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The role of metaphors in novice and experienced L2 instructors’ classroom practice

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This chapter explores the relationship between novice and expert teachers’ metaphorical conceptualizations of second language (L2) teachers, students, and classrooms and their practice. Six instructors in L2 Spanish classes at a public university in Western Canada participated in this case study. The chapter investigates the philosophical perspectives embedded in the instructors’ discourse, and how they are reflected in their teaching practices. The results of the study show limited congruence between metaphors and practice for both novice and expert teachers, and some differences in conceptualizations and practice based on the participants’ level of experience. The data also seem to confirm results from previous studies on the pedagogical aspects that distinguish novice from expert instructors.

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