An Assessment of Teaching Idioms at College Level

A Case Study


  • Najat Muhammed Amin Department of Law, College of Law and Politics, University of Salahaddin, Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq



Conceptual metaphor, Idiom, Traditional method


The present study aims at investigating the presence of teaching idioms at English Department - College of Basic Education syllabi and the methods used in teaching idioms. A test, containing 45 idioms, was given to 40 fourth grade students to investigate their knowledge about idioms acquired through their learning at college. The researcher modified a test based on Vanderniet (2015) and Tran (2003), in which they have focused only on the most frequent idioms. The results of the syllabi analysis showed an unexpected result that only four hours are devoted to the teaching of idioms or any other figurative expressions throughout the whole four academic years at college. Teaching idioms is embedded within the syllabus of four coursebooks, which are: Communication (first grade), Communication (second grade), Culture (third grade) and Translation (third grade). The results of the test coincides with the lack of teaching idioms since, unfortunately, 21% of the students passed the test successfully. The neglect is due partly to the program designers who didn't pay attention to the teaching of the figurative language. Teachers also have a negative role in this avoidance and focusing on the other aspects of languages like grammar in teaching English language.


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