This article describes the first part of a study that explores the metaphorical language used by 64 second language (L2) Spanish and English as a foreign language (EFL) pre- and inservice teaching assistants and instructors in their conceptualization of L2 teachers and students. The article investigates the philosophical perspective embedded in their discourse and differences based on experience, academic background, and culture. The results of the study show the prevalence of the conduit metaphor in most participants' conceptualizations despite differing experience and academic and cultural backgrounds, except for a group of EFT teachers. The article also addresses similarities and differences and the role of metaphors in instructors' practice.
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