t Iranian high school contexts especially in local areas where there are bilingual students learning English as a third language and as a school subject is overlooked. Therefore, the present study is to investigate the beliefs of Iranian Kurdish-speaking high school students’ beliefs about language learning and teaching in a context where the English language is taught as a foreign language and a school subject by the educational system. The main focus is on the roles of language learners and teachers as two crucial factors in the development of language learning and teaching.
۱.۳. Research Questions
Although there are a number of studies about the beliefs of EFL learners about different aspects of English language learning and teaching through metaphor analysis in different EFL contexts around the world and in Iran, but there are some important questions that still remain open to be answered.
One of the gaps which is required to be filled in the present study is the analysis of Iranian Kurdish-speaking high-school students’ beliefs learning EFL by means of metaphorical images. To this end, the present qualitative and descriptive study aims to answer the following research questions:
• Question 1: What are the metaphors of Iranian Kurdish-speaking high school students about language learners’ roles?
• Question 2: What are the metaphors of Iranian Kurdish-speaking high school students about language teachers’ roles?
• Question 3: To what extent are the metaphors of Iranian Kurdish-speaking high school students about the roles assigned to language teachers and language learners related to the proposed roles in the design of the most important language learning and teaching methods?
• Question 4: What are the implications of this metaphorical study for EFL learning and teaching in Iran and other contexts?
۱.۴. Objectives and Significance of the Study
Following other studies on the analysis of EFL learners’ beliefs about different aspects of language learning and teaching, the present descriptive and qualitative study aims to investigate the beliefs of Iranian Kurdish-speaking high school students’ beliefs about language learning and teaching in a context where the English language is taught as a foreign language by the educational system. One of the significant aspects of the current study is using a research instrument, that is, a metaphor elicitation questionnaire following several other studies (for example, Nikitina and Furuoka, 2008; Kesen , 2010a, 2010b; Huang, 2011; and Wan, et al 2011) to obtain the participants’ beliefs.
The present study also aims to provide the most important metaphors used by Iranian Kurdish-speaking high school students about language learning and teaching particularly about learners’ and teachers’ roles in language education. This is the first study which fills the gap in the literature in this area in this local setting.
This study also aims to help high school EFL teachers and language education officials to know about students’ beliefs about different aspects of EFL learning and teaching in order to improve language education in Iranian EFL educational context. Finally, the comparisons of the elicited metaphors about language learners’ and teachers’ roles with the roles assigned to language teachers and language learners in the designs of the most important teaching and learning methods has implications for EFL contexts.
۱.۵. Definition of the Key Words
Beliefs
Beliefs as one of the key terms in the present study are defined as “psychologically held understandings, premises, or propositions about the world that are felt to be true” (Richardson, 1996, p.102).
English as a Foreign Language (EFL)
English as Foreign Language or EFL in the current study is a term which is used to refer to English learned as a foreign language in a country or a context in which English is not commonly as a language of education, business or government (Brown, 2007, p.381).
Metaphor
According to a definition provided by the Dictionary of Merriam-Webster encyclopedia (2014), metaphor as an important term in the present thesis is “a word or a phrase for one thing that is used to refer to another thing in order to show or suggest that they are similar” ) Lakoff and Johnson, 2003, p. 158).
Language Learner’s Role:
According to Richards and Rodgers (2001, p. 27), the language learner’s role is defined as the learner’s contribution to the process of language learning and teaching as well as a learner’s status and function in the context of language learning and teaching.
Language Teacher’s Role:
Language teacher’s role as another key term in the current study is defined according to Richards and Rodgers (2001, p. 28) as the teacher’s contribution to the process of language learning and teaching as well as a teacher’s status and function in the context of language learning and teaching.
Methods of Language Learning and Teaching:
Methods also called designs according to Richards and Rodgers (2001, p. 24) are plans that consider objectives, syllabus and language content, types of learning tasks and teaching activities, learners’ roles, teachers’ roles, and the role of instructional materials for language learning and teaching.
۱.۶. Outline of the Study
The outline of the thesis is organized as follows:
• Chapter One is the Introduction section. In this chapter, first a background to the study of beliefs about language learning and teaching will be provided. Then the statement of the problem, four research questions as well as the objectives and significance of the present study are given. Additionally, the limitations of the study and the definition of key words including beliefs, English as a Foreign Language (EFL), metaphor, language learner’s role, language teacher’s role, methods of language learning and teaching used in the present study are presented.
• Chapter Two as the Review of Related Literature section provides the necessary background for the research performed for this thesis. It refers to previous studies done on EFL learners’ beliefs about different aspects of language learning and teaching through different instruments particularly using metaphor analysis of teachers’ and learners’ beliefs about different aspects of language learning and teaching. The studies are classified according to their contexts, that is, EFL contexts all around the world and Iranian EFL ones. The studies are also reviewed and described in detail with more focus on their methodology, findings, and limitations. In the end, there is a summary which makes a background for the present study.
• Chapter Three is the Methodology section. In this chapter, a detailed account of the context of study, the profile of participants, the instruments used to elicit the metaphors and the procedure adopted to get the data is provided. Additionally the way to analyze the data is presented.
• Chapter Four as the Results section shows the findings of the present study in detail. As well, the classifications of metaphors and the required tables and examples are given.
• Chapter Five is the Discussion and Conclusion section. In this chapter firstly the findings of the study are discussed in detail in comparison with previous studies according to the provided research questions. The findings of the present study are also related to the design of the most important methods of language learning and teaching. Then in the conclusion part of the study, concluding remarks, limitations of the study, and the most important implications of the study are provided. Additionally, there are several recommendations for further studies about the beliefs of EFL learners about the roles of language learner and language teacher using metaphors.
In the next chapter, Chapter 2, a review of the related literature is presented.
Chapter 2:
Review of Related Literature
۲.۱. Review of the Related Literature
The review of the relevant literature for the present study was done in order to provide a conceptual framework for the present study, to prepare a summary of the studies conducted in the field of belief studies about language learning and teaching in a wide variety of EFL contexts and particularly in Iran; and also to find the gap, that is lack of studies on language learners’ beliefs about different aspects of language learning and teaching in Iranian EFL contexts particularly at Iranian high school contexts as well as local and unique EFL education settings, which is going to be filled through the this study.
The review of the related is classified in this chapter into different sections:
First of all, a general overview of the term metaphor as a conceptual framework summarized from different

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