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Thread: Teaching Idiom

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    Default Teaching Idiom

    Hallo,

    I tried to do a class on idioms today and totally failed. Initially, I was surprised that the upper-intermediate students could barely tell me one English idiom. I realise that it is very difficult for students to take them in, as idioms are also much harder to use than understand.

    The attitude of students is that they only need to understand them, and that they are not really that important for intercultural communication. Germans seem to be very disinterested in the metaphorical use of language! I know that they have a point because idioms often belong to particular social grouping and can easily be used out of context. I find that they are a very important component of language and I want to teach them to my students.

    Does anyone have good ideas how to teach idioms,

    Dedalus

  2. #2
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Teaching Idiom

    Which idioms were you teaching? Try to pick nes that might interest them- I find 'dog's dinner' usually gets a laugh- when they can see he playful and intriguing aspects, they might warm to them.

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    Default Re: Teaching Idiom

    Hallo,

    I was teaching them business idioms and personal success. I think that your comment about it being a dog's dinner is very accurate. I find that it is often the case we these sort of classes. It is beyond belief to expect any individual to take in more than one or two idioms. Having said that, I feel tempted to try and teach idioms, in order to increase awareness of metaphorical aspects of language.

    I wonder if there is a way to make these things more palatable to the student. It is difficult to decide what idiom is relevant and what is not, because idioms are more applicable to a certain socio-economic or national group than another one. It is dangerous to teach a student that they can use these things, because more than often they remain part of one's passive knowledge of language.

    Best regards,

    D

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    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Teaching Idiom

    I tend not to teach them as chunks, but bring them in when they come up, or drop them in on an occasional basis. I don't do whole lessons on them.

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    MonkmanE is offline Newbie
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    Smile Re: Teaching Idiom


    Teaching idioms is never an easy task. I remember the first time 5 years ago, back home in Vancouver, my very first attempt at it. But what I had to help me were picture of the idioms in a collage. With two of us teaching these expressions actually came out easier than that piece of cake. The language that was uttered from them really astonded us. Those pictures I still use today in China. I get the same result from the active students. Like they say a picture is many words that you would never use in that way. They can reasoned out what they see. If you have an artistic nature use pictures to help you if not find a friend that can draw for you. But never to try to explain them all. It's not in their culture unbless you do a lot of research and find the equal idiom that is close to the ones you have, the hard part.
    Have fun with them I do

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    Default Re: Teaching Idiom

    you know,i have a bigginer class whenever i find a good situation to refer an idiom to the class circumstances i rapidly tell the idiom.for example once i wanted one of the students to continure reading aloud of one reading but she couldent find the line then i told the class "she is not in the picture"and all understood the aim of that sentence.and after that they always wantd me to teach them a new slang or idiom .they are very excited to know more.and use them in the class .

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    MonkmanE is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Teaching Idiom

    From what you explained the small drama that took place is correctional without them doing a reverse thinking that they made a mistake and you end up on the winning note. I also have found out, from my special classes, that a drama, explain to them with a pucture, as they are doing it is an added bonus. Plus when you call on anyone, even that one who doesn't say much to come forward and 'Act Out' the small skit that you have prepared then I have them roght their own for reinforcement.
    Hope you have more success. See you on the flip side.

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    Default Re: Teaching Idiom

    Quote Originally Posted by Dedalus
    Hallo,
    I was teaching them business idioms and personal success. I think that your comment about it being a dog's dinner is very accurate. I find that it is often the case we these sort of classes. It is beyond belief to expect any individual to take in more than one or two idioms. Having said that, I feel tempted to try and teach idioms, in order to increase awareness of metaphorical aspects of language.
    I wonder if there is a way to make these things more palatable to the student. It is difficult to decide what idiom is relevant and what is not, because idioms are more applicable to a certain socio-economic or national group than another one. It is dangerous to teach a student that they can use these things, because more than often they remain part of one's passive knowledge of language.
    Best regards,
    D
    This is Prof. Edgarius:
    I believe it's something for an activity to work in groups. They are many ways, for example assign each group a set of idioms (at least 5 idioms per group of five students where each student in turn explain his/her idiom and make a sentence with it.
    even using drawings or pictures (from magazines/newspapers).
    Its amazing how the students like this kind of go-around groupwork.
    Tell them to use the internet: They are good sites like www.goenglish.com providing free downloads.
    Try and tell me afterwards

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