We, as humans, resort to and depend on the use of metaphors1 when it comes to verbalizing our experience: metaphors help us see what is invisible; to describe what otherwise would be indescribable. As an exception to this rule, it used to be claimed that scientific paradigm is the only system characterized by precision and absence of ambiguity. Nevertheless, it is now widely accepted that even in the discourse of science a great amount of metaphors are being applied to convey meaning and to cause understanding.
Hereupon the importance and domination of metaphors in our everyday life need to be taken into account as the bedrock of this note. Based on this cornerstone, this article intends to share a few suggestions on how to employ metaphors in teaching and classroom settings.
In the cognitive theory of metaphor, linguists such as George Lakoff have posed plenty of examples in order to justify the mentioned propositional belief; i.e. metaphors are constantly used to express our conceptual ideas and to make meaning through familiar frames and structures. Lakoff, for example, asserts that the concept of love is comprehended through a metaphor: LOVE IS A JOURNEY. These sentences are frequently being heard to talk about love: “Our relationship has hit a dead-end street”, “The relationship isn’t going anywhere”, “We’re spinning our wheels”, “Our relationship is off the track “,” Look how far we’ve come”, etc. He writes “when I speak of the “Love is a journey” metaphor, I am using a mnemonic for a set of ontological correspondences that characterize a map ping”.2