Metaphor analysis: Students’ metaphorical conceptualizations of English teachers at a university in Thailand

Jutharat Jitpranee


The study reported here investigated the metaphorical conceptualizations of English teachers by students in a university in Thailand, and compared those conceptualisations with the metaphorical typology of language teachers produced by Oxford et al. (1998). An open-ended questionnaire was employed to gather data from 59 Thai university students. Findings show that Thai students conceptualized their English teachers using 32 metaphors. These metaphors were categorized into five groups: a guide (32.20%), a resource (27.11%), a caretaker (25.42%), an authority (8.47%), and a navigator (6.77%). The data show both positive and negative perceptions of English teachers. In a positive way, many Thai students (33.89%) perceived their teachers as a family member who takes care of them and is concerned about them in all matters. In a negative way, a small number of students (8.47%) perceived their teachers as moulders or commanders who assign them work and control how they behave. The findings also reveal that the Thai students’ metaphorical perspectives were related to three philosophical perspectives of education (Oxford et al., 1998): social order, cultural transmission, and learner-centred growth.


Metaphor analysis; students’ perceptions of English teachers; metaphorical conceptualizations of English teachers; EFL; Thailand

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