Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Modern Languages


Modern Languages

First Advisor

Tamara Warhol

Second Advisor

Maria Fionda

Third Advisor

Jimin Kahng

Relational Format



In response to increased levels of demotivation in anglophone students of modern foreignlanguages, this thesis attempted to discover potential underlying causes through the use of metaphor elicitation directed at tertiary learners in the United States of America. Students were asked to metaphorize both the language learning process and the role of the language teacher. Afterwards, a qualitative metaphor analysis revealed that participants were overwhelmingly positive in respect to the role of the language teacher, but more mixed in their metaphors regarding the language learning process, with high frequency words such as “work” and “skill”. Contrary to the literature, the role of the teacher was not seen as a factor affecting demotivation, but rather the unending and difficult nature of the work involved in learning a language. Teachers can counter these points of demotivation by introducing more process (vs. product) language instruction into their classroom as well as setting more numerous short-term (vs. long-term) goals and explicitly teaching remotivation strategies which opens critical lines of communication necessary for student and teacher success alike.





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