Teach English in Heshi Zhen - Taizhou Shi

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While I believe it’s important to teach students both informal and formal language, teaching slangs and idioms is an important part of informal English. It is important to teach slangs and idioms when teaching English because they are very commonly used in the English language and it is very easy to misconstrue what someone is saying if it’s not understood. Some students may even be offended or shocked without understanding the idioms or slangs that are used. For example, as a greeting a common thing to say is “what’s up” to ask how someone is doing. If someone is unfamiliar with this idiom, they might take it literal and say something like the sky, airplane, moon, sun, etc. It will help the student to integrate into the English language more seamlessly when they are able to communicate more like a native English speaker. It is also important to teach students learning English when and where it’s appropriate to use idioms and slang. Although it goes hand in hand with informal language it is should not be synonymous. To engage in everyday conversations and to understand what is said and for the conversation to flow smoothly, it is important to teach slangs and idioms when teaching English. Not only for the student to understand when they are said to them, but also for them to use in their conversation. It helps with informal conversations among friends and family so it does not always sound formal. Since many words in the English language have different meanings depending on the context it’s used in, being familiar with what is commonly used in conversation is helpful. If someone is describing something to them and they say “that is so sick!” instead of thinking that it’s ill, they will know that instead it means cool. Instead of thinking that it was bad, they will know that it is something good. Even using the word “cool” instead of it referring to temperature literally, it means that something was great, or awesome. Understanding the different phrases that is commonly used in everyday language will allow English learners to better grasp the language and allows them to be more comfortable during conversations. Although I think that it is important to teach idioms and slang when teaching English, especially the informal language, it can be information overload. There are so many to know and be aware of, and they just have to be memorized. There is no rule of thumb on how to understand or know when an idiom or slang is being used. Even in teaching business English it is important to make students aware of idioms and slang because they are used in the business world as well. For example the phrase “you have bitten off more than you can chew” or “don’t count your chickens before they hatch”. These phrases can be used to refer to an assignment taken or to a promotion, but they are not to be taken literally. There are so many in the English language that it’s impossible to teach all of them, but it’s important to teach when teaching English so students can be aware of them and try to understand when one is being used by the context it’s used in.