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Title: A Concept-Based Instructional Design: Introducing Chinese Color Terms and Their Metaphorical Meanings at the Elementary Level

Author: Gang Liu

            Haixia Wang


Metaphor is an indispensable part of human life. Scholars have argued that not only do we use metaphors to talk about abstract concepts that are hard to explain in concrete terms, but how we perceive and interact with our cultural reality is also influenced by a conceptual structure that is fundamentally metaphorical. As a sub-category of conceptual metaphors, color metaphors play an important role in human life and daily communication. Understanding the metaphorical implications behind the color terms will not only help us understand the rationale behind of the choice and use of them, but also enable us to look into the conceptual structure of the language and culture in which these terms are rooted. The purpose of this instructional design is to investigate if classroom instruction inspired by the concept-based instructional approach could raise students’ conceptual awareness of the cultural implications behind certain Chinese color words and affect their metaphorical interpretation of certain Chinese color terms. Since few pedagogical reports have focused on the instruction of Chinese color terms as conceptual metaphors, this study will help us understand students' learning process and provide useful pedagogical information and strategies for language teachers on this subject.

 Keywords: Conceptual metaphor, Chinese color terms, Concept-based instruction, Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language

Source: Studies in Chinese Learning and Teaching,2015 1.1: 40-59.