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Racking one’s brain: Vocabulary teaching and the retention of idiomatic expressions
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay presents a study of retention of idioms delving into a pedagogical approach by presenting them to a group of lower secondary students. The study also explores students’ memory retention whilst concurrently investigating if certain types of idioms are retained to a greater extent than others. For the sake of assessing memory retention in relation to these various types of idiomatic transparency, the selected idioms have been divided into three separate categories; transparent, semi-transparent and opaque depending on their literal and figurative meaning. This essay argues that opaque idioms are retained to a lesser extent in memory due to their non-transparent metaphorical meaning. In fact, the most striking finding is that idioms pertaining to the opaque category are indeed more difficult for students to learn and are also forgotten the fastest. Previous research has put emphasis on the complex structure of idioms and opinions seem divided regarding to what extent the teaching of idioms should be implemented together with other vocabulary items in a classroom setting. On the other hand, the same research emphasizes the great value of idioms; potentially expanding student vocabulary and making the English language more nuanced and native-like. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 44 p.
Keyword [en]
Idioms, Idiomatic expressions, Retention, Frequency, Experimental study, Pedagogical relevance, Didactics, Vocabulary, Formulaic language, Transparency
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-53858OAI: diva2:939275
Subject / course
Educational program
Teacher Education Programme for Upper Secondary School, 300/330 credits
2016-06-09, Seminarierum 1 (F3027), P G Vejdes väg, 351 95 Växjö, Växjö, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2016-10-12 Created: 2016-06-18 Last updated: 2016-10-12Bibliographically approved

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Söderqvist, Niclas
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Department of Languages

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