‘School? You go because you have to'

The linguistic worldview of ‘school' in Polish and American teen Internet discourse


  • Shala Barczewska
  • Anna Wileczek
  • Paulina Barańska




cognitive linguistics, computer mediated discourse, education, linguistic worldview, metaphor


This cross-cultural project applies current theories in Cognitive Linguistics to the issue of youth (dis)engagement in the high school setting. Specifically, it analyses American and Polish youth speech from online forums and dictionaries according to five main categories: the institution of school, the place of school, the people of school, the activities of school and the emotions of school. The analysis presents these lexical expressions grouped according to metaphorical source domain in order to better understand how teenagers in each culture conceptualize SCHOOL. The discussion summarises the analysis for each country, whereas the conclusion compares the two and makes comments on the implication for theories of language and education. The aims of this paper are three-fold: to increase understanding of the ways in which youth view their time in the classroom, to provide a comparative analysis that will shed light on cultural differences in the conceptualization of SCHOOL and its linguistic expression, and to highlight examples of metaphors that value school and the educational process so that these conceptual mappings can receive more emphasis in both countries.




How to Cite

Barczewska, S., Wileczek, A., & Barańska, P. (2016). ‘School? You go because you have to’: The linguistic worldview of ‘school’ in Polish and American teen Internet discourse. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 16(1), 1–32. https://doi.org/10.17239/L1ESLL-2016.16.01.08