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Thursday, 4 September 2008

What is a metaphor like?

Metaphor: the use of a word or expression 'which in literal usage denotes one kind of thing or action [but] is applied to a distinctly different kind of thing or action, without asserting a comparison'.

Below is some interesting info I found on the subject of metaphors. The same way that Aesop's Fables weren't really about animals, were they? Take your time to have a read and remember that the mind is like a parachute, it works best when it is open.


Metaphor is not just a function of language...of mere words...human thought processes are largely metaphorical...the human conceptual system is metaphorically saturated and defined.

The term metaphor originally comes from Greek metaphora (meta In-NLP-something-is-Meta-to-another-if-it-is-at-a-higher-(or-aside-to)-level., meaning 'over', and herein, 'to carry') .

This transfer (or carry) of meaning within all cultures and languages, and has a long history of use as evidenced in the teaching of Aristotle and Plato.

Metaphor has been central to the study of rhetoric and philosophy from Aristotle to the present day. Moreover, since at least the 1970s, the study of metaphor has continued to grow and a serious subject of scrutiny within linguistics, sociolinguistics, sociology, psychology, and education.

According to Alderney (1975) “metaphors are necessary and not just nice”, and he explains that there are various ways in which metaphor can facilitate learning. Metaphor can impress a concept or idea through the powerful image or vividness of the expression.

Metaphor can also capture the inexpressible. In fact, what a metaphor conveys is virtually impossible to express in any other way without losing the potency of the message.

In addition, metaphor aids compactness in that chunks of the well-known experience can be transferred to less well-known contexts. It is this transference from one context Context-in-NLP-is-the-particular-setting-or-situation-in-which-the-content-occur of phenomena to another that manifests the creative process.

Think back to the special stories that have influenced you in your life and notice why. What happened inside you when you hear/heard these metaphors?

If you were to shadow one of your classes through a school day, you'd probably be exposed to a wide range of teaching techniques. Some aspects of our colleagues' teaching can really make a difference to our own lessons. I've outlined some different techniques below that can really help to motivate pupils and get them to approach your subject from an unexpected angle.


Figurative language, for instance, doesn't just belong in the English lesson. Metaphors in particular can be effective and powerful learning tools when used in other subjects. They can:

* link abstracts to concrete language
* open the mind to multi levels of understanding
* promote and encourage emotions
* aid memory for all students by creating associations or links. (This is especially effective for learners with Specific Learning Difficulties and, in particular, those with short-term memory issues.)
* facilitate unspoken or unconscious Unconscious-in-NLP-is-that-of-which-you-are-not-conscious,-or-which-is-out-of-co learning
* help learners to make sense of information and issues
* gain understanding about the ways your learners 'see things'.

You can use them as a device to springboard discussion: metaphors allow pupils to explore their feelings in a safe, non-judgmental way and to clarify these emotions by using revealing images or comparisons.

Multi-sensory Imagination

When providing activities for your learners, consider what sort of language you are using to evoke a response. To evoke a multi-sensory response, ask multi-sensory questions:

Kinaesthetic: Kinaesthetic-in-NLP-is-the-Representatio... imagination: 'Imagine how that would feel? How might you act on this?'

Visualisation: 'Can you imagine what that would look like?'

Auditory: In-NLP-Auditory-is-the-Representational-System-dealing-with-hearing.-It-can-be-i imagination: 'Imagine you can hear...what would it sound like?'

You can use these three basic questions in a variety of settings. For example in a geography lesson; you could use this technique as a starting point or review of volcanic eruption. Ask students to collect information from different sources to describe the sensory experience you would have if you were in the presence of a volcanic eruption. Present the sensory experience in class as an audio news report from a volcanologist. The information given should include as many senses as possible.

Smell: Noxious petrol-like fumes, sulphur - rotten eggs - burning trees.

Touch: Singed hair and eyebrows, heat.

Sound: Jets of lava, like heavy rain, explosive volcano, loud crashing explosion, a flow like a bulldozer pushing a heavy load of bricks.

Sight: Colour of lava - bright orange, bright red, brownish red, black.

Most information can be delivered to all age ranges via multi-sensory activities. It can add an extra dimension to:

* Story telling: it can help pupils to stand in the character's shoes, in their comprehension of the story, and can evoke a particularly descriptive or imaginative response.
* Creative writing: it can help to elicit a creative sensory response and enhance awareness of sensory language.
* History, Geography or English literature: it can help students to set the scene by recapping the sensory information that they already know. Having asked such questions, you can add aspects of what they don't know.
* As an introductory session or a 'review' technique.


Source: www.nlpworld.co.uk/nlp-training-metaphors


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