隐喻思维对大学非英语班学生英语习作影响

来源: www.sblunwen.com 作者:lgg 发布时间:2014-07-30 11:05 论文字数:36100字
论文编号: sb2014072910091910224 论文地区:中国 论文语言:English 论文类型:硕士毕业论文 论文价格: 150
本文是大学英语论文,On the basis of metaphoric theories, both from traditional perspective and cognitivescope, this thesis tries to help university non-English learners improve their writings bytraining them with metaphoric thinking.

Chapter One Introduction


1.1 Background of the Study
Listening, speaking, reading translating and writing are the five main skills to beacquired by EFL learners. And as one of the five basic skills, writing is a comprehensiveaspect that can reflect one’s ability in a foreign language study. According to College EnglishSyllabus Revision Team(1999),college English teaching for non-English majors aims atcultivating students’ relatively high abilities in writing and the other four basic skills,so thatEnglish will be able to employ as a means to search, deal with and exchange information forthem. In addition, the syllabus has made it clear that college students should acquire theability to communicate in English in written forms.And they should have a clear idea withthe writing requirements according to the syllabus, which include mastering writingtechniques of different styles,having a good command of basic language skills, being able touse some lexical items and set phrases with grammatical rules skillfully, knowing British andAmerican cultures.However, to meet the need of the syllabus writing requirements seems to be anextremely strenuous job as English writing has been a thorn problem for Chinese learners whocomplain that writing is rather a complex productive job. Besides, there are some problemsexisting in their writings that are urgently needed to be solved with an efficient approach.Firstly, a lack of vocabulary volume leads to simple sentences and expressions. Secondly,Chinese learners tend to employ words and sentence structures that are formal but lackcreativity and variations. Thirdly, some expressions are not properly used as a result of thedifferences between the target conceptual system and Chinese conceptual system.
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1.2 Purpose and Significance of the Research
On the basis of metaphoric theories, both from traditional perspective and cognitivescope, this thesis tries to help university non-English learners improve their writings bytraining them with metaphoric thinking. And the study aims at answering the followingquestions.Firstly, what’s the state of metaphoric teaching in this university?Secondly, what’s the state of the non-English majors’ metaphoric competence?Thirdly, will the students’ metaphoric competence get improved by a systematic trainingon metaphoric thinking?Fourthly, will the training on metaphoric thinking do any good to the students’ writings?As a language phenomenon, metaphor is pervasive in human speeches. Cognitivelinguists persist that metaphor is a matter of thought for human beings to experience and learnthe world, so all people have metaphoric competence. In addition, linguists believe thatmetaphoric competence, as well as linguistic competence and communicative competence isindispensable to EEL teaching and learning. According to Zhao (2012), there is a positivecorrelation between students’ metaphoric competence and their output ability. Even thoughmetaphor can be employed by every normal man, or metaphoric competence belongs toeveryone, it stays at lower level. Therefore, a systematic training on metaphoric thinking isobviously necessary, which is of great importance to language learning. For example, Gao(2011) analyzes the feasibility to teach metaphors and to improve learners’ metaphoriccompetence, basing on investing learners’ language studying level, and then gives somesuggestions on cultivating learners’ metaphoric thought in the process of writing lessons.
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Chapter Two Literature Review


