Metaphor as a Tool for Preparing Sojourners

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Virginia Tech


Sojourners, or people who live in a foreign country for a limited period of time, must prepare to communicate effectively in a foreign culture. Current theory suggests that sojourners learn to develop primary social interaction schemas to prepare for intercultural communication. Because sojourners may not stay in a country long enough to develop schemas, sojourners could benefit from a tool designed to help them acquire schemas for their host countries. Conceptual and situation metaphors can help sojourners gain useful insights into the cultures they prepare to face. To investigate metaphors that may assist sojourners, international students studying in the United States were interviewed to uncover the metaphors they already used to describe their experiences, as well as to see if new metaphors could be created to assist future sojourners. The conceptual and situation metaphors uncovered are discussed in within the framework of schemas.



intercultural communication, conceptual metaphor, sojourner