Exploring the Role of Multimodal Metaphor through Gestures in Middle School English Education

Main Article Content

Xuanhui Deng
Xinxin Wu


Introduction: As scholarly interest in metaphorical gestures has burgeoned in recent years, the exploration of these non-verbal communicative cues has primarily centered on domains, such as speeches, advertisements, and movies. Surprisingly, there exists a notable dearth of research specifically delving into the nuanced role of metaphorical gestures within the realm of English teaching, especially in middle school settings. This study sought to address this gap by strategically selecting two nationally recognized English courses taught in middle school English classrooms. The study aimed to explore the role of multimodal metaphor in gestures and provide some inspiration for middle school English teachers.

Methodology: In this research, two videos from National Excellent Courses were selected for analysis using a multimodal annotation tool, namely EUDICO Linguistic Annotator (ELAN). The course selected was the middle school English teaching design course, and the students involved were from Beijing Normal University, China. All gestures analyzed were classified into three types of metaphors, namely ontological, structural, and orientational.

Results: The findings indicated that ontological metaphors occurred most frequently, followed by orientational metaphors, with structural metaphors being the least frequent This research demonstrated the cognitive process of conceptual metaphor in classroom gestures with concrete examples.

Conclusion: In contemporary middle school English classrooms, relying solely on textual material is insufficient for fully supporting the teaching process. This study substantiates that employing multimodal metaphors in gestures can enhance teachers’ ability to motivate students effectively and facilitate improved interaction and semantic communication. The study provides English teachers with valuable guidance on implementing multimodal teaching strategies utilizing metaphorical gestures.

Article Details

How to Cite
Deng, X., & Wu, X. (2024). Exploring the Role of Multimodal Metaphor through Gestures in Middle School English Education . Journal of Contemporary Language Research, 3(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.58803/jclr.v3i1.94
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