Biliteracy Metaphor Analysis: Examining multilingual, multicultural pupils' interpretation of canon literature

Mia Kaasby*, Nancy Hornberger

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article unfolds and argues for Biliteracy Metaphor Analysis (BMA), a methodology for examining the interpretation and use of metaphors in canon literature in a biliteracy context, in this case the canon of Danish literature read and interpreted by multilingual students in a ninth grade classroom. BMA combines Spradley’s ethnographic framework with conceptual blending theory, Bakhtin’s theory of the literary chronotope, and Hornberger’s continua of biliteracy. BMA seeks to guide researchers in examining the interpretive dialogue about Danish canon texts without favoring interpretations of familiar metaphors that only evoke literate trajectories matching the literacy experiences of Danish monolinguals. BMA invites researchers to also account for ways in which pupils critique, transform and expand the familiar Danish registers and already instantiated meaning potential by mapping and reframing metaphors differently and creatively. Applicability of the methodology will be analyzed, exemplified and discussed based on a contextual background consisting of monolingual, bilingual and multilingual pupils interpreting the inherent conceptual metaphors of chronotopes in texts by authors belonging to the canon of Danish literature. Examples from Kaasby’s previous Master’s thesis will be used to illustrate possible contributions of the methodology when analyzing literacy acquisition.
Translated title of the contributionBiliteracy Metafor Analyse: : Undersøgelse af flersprogede, multikulturelle elevers fortolkning af kanonlitteratur
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Language, Identity & Education
Number of pages17
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


  • Bilingualism
  • biliteracy
  • canon
  • chronotopes
  • metaphors
  • multilingualism


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