A Meta-summary of the Research on Metaphors Regarding Turkish EFL Teachers’ Roles

Yusuf Demir


This meta-summary set out to provide an overarching comprehension of the metaphorical conceptualizations with regard to Turkish EFL teachers’ roles. Following the searches in a large number of international and national databases, and the setting of specific criteria for inclusion, eight research papers remained for investigation. The data analysis followed a theory-driven deductive approach to thematic analysis, by adopting the framework offered by Saban, Koçbeker and Saban (2006). After the transformation and standardization of the data sets in the related studies, it was found out that Turkish EFL teachers are most characterized by knowledge provider, and then facilitator/scaffolder roles. These are followed by nurturer/cultivator and archetype of spirit roles. Among the least associated roles with these teachers were superior authority figure, molder and agent of change. When intergroup differences of the perceptions are examined, ELT student teachers and English learners conceptualized Turkish EFL teachers mainly as knowledge provider followed by facilitator/scaffolder, whereas the teachers tended to assign themselves the role of a facilitator/scaffolder most, followed by leader, knowledge provider, and entertainer.


Metaphors, EFL teachers, Teacher roles, Education, Meta-summary

Full Text:



Ahkemoğlu, H. (2011). A study on metaphorical perceptions of EFL learners regarding foreign language teacher. Master’s thesis, Çukurova University, Institute of Social Sciences).

Akbari, M. (2013). Metaphors about EFL teachers’ roles: A case of Iranian non-English-major students. IJ-ELTS: International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies 1(2), 100-112.

Aktekin, N. Ç. (2013). Revealing ESL teachers’ and students’ attitudes and beliefs through metaphors. Journal of Uludag University Faculty of Education, 26(2), 405-422.

Asmalı, M., & Çelik, H. (2017). EFL teachers’ conceptualizations of their roles through metaphor analysis. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 13(2), 01-13.

Baş, M., & Gezegin, B. B. (2015). Language learning as losing weight: Analysing students’ metaphorical perceptions of English learning process. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 199, 317-324.

Botha, E. (2009). Why metaphor matters in education. South African Journal of Education, 29(4), 431-444.

Brown, C. P., & Lan, Y. C. (2015). A qualitative metasynthesis comparing US teachers’ conceptions of school readiness prior to and after the implementation of NCLB. Teaching and Teacher Education, 45, 1-13.

Çalık, M., & Sözbilir, M. (2014). Parameters of content analysis. Education and Science, 39(174), 33-38.

Çelik, H., & Asmalı, M. (2017). In-service English teachers’ conceptions about ‘Learning’ and ‘Learner’: Reflections from the shift in language teacher education. Kastamonu Education Journal, 25(6), 2465-2478.

Coşkun, A. (2015). Parents and young learners’ metaphorical perceptions about learning English. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 3(5), 231-241.

Creswell, J. W., & Poth, C. N. (2017). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Sage publications.

Dincer, A. (2017). EFL learners’ beliefs about speaking English and being a good speaker: A metaphor analysis. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 5(1), 104-112.

Elkılıç, G., & Aybirdi, N. (2016). Metaphorical perceptions of Turkish EFL instructors in relation to their students. The European Proceedings of Social & Behavioural Sciences epsbs, 330-337.

Elkılıç, G., & Bayrakçı, K. (2016). Metaphorical perceptions of the students in the department of translation and interpretation in relation to their English and French language instructors at Kafkas University, International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Invention, 5(11), 60-66.

Erkmen, B. (2010). Non-native novice EFL teachers' beliefs about teaching and learning. Doctoral dissertation, University of Nottingham.

Fang, S. U. (2015). College EFL Learners’ metaphorical perceptions of English learning. The Journal of AsiaTEFL, 12(3), 61-79.

Fleener, M. J. (1995). A Study of preservice teachers’ metaphors for the different roles of the mathematics teacher. Eric Document Reproduction Service No. ED389596.

Guerrero, M., & Villamil, O. S. (2000). Exploring ESL teachers’ roles through metaphor analysis. TESOL quarterly, 34(2), 341-351.

Halland, J. (2007). A thematic analysis of narratives of depression. University of Cape Town. South Africa. Retrieved from http://www.psychology.uct.ac.za/sites/default/files/image_tool/images/117/Joni.Halland.pdf

Hamilton, E. R. (2016). Picture This: Multimodal representations of prospective teachers’ metaphors about teachers and teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 55, 33-44.

Harris, K. R., & Alexander, P. A. (1998). Integrated, constructivist education: Challenge and

reality. Educational Psychology Review, 10(2), 115-127.

Holt-Reynolds, D. (2000). What does the teacher do?: Constructivist pedagogies and prospective teachers’ beliefs about the role of a teacher. Teaching and Teacher Education, 16(1), 21-32.

İnceçay, V. (2015). “The Foreign Language Classroom is Like an Airplane” metaphorical conceptualizations of teachers’ beliefs. Turkish Online Journal of Qualitative Inquiry, 6(2), 74-96.

Kavanoz, S. (2016). Unveiling pre-service language teachers’ conceptualizations of teachers of English through metaphors. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 4(10), 17-32.

Kember, D. (1997). A reconceptualisation of the research into university academics’ conceptions of teaching. Learning and Instruction, 7(3), 255-275.