2.1 Definitions of Related Items
Etymologically,the Greek word “metaphor”, meaning ‘across’, consists of ‘meta’, and‘phor’ or ‘phercin’, meaning ‘to carry’, so metaphor refers to a kind of movement, ‘carryingover’ or ‘transferring’. There must be two points for a ‘transfer’ to be carried out, which arethe point of departure and the point of the destination.Therefore,a metaphor makes apresupposition at least two things.The features of one thing are ‘transferred’ to the other. Andthese two things are called ‘tenor’ and vehicle’ respectively by Richards (Quoted by Ortony,1993).Aristotle is generally acknowledged to be the first scholar making a systematic study onmetaphors.And according to Aristotle,metaphor is the transference of a name to somethingelse which it does not belong to. Besides, he persists metaphor involves a replacement ofwords, yet his definition does not give any precise principles as to the interpretation ofmetaphoric working. In Aristotle’s Poetics, he defined metaphor like this:
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2.2 Related Theories of Metaphor
It is generally believed that researches on metaphor start with Aristotle, who definesmetaphor as “a transfer of names belonging to elsewhere”. Besides, he gives a systematicdescription on metaphor in his work “Rhetoric and Poetics”, in which, Aristotle (1954) claimsthat metaphor is the application of an unfamiliar name by transference either from genus tospecies or from species to genus or from species to species,or by analogy. He sees metaphoras the transference from one object to another, involving at least two words and things.Basedon the principle of analogy, Aristotle thinks of metaphor as comparisons.That’s why his theory of metaphor is named as the ‘‘comparison theory of metaphor’’.Aristotle has always been a key figure in the use of language in poetry and prose in thewestern literature. Furthermore, in Rhetoric Aristotle states that the best metaphors are thosethat can achieve the effect of presenting things before the eyes of the audience in a vivid. Healso argues that this effect is produced by words which refer to things in action. Even thoughhis study and theory have made a great contribution to the following subsequent works onmetaphor, there are still some limits to his theory.First of all, metaphor is just treated withinthe frame of ‘‘words”, especially nouns; secondly, metaphor just refers to “all ornamentaldevice” in literary languages and he suggests that metaphor should be limited to poetry;finally, he believes that metaphoric competence only belongs to genius and can not be taught.Apart from Aristotle’s comparison theory of metaphor, there are two other leadingtheories that belong to the traditional school. They are substitution theory and interactiontheory.
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Chapter Three Methodology ....... 27
3.1 Research Hypotheses ...... 27
3.2 Subjects......... 28
3.3 Instruments ......... 28
3.3.1 Interviews for the Teachers and Students Befire the Experiment.... 29
3.3.2 Testing Materials...... 29
3.3.3 Pretests ......... 29
3.3.4 Interview Before Posttests for EG.... 31
3.3.5 Posttests........ 31
3.4 Procedure ...... 32
3.5 Text Analysis....... 48Chapter Four Data Analysis and Discussion ..... 49
4.1 Analysis of the Interviews Before the Experiment ......... 49
4.1.1 Results of the Interview From Teachers ...... 49
4.1.2 Results of the Interview from Students Before Pretests....... 50
4.2 Data Analysis of Pretests ...... 52
4.2.1 Result of Pretest 1 .... 52
4.2.2 Result of Pretest 2 .... 53
4.2.3 Result of Pretest 3 .... 54
4.3 Data Analysis of the Posttests ..... 56
4.4 Qualitative Analysis and Discussion....... 63
Chapter Five Conclusion ....... 71
5.1 Major Findings.... 71
5.2 Pedagogical Implications...... 72
5.3 Limitations of the Study ....... 73
5.4 Suggestions for Further Studies........ 74


Chapter Four Data Analysis and Discussion


4.1 Analysis of the Interviews Before the Experiment
There are six questions (Appendix I) all together for the teachers, and they should give adetailed description for the first five questions and answer yes or no for the last question. Forthe first two questions, all the teachers just took metaphor as a means of rhetoric, but didn’tknow its other effects at all. They said that metaphor was artistic and ornamental for speeches,and it was not easy for students to learn or use. They added that the non-English majors’ are ata lower level, whose vocabulary and grammar were very poor, so that memorizing morewords and learning grammar rules well were the main tasks for these students. Therefore, theypreferred to teach students simple metaphors from rhetoric scope, such as Life is a chocolate.Besides, they didn’t think simile belongs to metaphor, but they would like to analyze suchstructures, such as A is like B and A is as… as B. and encourage students to use such sentenceswhich can make writings better. For the third question on English writing, the teachers agreedthat enough vocabulary and perfect grammar knowledge was the key for students to get highgoals. What’s more, imitation is helpful, which could offer some beautiful sentences tostudents. Lastly, they said that students should master writing models by which they could know clearly how to construct writings. When these teachers were asked about the fourthquestions on writing thought, they were at loss, which showed obviously that most of themwere not conscientious about this question. Only two of them said that having a clear writingthought indeed helped to construct writings, so they sometimes told students to pay attentionto logic between sentences instead of outside cohesion. For the fifth question, all the teachersadmitted that they did not train students how to construct writings, instead, they preferred toprovide students models and allow students to imitate the structure or the outline, and then askthem to write by themselves. And for the last question on the training of metaphoric thinking,the answer was no.


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Conclusion


In chapter three, the author has made four hypotheses and the results from the interviewsand quantitative as well as qualitative analysis are in accordance to the four hypotheses.Firstly, metaphoric teaching indeed is not paid enough attention to in university EFLteaching. And English teachers lack an overall interpretation to metaphor in general, whichleads to their ignorance of importance of teaching metaphor.Secondly, as is proved by the pretests, the university non-English majors’ metaphoriccompetence stays at a low level. However, the ability has a huge potential to be improved,which can be well proved by the results of the posttests for EG.Thirdly, the training on metaphoric thinking indeed has a positive effect on the students’writings. And the developments can be found in the following aspects. To begin with, thetraining on metaphoric thinking plays an indispensable role in the enlargement of the students’vocabulary volume. On one hand, metaphoric teaching helps the students to memorize morethan one meanings of one word as much as possible in a relatively easy way. On the other hand,the students can judge how to use a word in an accurate way by thinking metaphorically, whichis helpful in the discourse writing. What’s more, the students’ knowledge of target culture getsmuch promotion through metaphoric teaching because metaphor is a mirror that reflects thetarget country’s culture, traditions as well as the nation’s thinking characters and manners.
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Reference (omitted)


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