Probing deeper into the phenomenon, learners are deficient in a native-like metaphoric competence during the writing process. If learners have access to the metaphorically-structured conceptual system of the target language as early as possible, can they produce metaphorical expressions earlier and thus be more likely to write a native-like composition? Therefore based on Alaska and Johnny’s conceptual metaphor theory, a tailored experiment is designed for senior high school students and intends to assess effects of the conceptual metaphor-based writing teaching on their writing ability.
Given the inner-relatedness between conceptual adaptor and writing, the thesis puts forward the hypothesis that senior high school students could better improve their writing ability after this mode of teaching . Keywords: English writing teaching; metaphoric competence; conceptual metaphor theory; senior high school; writing ability I Introduction Listening, speaking, reading and writing are the four basic skills in language learning, among which writing is usually considered to be the last acquired skill, because compared with the others writing is the most difficult.
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On the other hand, it is also very important as one’s overall language skills can be shown in it. However, it was not until the late sass that the great importance was attached to the teaching of LO/ FL writing. Quite a few approaches to writing instruction have emerged so far and among them two approaches are most prevalent and the debate between both has attracted the most attention in China, I. E. Product approach which favors exercises engaging students in imitating, copying and transforming models provided by the teacher and/ or by the textbook (Unman, 2001), and process approach (also called multiple drafts process). Under the guidance of all these approaches, success as already been achieved in training LO learners to have a good command of grammar and communication, but there is something still not quite proper in their compositions, that is, something goes beyond linguistic and communicative competence.
Dances (1994) claimed that while LO learners’ discourse might show a high degree of verbal fluency—the ability to produce grammatically and communicatively appropriate discourse in LO, it invariably seems to lack the conceptual appropriateness that typifies that of natives. Thus it is of significance to explore a new and more effective way for the teaching and learning of English writing. II Literature review 1 Metaphoric competence and conceptual metaphor theory In 1978, Garner and Winner put forward the concept of metaphoric competence.
Domestic scholars Huh Gangling (2004) claims that metaphoric competence can serve as a facilitator to language teaching and learning. Kiang Eng (2006) points out that metaphoric competence is an important factor to check whether FEEL learners can use English in an idiomatic way. Metaphor as a figure of speech, has been studied for thousands of years, but as a a mode of thinking, it has Just begun from sass, the moment when the publication of George Alaska and Mark Johnny’s book Metaphors e live by witnessed the rise of conceptual metaphor theory (COM) within the field of cognitive linguistics.
In the view of cognitive linguists, cross-domain mappings are the working mechanism of conceptual metaphors. They think that the core of metaphor is not in language but in the way we conceptualize one mental domain in terms of another one. This proposal switches metaphor from a figure of speech into one of the specific ways of human cognition and thinking patterns. In accord with such view, COM maintains that human conceptual systems are metaphorical to a large extent (Alaska &Johnson, 1980; Alaska, 1987).