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Among the traits making humans unique are creativity and imagination, with which musicians compose and artists create. These traits emerge in everyday language, sometimes unnoticed in conversations, literatures, and news, etc. Given shared cultural and language background, native speakers understand each other’s metaphoric language with ease. Nevertheless, the intended message of metaphors may not always reach non-native speakers, despite their “perfect” knowledge of individual words. Metaphors mean to bridge two seemingly separate ideas. Metaphor users communicate thoughts through something a reader/listener can relate, visualize, or understand through known notions as in (1). (1) “I am the good shepherd, … and I lay down my life for the sheep.”— The Bible, John 10:14-15 As a good shepherd protects his treasured sheep, God cares for and protects His beloved people. Metaphors also bridge two seemingly separate and unrelated ideas as in (2). (2) “Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents.”— Ludwig van Beethoven An abstract idea is illustrated with great clarity through unlikely pairs, music and soil. Music, the rich electrical soil, nurtures and stimulates the spirit— a “person” with his own mind. Metaphors enable a reader/listener to relate, visualize, and more importantly, metaphors inspire and encourage creativity. This study argues for incorporation of teaching of metaphoric language to foster deeper understanding and to avoid miscommunications. Drawing students’ attention to metaphors is necessary, particularly when the metaphor has a historical, cultural, or religious origin. As students begin to take notice of metaphors, they develop sensitivity to metaphoric expressions. With the awareness, students may search online peculiar expressions such as “the apple of the eye” and “face my Goliath.” Spontaneous reading of authentic materials benefits their overall language skills. They become independent thinkers, harvesting the fruits of self-motivated learning while making sense of metaphors they come across. 

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Chiung-Yao Wang (Taiwan) 13884
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