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ERIC Number: EJ782189
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Feb
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-1081-3004
Reading until the Cows Come Home: Figurative Language and Reading Comprehension
Palmer, Barbara C.; Brooks, Mary Alice
Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, v47 n5 p370-379 Feb 2004
Because figurative expressions have become conventional components of everyday language, we are typically unaware of the true extent of the metaphorical nature of language. Some popular idioms, proverbs, and metaphoric expressions are so deeply embedded into language that they are comprehended immediately when used in oral conversations, without the individual knowing the initial, historical context of the word or phrase. Despite its copious use in oral language, however, many readers struggle to interpret figurative language when it is encountered in text. The purpose of this article is to illustrate how figurative language interpretation instruction is a necessary component of a teacher's reading comprehension curriculum, particularly for at-risk students. A case study of an at-risk eighth-grade reader is presented as a model of how the assessment, evaluation, and instructional design process for figurative language can be implemented. This article also addresses issues related to figurative language instruction in classrooms containing students who are learning English as a second language (ESL). (Contains 11 teacher resources.)
International Reading Association. 800 Barksdale Road, P.O. Box 8139, Newark, DE 19714-8139. Tel: 800-336-7323; Fax: 302-731-1057; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 8
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A