Teaching Slang and Idioms The use of slang and idioms in the
The use of slang and idioms in the classroom is very important, I believe. Not to teach students everyday slang and idioms is to ensure that they remain outsiders to the learning and understanding of the English Language. Some teachers make the option of not teaching that kind of language because they associate it with vulgarity and obscenity. That is not all true. The average native speaker does use a certain amount of slang and idioms in eveyday speech. One incentive for teachers to teach students the knowledge of such words and phrases is so that the latter get familiarized with them and become aware of the words instead of picking them up from outside the classroom. That could lead to a misunderstanding of some of those words causing embarrassing situations. Slang is not only used by lower social classes. There is universal slang that is used by everyone. However, there are many subcategories of slang used by specific groups for example, teens, rappers and surfers have their own way of speaking. Slang is also used in Business. In fact, business is notorious for creating a slang or jargon of its own. It may be extremely difficult for a non-native speaker to understand everything that is being said in a typical business meeting because of the high degree of business slang. I am a non-native English speaker. I studied English for many years before I went to live in London. I thought I knew a lot about the language until I got there and realized how much I couldn´t understand about what was being said in general. That made me consider how learning slang and idioms is important for the knowledge of English. It is our job as teachers to provide as much information about the language as possible and that also include the teaching of slang and idioms. Teachers do not have to promote the actual use of them but rather the emphasis should be on providing their students with a basic knowledge of such terms and expressions. You can hear and read slang everywhere ' in magazines, songs, movies, TV commercials. There is absolutely no way a non- native speaker of English could fully understand an American movie, TV show, news broadcast, or even a typical conversation without help. That is the main reason why I totally support the idea of teaching Slang and Idioms in the classroom. I would like my students to be able to fully communicate and comprehend the English language. There are so many ways to introduce slang and idioms to the students. Songs and movies are the best examples. Students usually get very motivated and interested once we use those methods in activities. A role-play is also a good activity, for example a role- play where students have to use idioms such as 'She's a peach', meaning 'she is sweet and helpful', or 'I´m in a pickle', meaning 'I am in a dilemma.' That could be very interesting and fun. Slang and Idioms are used throughout the world, and many of common expressions have equivalents in other languages in other places. These can be entertaining and fun to learn and also to teach!
- Dawn , The internet Edition - ESL Magazine
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