Hi...I have to do some research and I want to know about what problems of students when they have to use idioms?
I am not a teacher so I can't speak from personal experience on this, but the problems for students in a formal classrom are the same as for anyone else learning or using the language.
Idioms by their nature are expressions in which the meaning cannot be inferred from the words themselves, sometimes even with a dictionary at hand. This aspect of idioms undoubtedly slows learning and leads to discouragement. Phrasal verbs, the majority of which are idiomatic, are often used in the construction of idioms, and are themselves a barrier to rapid language acquisition.
Idioms are frequently localized to one region or country, and some make use of terms which are unknown even to native speakers in another area. Certain idioms are based on sports, politics, proverbs, etc., the significance of which is quite restricted geographically. I perused the list of idioms in UsingEnglish and found many British idioms that I did not understand at all. Sometimes two idioms meaning the same thing may be constructed differently in two different areas.
To use idioms, one must first learn them, which is a formidable task. To find most of them the student must consult special dictionaries or listings; many are not listed in general dictionaries.
A number of idioms have narrrow shades of meaning and subtleties that require experience in order to use them correctly. Certain idioms may become trite or obsolete over a period of time.
Native speakers use idioms unconsciously after years of experience. It is difficult to re-create that experience in a classroom.
If anyone else has any suggestions please feel free to post them.
Last edited by Greg Forbes; 16-Nov-2008 at 04:06. Reason: minor revision