Enhancing Idiom Competence of Iranian EFL Learners: Idiom Etymology and Short Story in Focus

Omid Tabatabaei, Parisa Hajizadeh
2015 Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences  
Learning the meaning and application of idiomatic expressions in English have always been challenging to the foreign language learners. This is mainly because such expressions display non-conventional and figurative senses. The present study aimed to investigate authentic, systematic and influential ways of exposing EFL learners to idiomatic expressions. To this end, short stories, as an important component of literature, and etymological elaboration, as a crucial aspect of language, were used
more » ... o present the meaning of such expressions to L2 learners. Using Oxford Placement Test (OPT), 60 intermediate EFL learners studying at a private language institute were selected to participate in this study. They were assigned to three groups: control group (taught through conventional method), experimental group 1 (taught expressions through short stories), and experimental group 2 (taught through the application of etymological elaboration). Pre and posttests were administered at the beginning and at the end of the study, and the required data were analyzed by the use of SPSS. The findings revealed the considerable effect of short stories in raising L2 learners' awareness of the concepts underlying idiomatic expressions in comparison with the use of etymological elaboration. Moreover, it disclosed the positive effect of using etymological elaboration in a higher level of idiomatic development in contrast to mere teacher descriptive definition used in the control group.
doi:10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n1s1p465 fatcat:4lgg3khcubcplkqulj5oa4obwi