Native English speakers grow up hearing and speaking idioms every day.
Whether your students are young children or adults, it is important that they feel comfortable using these expressions in their everyday speech and writing.
If your students are studying to learn English for a job, they especially need to learn how to understand and use idiomatic expressions so they can communicate with their co-workers, supervisors or customers. Idioms are used very frequently in English and occur in almost any type of text. Halliday and Yallop say that native speakers love idioms, because they consider them to be an important part of their cultural heritage. For non-native speakers, idioms represent a serious challenge in understanding the language because their meaning cannot be retrieved from the words, thus understanding, idioms is crucial for effective communication. On the other hand, Halliday and Yallop highlight the fact, that non-native speakers are in the habit of overusing those idioms they have learned. Parker and Riley say that idioms are often inconceivable to foreign-language learners, and they would rather use non-idiomatic equivalents, even in expressive tasks.
Understanding the lexicon of English demands more than knowing the denotative meaning of words. It requires its speakers to have connotative word comprehension and more, an understanding of figurative language. Idioms fall into this final category. The focus of this paper is to share the importance of idioms for non native speakers as part of their mastery of the English language. Idioms share cultural and historical information and broadens people’s understanding and manipulation of a language. Among the various definitions idioms are:
* the language peculiar to a people, country, class, community or, more rarely, an individual;
* a construction or expression having a meaning different from the literal one or not according to the usual patterns of the language is the second definition that best suits the focus of Idioms include all the expressions we use that are unique to English, including cliches and slang. Prepositional usage is also a common part of idiomatic expressions this paper addresses idioms as used in figurative language.
English as the language of communication and commerce. Whether it is working in one’s native country or in an English-speaking country, idioms are important as part of the shared knowledge among English speakers. While idioms are commonly used for official business, a distinction must be made about slang. Slang is “currently widely used and understood language, consisting of new meanings attributed to existing words or of wholly new words, generally accepted as lying outside standard polite usage. It usually passes out of usage time or is accepted into standard usage”. Referring someone’s apartment as his or her “crib” is slang, and “crib” is a word now out of style. I believe the phrase, subtleties of the language, best describes a general area into which idioms can be categorized. They transmit certain information about the speaker that might not be obvious. Students of English who effectively communicate with idioms show a certain understanding of the language. They understand and communicate on a deeper level of the language. I use the word “subtle” not as one of its definition where something is hard to grasp or difficult to define but in a more expansive way. The wider meaning consists of a definition where lexical usage shows a deeper understanding of the target language and culture.Since vocabulary and culture are intertwined, Language 2 speakers can gain more vocabulary through idioms and conversely, can learn more about idioms from being exposed to the target culture.
In conclusion, idioms are not only a part of language, but also they are the part of universal communication. We use idioms for theoretical purposes, and if we categorize idioms, they can be used in different ways for different purposes. Whatever it may be definitions of idioms don’t produce a class that conforms more or less well to general understanding. We can know the theme of idiom in sentence, which is used by the writer or speaker. I stressed throughout my project that idioms are important in English, and I supported this statement with the research. But among ESL learners, figurative language is not used and learned, as it should be. They hardly use idioms in their conversations. Mainly native speakers of English use idioms, and there are less native speakers than ESL speakers. ESL speakers do need to know idioms so crucially.
In order to preserve humorousness and originality of the English language idioms should be learned and used in English.
List of used literature