TESOL MTH New Year's Event Speakers - Interview with Dr Tassos Vogiatzis
Our second speaker for this year's New Year Event is Dr Tassos Vogiatzis whose session will be focusing on "Cognitive Linguistics and political communication in the language classroom". Dr. Anastasios
Vogiatzis holds a Ph.D in Cognitive Linguistics from the School of English,
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. His primary research focuses on the use
of metaphor in crisis management. Areas of great interest to him are the
cognitive motivation for idiomatic expressions, as well the application of the
cognitive framework in the foreign language classroom.
1. What is the main
focus of your talk?
first glance the focus of my talk is the use of metaphor research in the
foreign language classroom, and more specifically the combination of Cognitive
Linguistics and Political Communication as means to engage students with
language. If, however, we take a closer look, it is all about the teacher and
the student.More specifically, I aim to
show how teachers can make use of a relatively new field of study in order to
deliver lessons that can attract students’ attention and at the same time
improve their language proficiency and research skills.
2. What do you hope that
members of the audience will remember about your talk?
talk is multifaceted and works at various levels. First, I want the audience to
learn how to use the framework (i.e. Cognitive Linguistics) so as develop their
teaching skills.Since this talk
involves politics I hope that they will gain some knowledge of the role of
metaphor in political speech, especially now that world is experiencing
constant and unexpected change. But most importantly I want them to remember
that there is a lot of research going on that they can use to everyone’s
benefit, both their students’ and their own.
3. Could you
briefly explain why the study of metaphor is important to language teachers?
is not arbitrary, and does not come by accident. Research on metaphor at a
conceptual level has shown that a large part of the way we speak is related to
the way we experience the world through our body and through our interaction
with the environment around us. For example, consider terms that express motion
and direction, such as front/back, up/down.Terms such as these often form the basis for commonplace metaphorical
understandings that are based on our bodily experience.Have you ever thought why “more” is expressed
as “up,” in expressions like “Speak up, please.” What we experience, and
our perception of it, can define how we speak. With this in mind, foreign
language teachers can explain phenomena in language that do not seem to make
sense: in fact, idioms, phrasal verbs, prepositions, even grammatical
constructions do make sense conceptually.