results highlight the urgent need to explicitly teach the notion of conceptual metaphor, in this paper regarding baseball idioms, before students can actively comprehend and produce the target language naturally and appropriately in this context. Keywords : Baseball Idioms, Conceptual Metaphor Theory, Conceptual Fluency, Sports Metaphors