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Showing posts from June, 2012

Teaching Idioms

Although I stated I would blog about what I have learned at the University of Iowa, this posting is more inspired of some news about a colleague of mine whose proposal was accepted by the TESOL organization to write about about teaching idioms.

I have always been interested in idioms when I was growing up, and when I first became an ESL teacher, I wanted to teach them, but I realized how impractical many of those idioms were.  That's when I realized that I liked them because certain idioms were only spoken by certain groups of people and not the general English speaking population of the world or certain counties.  Since then, I have avoided teaching idioms directly.

When I was earning my MA degree at UMBC a decade ago, I learned that idioms should be taught as vocabulary for the most part.  I also learned that it was important to separate phrasal verbs from idioms. The average American English speaker usually lumps the two together as idioms.  Phrasal verbs are more grammatical …