The Effects of Metaphor and Blending Theory-Centered Instruction on Secondary English Students' Ability to Analyze Shakespearean Sonnets
McHugh, Thomas Edward
Slater, Wayne H.
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The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of metaphor and blending theory-centered instruction on Secondary English students' ability to comprehend and analyze Shakespearean sonnets. Students in three intact British Literature and Composition classes located in a high school in a suburban county received an Advanced Placement (AP) pretest poetry prompt. The treatment class received instruction in metaphor and blending theory applied to Shakespearean sonnets. The comparison groups received two variants of instruction in the language arts model, a standard and accepted curriculum focused on textual, thematic, and cultural contexts for the Shakespearean sonnets. After the three intact classes completed the instruction, students completed an AP poetry posttest. Results suggest that the inclusion of metaphor and theory-centered instruction may have positive effects on secondary students' abilities to understand complex figurative language, infer theme, and respond effectively to AP-style prompts. These results, however, will need to be validated by further research that allows for randomization and other sample treatments.