The Concept of Conceptual Metaphor as a Psychological Tool for Learners’ L2 Development by Sally Wang

Friday, October 29, 2021
2:30 p.m.
The Concept of Conceptual Metaphor as a Psychological Tool for Learners’ L2 Development by Sally Wang

We hope you will join us for the second Roundtable of the 2021-2022 academic year on Friday, October 29th, 2021 from 2:30-4pm. Our second session will be two research presentations by 5th-year doctoral students: Sally Wang and Yiangling Elvin He. See their titles and abstracts below.


My dissertation study brings together Conceptual Metaphor Theory (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980, 1999) and Concept-based Instruction (Gal’perin, 1992) by implementing and examining a pedagogical intervention designed to teach L2 learners the concept of conceptual metaphor (CM). Eight international graduate students participated in five lessons as a group, and a pre-assessment meeting, a post-assessment meeting, as well as three post-interviews individually over the span of ten months.

The study treats the concept of CM as a psychological tool (Kozulin, 1998) that can potentially transform L2 learners’ thinking about language and their meaning-making process. It analyzes how learners use the concept of CM to comprehend, interpret, and produce metaphors in English. Preliminary findings reveal that the intervention brought meaningful changes to the participants’ abilities and strategies to negotiate the meaning of figurative language in English and fostered the learners’ awareness of the embodied nature of language.

While detailed ontogenetic and microgenetic analysis (Vygotsky, 1987; Wertsch, 1985, Lantolf & Thorne, 2006) will be provided in my dissertation to discuss the participants’ developmental trajectories and the effectiveness of specific instructional means, this presentation intends to introduce the design of the study, share episodes of interactions that reveal the participants’ processes of internalizing the concept of CM, and seek feedback from the audience. 

Progressivity in small group discussion in ITA classrooms by Elvin He

My dissertation investigates the progressivity of small-group discussions in two sections of an international teaching assistant (ITA) preparation course on Zoom using the micro analytical lens of CA. The data include 20 hours of breakout room recordings of small group discussions (3-5 students). There is a lack of research on the progression of multi-party interaction where participants share relatively equal epistemic responsibilities and institutional rights and on group meetings via video telecommunication. This presentation, which reports a part of my dissertation, reveals the sequential organization of student discussion and students’ strategies to push forward the interaction in Zoom classes when interactional trouble arises. I will show 1) how sequences are organized by the students in group discussions; 2) and how students use next-speaker selection and opinion-based interrogatives to hold other group members accountable to speak and in turn progress the discussion. The presentation will conclude with the pedagogical implications of the findings and future directions. 

**To receive the zoom link for this event, please contact Seunghoon ( in the APLNG office**

Virtual Event