Metaphorically Speaking: Pre-Service EFL Teachers' Understanding and Conceptions of (Teacher) Research


Pre-service Teacher
Teacher Research
Action Research
Research Engagement
Pre-service EFL Teacher

How to Cite

Savasci, M., & Atar, C. (2024). Metaphorically Speaking: Pre-Service EFL Teachers’ Understanding and Conceptions of (Teacher) Research. Journal of Language Teaching and Learning, 14(1), 24-51. Retrieved from


Research engagement, both with or in research (Borg, 2010), is considered an important professional development activity for teachers. Although research engagement of in-service teachers has received considerable attention in the literature, there is a scarcity of research focusing on pre-service teachers. Moreover, to the best of the researchers’ knowledge, no studies have addressed this issue through investigation of metaphorical conceptualizations so far. Considering the potency of the use of metaphor analysis in revealing underlying beliefs, this qualitative study attempts to explore the metaphorical conceptualizations of Turkish EFL pre-service teachers (PSTs) (N= 41) and investigate the perceived reflections of reading and conducting research on their future engagement in and with teacher research. At the time of data collection, they had completed an undergraduate research methodology course and undertaken small-scale research projects. Elicited at the end of the semester, the data came from a survey including metaphor completion tasks as well as closed and open-ended questions. Semi-structured interviews were also undertaken to triangulate the survey results. Responses to closed-ended questions were analyzed by descriptive statistics and frequency analysis whilst data coming from open-ended questions were analyzed via content analysis. Additionally, the metaphorical conceptualizations were analyzed by metaphor analysis. Findings provide insights into how PSTs conceptualize teacher research after their engagement with and in research. They are discussed focusing on implications, and suggestions are made for further research.