The English language contains many set phrases whose meanings cannot be discerned by looking at the individual words that make up the phrase. These phrases are called ‘idioms’ and they are used widely by native English speakers around the world; they are also a common cause of confusion for English language learners and as such many EFL students ask their teachers to teach them English idioms. Teachers used to think that there was no point in teaching idioms to students out of fear that they would use them incorrectly; however, as they are such a widely used part of the language it is now considered a good idea to teach them.
There are many books available for both teachers and learners that provide explanations of different idioms and exercises to help students practice. In these books the idioms are usually divided into different topics so you’ll have a unit that covers idioms used to talk about work or money etc. They can also have sections that cover all idioms that use certain themes such as food, sport, animals etc. this makes it easy for teachers to include appropriate idioms in their lessons. With this in mind it is important to remember that idioms should be taught in context. It can be tempting to teach idioms by going through a list and explaining their definitions but it is far more useful to introduce them in contexts that make the meaning clear and to give students the opportunity to use them in their own conversations.
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