Kesen, A. (2010). Turkish EFL Learners’ metaphors with respect to English language coursebooks. Novitas-ROYAL, 4(1). 108-118.

Kesen, A. (2013). What lies beneath teacher beliefs? A study on metaphoric perceptions. Journal of Human Sciences, 10(1), 1491-1502.

Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago. Chicago University.

Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (2003). Metaphors we live by. 2nd.

Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry (Vol. 75). Sage.

Major, C. H., & Savin-Baden, M. (2010). An introduction to qualitative research synthesis: Managing the information explosion in social science research. New York:Routledge.

Marshall, H. H. (1990). This issue: Metaphors we learn by, Theory Into Practice, 29(2), 70-70, DOI: 10.1080/00405849009543434

Martı́nez, M. A., Sauleda, N., & Huber, G. L. (2001). Metaphors as blueprints of thinking about teaching and learning. Teaching and Teacher education, 17(8), 965-977.

Munby, H., & Russell, T. (1990). Metaphor in the study of teachers’ professional knowledge. Theory Into Practice, 29(2), 116-121.

Nikitina, L., & Furuoka, F. (2008). “A language teacher is like…”: examining Malaysian students’ perceptions of language teachers through metaphor analysis. Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 5(2), 192-205.

Oktay, Y. B., & Osam, Ü. V. (2013). Viewing foreign language teachers’ roles through the eyes of teachers and students. Hacettepe University Journal of Education, 44, 249-261.

Ortony, A., & Fainsilber, L. (1989). The role of metaphors in descriptions of emotions. In Yorick Wilks (Eds.), Theoretical issues in natural language processing (pp. 181-184). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Oxford, R. T., S. Barcelos, A., Harrington, C., Lavine, R. Z., Saleh, A., & Longhini, A. (1998). Clashing metaphors about classroom teachers: Toward a systematic typology for the language teaching field, System, 26(1), 3-50.

Özcan, M., Koçyiğit, M., Erdem, C. (2015). Üniversite hazırlık sınıfı öğrencilerinin üniversite, hazırlık Sınıfı, İngilizce dersi ve İngilizce öğretim elemanı hakkındaki metaforik algıları. 7. International Congress of Educational Research, 28-31.05.2015, Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University

Perry, C., & Cooper, M. (2001). Metaphors are good mirrors: reflecting on change for teacher educators. Reflective Practice, 2(1), 41-52.

Saban, A., Koçbeker, B. N., & Saban, A. (2006). An investigation of the concept of teacher among prospective teachers through metaphor analysis. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 6(2), 509-522.

Saban, A. (2008). Metaphors about school. Educational Administration: Theory and Practice, 55, 459-496.

Şahin, M., Seçer, Ş. Y., & Erişen, Y. (2016). Perception of ‘English’ and motivation in learning English. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 4(9), 43-60.

Sandelowski, M., & Barroso, J. (2007). Handbook for synthesizing qualitative research. Springer Publishing Company.

Sandelowski, M., Barroso, J., & Voils, C. I. (2007). Using qualitative metasummary to synthesize qualitative and quantitative descriptive findings. Research in Nursing & Health, 30(1), 99-111.

Sayar, E. (2014). Investigating EFL teachers’ and their students’ conceptions of professional teacher identity through metaphor analysis. Master’s thesis, Abant İzzet Baysal University, Institute of Educational Sciences.

Scheurman, G. (1998). From behaviorist to constructivist teaching. Social Education, 62(1), 6-9.

Seferoğlu, G., Korkmazgil, S., & Ölçü, Z. (2009). Gaining insights into teachers’ ways of thinking via metaphors. Educational Studies, 35(3), 323-335.

Şimşek, M. R. (2014). A metaphor analysis of English teacher candidates’ pre-and post-course beliefs about language and teaching. Dicle University Journal of Ziya Gökalp Faculty of Education, 22, 230-247.

Şimşek, M. R., & Dündar, E. (2015). Metaphorical representations of a locally-produced English coursebook: Uncovering learner beliefs. Journal of International Social Research, 8(40), 586-594.

Spall, S. (1998). Peer debriefing in qualitative research: Emerging operational models. Qualitative Inquiry, 4(2), 280-292.

Sumsion, J. (2003). Rereading metaphors as cultural texts: A case study of early childhood teacher attrition. The Australian Educational Researcher, 30(3), 67-87.

Tercan, G. (2015). Prospective English language teachers’ metaphorical perceptions of a language teacher teaching English to young learners. Master’s thesis, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Institute of Educational Sciences.

Tobin, K. (1990). Changing metaphors and beliefs: A master switch for teaching? Theory Into Practice, 29(2), 122-127.

Wan, W., Low, G. D., & Li, M. (2011). From students’ and teachers’ perspectives: Metaphor analysis of beliefs about EFL teachers’ roles. System, 39, 403-415.

Willig, C. (2013). Introducing qualitative research in psychology. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Yalçın-Arslan, F., & Cinkara, E. (2016). Examining EFL teacher candidates’ conceptions of English language teachers through metaphors. University of Gaziantep Journal of Social Sciences, 15(4), 1095-1104. DOI:10.21547/jss.265494

Yeşilbursa, A. (2012). Using metaphor to explore the professional role identities of higher education English language instructors. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 46, 468-472.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.alls.v.9n.2p.65


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the 'aiac.org.au' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.