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ERIC Number: EJ1297200
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2021-Feb
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0008-4506
"Learning French Is Like Trying to Skate": Constructing Identity through Metaphor
Bokhorst-Heng, Wendy D.; Marshall, Kelle L.
Canadian Modern Language Review, v77 n1 p46-68 Feb 2021
This study explores the identities that Grade 8 early French immersion students construct as learners of French within school-based communities of practice. It suggests a model by which metaphors on language learning can be considered a form of narrative used to both elicit and analyze metacognitive representations of their socially situated identities as language learners. As part of a larger study regarding French immersion students' investment in French, 31 participants constructed 85 similes concerning learning and speaking/writing in French. These were grouped into seven conceptual metaphors: perseverance, challenging physical and cognitive limitations, the experience of embodied change, transformation of self, embodied discomfort, falling short, and affect. Samples of student discourse demonstrate how the co-construction of metaphor created interpretive space for the development of their identities within their school-based communities of practice. Finally, the pedagogical relevance of metaphor to developing students' investment in learning French is considered.
University of Toronto Press. 5201 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON M3H 5T8, Canada. Tel: 416-667-7810; Fax: 800-221-9985; Fax: 416-667-7881; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 8; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A