Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics VIAL

Ariadna Strugielska (1): Coherence Relations and Concept Dynamic in Learnersí Personal Theories. VIAL. Number 5/2008: 107-129.


This article examines metaphorical conceptualizations of educational practices emerging from studentsí personal theories. Particular emphasis is placed upon coherence relations observable between and among individual constructs forming an Idealized Cognitive Model of the teaching/learning process. It is postulated that learnersí metaphors are built around unpredictable and varied inferences, often resulting from cognitive dissonance between novel experience and entrenched cultural models. Moreover, the image surfacing from learnersí analogies is characterized by internal dynamics, which may well indicate that studentsí discourse is particularly susceptible to new extralinguistic stimuli. Consequently, while linguistic metaphors become more creative, conceptual blueprints are modified to encompass emerging meanings. Thus, the popular notions about language and language learning which are frequently transmitted from teachersí jargon to studentsí talk are gradually giving way to modified, internalized and perpetuated concepts.

Keywords: personal theories, conceptual metaphors, coherence, experientialism, new meaning.

(1) Nicolaus Copernicus University Torun, Poland.

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