Dissecting language creativity: English proficiency, creativity, and creativity motivation as predictors in EFL learners' metaphoric creativity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to investigate a hitherto underexplored area of metaphor research: creation of novel metaphors by second language (L2) learners of English. Specifically, it explored whether L2 learners' English proficiency, creativity, and creativity motivation could predict their metaphoric creativity in English, which consisted of 4 distinct metaphoric skills: metaphoric fluency, metaphoric flexibility, metaphoric originality, and metaphoric elaboration. It also examined whether the distinct components of English proficiency, creativity, and creativity motivation correlated with the 4 metaphoric skills respectively. The results indicated that all 3 variables were related to metaphoric creativity when 4 metaphoric skills were combined. However, only English proficiency and creativity could significantly predict metaphoric creativity. Furthermore, distinct English skills, creative thinking skills, and motivational constructs were associated with different metaphoric skills, but metaphoric originality was only significantly correlated with creative originality. Findings of the study highlighted the importance of enhancing English L2 learners' English proficiency and integrating diverse verbal creativity training activities in English classes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-213
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 1



  • Creativity
  • Creativity motivation
  • English proficiency
  • Metaphoric creativity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Applied Psychology

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