A comparison of factors affecting Estonian EFL learners' idiom comprehension

Rita Anita Forssten
2019 Eesti Rakenduslingvistika Ühingu Aastaraamat  
The article discusses a study examining the facilitating effect that analysability (i.e. the degree of transparency) and similarity between English and Estonian equivalents have on Estonian EFL learners' idiom comprehension. A group of (pre)adolescent L1 Estonian learners of English performed an idiom comprehension test, which consisted of idioms categorised into five groups on the basis of the degree of transparency (i.e. the degree to which their idiomatic meaning is inferable from the
more » ... ble from the literal meanings of their constituents or from their figurativeness) and the degree of similarity to their Estonian equivalents. The results revealed that both transparency (in the form of a constituent to be taken literally) and identical L1 idioms facilitate EFL idiom comprehension nearly to the same degree, while the effect of semi-transparency (that is, figurativeness) seems to be clearly lower. However, opaque idioms with partially similar L1 equivalents appear to be even somewhat more difficult than opaque idioms without any L1-L2 similarity.
doi:10.5128/erya15.02 fatcat:pbjmy44r7za7pcwtwcmlq5skka