What is it about?

Pictures can be a powerful tool for remembering new vocabulary in a second language. This study shows for the first time how metaphor in pictures can help learners remember the figurative meaning of idioms. Importantly, it also shows how pictures can mislead learners.

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Why is it important?

The findings show that pictures with metaphorical elements can help language learners to better remember the meaning of figurative expressions. Though many previous studies have examined the role of pictures for learning vocabulary, none have examined metaphorical pictures empirically.


This article was many years of work, but I had great pleasure in coordinating with my illustrator in conceiving the metaphorical pictures for this study. Unlike some of my other studies, this one required a great deal of creativity. I hope that this study will lead to further research looking at how metaphor in pictures can foster better learning outcomes.

Dr. Kris Ramonda
Kansai University

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This page is a summary of: A double-edged sword: Metaphor and metonymy through pictures for learning idioms, IRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, July 2019, De Gruyter, DOI: 10.1515/iral-2018-0336.
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