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Integrating Language and Culture through Conceptual Metaphor in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language

Wang, Haixia (2017) Integrating Language and Culture through Conceptual Metaphor in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The purpose of this study is to examine the changes in the understanding of learners of Chinese as a Foreign language (CFL) of certain Chinese metaphorical expressions (e.g. color phrases). By implementing conceptual metaphor theory as a way to connect language and culture in CFL instruction, the present study examines how instructional interventions can be used to raise students’ conceptual awareness of certain metaphorical expressions and their communicative intent in a lower level Chinese language classes.
The research questions are: 1) What are the initial interpretations of certain color phrases by students from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds? 2) How, if at all, do students’ explanations of color phrases with metaphorical meanings change from pre-test to post-test? 3) Can students make use of the knowledge that they gained from instruction to interpret novel metaphoric expressions using the color metaphors that they have learned?
The findings demonstrated that the students were able to interpret the color metaphors in a culturally appropriate way and applied their knowledge of three Chinese colors to metaphoric expressions that they had not encountered before. The findings also revealed that intentional instruction is needed for raising students’ metaphorical awareness to better understand metaphorical meanings in the target language and culture. The pedagogical implications raises the issue of the need to balance instruction on language and instruction on conceptual metaphors.
This study is beneficial to the foreign language education field for several reasons. First, instruction on metaphoric interpretations will encourage the students to use metaphors to communicate meaning in a foreign language, and facilitate their comprehension of cultural meanings of the texts in the target language. Because Chinese is a less commonly-taught language, this study furthers our understanding of Chinese color metaphors, a new research area that has not been fully explored before. This study also contributes to the issue of the disconnection between lower-level language courses and upper-level content courses, by introducing selected conceptual metaphors in lower-level classes.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wang, Haixiahaw27@pitt.eduhaw27
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDonato, RichardDonato@pitt.eduDonato
Committee MemberCrawford, Patriciapcrawfor@pitt.edupcrawfor
Committee MemberGodley, Amandaagodley@pitt.eduagodley
Committee MemberJuffs, Alanjuffs@pitt.edujuffs
Date: 28 September 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 June 2017
Approval Date: 28 September 2017
Submission Date: 7 July 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 108
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Language and Culture,Conceptual Metaphor, Chinese Teaching
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2017 20:16
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2017 20:16


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