The Application of Conceptual Metaphor in English Vocabulary Teaching

Lixia Ma, Jing Jin


As the basic unit of expression, vocabulary is the foundation of English and is closely related to students’ overall language ability. However, many teachers tend to teach English vocabulary in traditional way, simply listing words with little attention to context in daily instruction. As a result, students mechanically memorize words without understanding the connotation and extension of words, which frequently leads to misunderstandings in vocabulary comprehension and inflexible vocabulary application. To solve this problem, this study considers cognitive linguistics as the guide to exploring vocabulary teaching based on conceptual metaphor. Following the definition, mechanism, and classification of conceptual metaphor, it makes an overview of both the international and Chinese studies concerning the application of conceptual metaphor in English vocabulary teaching, and finds that the lack of empirical research, the small sample size, the short time of experiment, the uncomprehensive research results and students’ different ability to accept this teaching method remain to be further solved. This contributes to the existing problems in vocabulary teaching and cultivating students’ competence in cognitive acquisition.

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