with a child L1 learning. The learners had to deal with new vocabulary grammar, pronunciation, etc. One area that caused problem was idioms learning. He taught the idioms accompanied with their stories behind, so the learners got the meaning of idioms in a better way.
Cassiari and Glucksberg (1991) conducted a research in terms of etymology use. They believed that by knowing the origins of idioms, students can more easily figure out the metaphorical meanings. They mentioned that the etymology of words and phrases help students understand how language transforms over times and, thereby, enable them to hypothesize in a more meaningful way the meaning of unfamiliar words and phrases.
Boers (1992) in his article, ‘Raising metaphoric awareness’ states that by developing a clear understanding of figurative language, students can further comprehend texts that contain metaphorical and lexical meanings beyond the basic word level.According to Cooper (1998) teachers think one of the reasons their students made up dialogues that always seemed so unnatural to them is that the students used the idioms without regarding their pragmatic function in the discourse. Due to Cooper (1999), idiom study presents a special language problem for all language learners because the figurative meaning is unpredictable.In another study Boers (2001) argued that students have also been shown to be more likely to remember figurative idioms derived from specific source domains when they are associated with the original usage.
Nippold, Maron, &Schwarts (2001) findings show that factors such as culture, context, academic literacy (reading, writing, and language ability) and familiarity influence significantly students’ comprehension of idioms. In an investigation in another study Simpson &Mendis (2003) mention that information on the frequency of idioms in academic spoken American English has helped language teachers which idioms might be useful to teach to ESL/EFL students.
According to Liontas (1999, 2001, 2006) language learners can use idioms successfully if the idiomatic knowledge is properly taught during language instruction and L2 learners have difficulties making sense of idioms even after they have learned the semantic meaning of the individual words. It is very important to have a plan of instruction that incorporates the various intelligences in order to give a chance to all students to succeed in learning idioms. The students should be aware that some idioms contain meanings beyond their literal meanings, in other words, the students should raise their metaphoric awareness so we the teachers and the instructors should try to make sense of idioms.
Brandi-Muller, (2005) in her study mentioned that retelling activities are good techniques to facilitate students’ reading retrieval. First, she introduced the meaning of English idioms to her students, and asked them to recall the context in their own words instead of the English idioms and to rewrite sentences provided in class by using English idioms. Boers, et al, (2007) in their study stated that associating an idiom with its etymology has been shown to enhance retention.
Shang-fang-Gue (2008) studied the differential effects of etymological elaboration and rote memorization on idiom acquisition in EFL learners. In his investigation one group received instruction in the form of etymological familiarity while subjects in the comparison group were asked to memorize idioms on the basis of their given meaning. In this study for the purpose of encouraging long-term retention, elaborating on the original usage of idioms is preferable to asking students to learn idioms by rote.
Liontas (2006) in his study showed that Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies used to encourage knowledge of idiomaticity to develop. He also mentioned the development of AI knowledge systems for idiom learning was in relation to critical examination and it led to understanding and using idioms in a well-suited way in contexts as native speakers did. In Artificial Intelligence knowledge systems for learning the idioms the learners should enjoy some special designs like multimedia programs in their system of education so that they are able to better understand the idioms.
Secules , Herron &Tomasello (1992) explain”, viewing the video and movie clips would enhance students’ learning of vocabulary and idiomatic structures because of the contextualized presentation of the video”, and viewing English Speaking Foreign Films of course gives necessary exposure and experience. Film communication offers links between classrooms and society. Films can help explore cultural context, maybe integrated easily into the curriculum, are entertaining. And allow flexibility of materials and teaching techniques, (Wood, 1995).
2.4 figurative and literal meaning of idiom
Cognitive semantic studies of figurative language (Gibbs, 1994; Kovecses, 1990; Lakoff, 1987) have shown that considerable numbers of idioms are not completely arbitrary. Figurative idioms meaning are not fully predictable on the basis of a literal reading. For example, the expression Time flies can be motivated by the conceptual metaphor TIME IS A MOVING OBJECT (also evidenced by statements such as I’m falling behind schedule again, the holidays are approaching and those days are over).
A class of figurative idioms can be motivated by reference to their literal usage in the original contexts. For example, the idiomatic meaning Be Waiting in the Wings can be motivated with reference to its original, and literal counterpart in the theatre (i.e. actors waiting in the wings of the theatre before making their appearance on the stage). Or A safe pair of hands illustrates the hand-for-the-action metonymy, but adds sporting imagery (at least for those who are aware that this expression is derived from ball games, especially cricket).
Language is considered to be a system of communication, used by a particular community of speakers, which has literal and figurative meanings. While the literal meaning is the direct reference of words or sentences to objects, the figurative sense is used for giving an imaginative description or a special effect. Therefore, the meaning of individual words in an expression has nothing to do in the comprehension of the whole meaning. Such a meaning characterizes notions like metaphors, similes, proverbs and idioms. Among these, idioms have a great extent use in everyday language, and they are considered as one of the most frequently used means of non-literal language. Since idioms, metaphors, proverbs, similes and fixed expressions belong to the nonliteral or figurative language, then it seems difficult to identify an idiom from the other forms of figurative language, but although there are some similarities between idioms and other forms of non- literal language, some differences are obvious, and thus, one can recognize an idiom quite easily.
2.4.1 Idioms and Metaphors
Metaphors constitute a large part of the everyday language. They have been recognized as rhetorical devices that compare two seemingly different objects. King (2000, p.216) defines metaphors as ‘describing something by using an analogy with something quite different’. For example, ‘the words are clear as crystal’ is an idiom that expresses the similarity between the words and the crystal in the degree of clarity while examples such as: New ideas blossomed in her mind / His temper boiled over. / Inner peace is a stairway to heaven / His advice is a valuable guiding light. / The wind in the trees is the voice of the spirits are metaphors.
Culture-specific metaphors are best represented in phraseology. Native language idioms and set phrases can blend together ethno-specific concepts pertaining to the world view of it speakers, to their national character, as well as their traditional social relations, thus becoming an embodiment of national dispositions and spiritual values. They are presented metaphorically indirectly and figuratively, which is why culture-specific metaphors produce idioms that have no corre
sponding counterparts in another language.(Maalej 2005, p215).
2.4.2 Idioms and Clichés
A very interesting aspect is given by the prefabricated speech which is often used in performed language. Idioms, which may also be defined as ‘complex bits of frozen syntax, whose meanings are more than simply the sum of their individual parts’ (Nattinger& De Carrico, 1992, p32), are considered as one feature of this type of speech. However, they are not the only kind of prefabricated speech; there are many other kinds of formulaic fixed phrases, among which the clichés. Clichés resemble idioms because they also include patterns which are relatively frozen, but they differ from these, in the sense that these patterns are usually made up of extended stretches of language. In clichés like there is no doubt about it, a good time was had by all and have a nice day the distinction from idioms is obvious, being easily understandable from the meaning of their individual constituents. In contrast, idioms are often learnt as a single unit without taking into account the meaning of their parts.
2.4.3 Idioms and Proverbs
Just like idioms, proverbs ‘are special, fixed, unchanged phrases which have special, fixed, unchanged meanings’ (Ghazala 1995, p.142). They differ from idioms in that they display shared cultural wisdom. Therefore, proverbs are easily understandable and, sometimes, the first part of the proverb might be enough to express the whole meaning. For instance, ‘do not count your chickens’ is used instead of ‘do not count your chickens before they have hatched’. Even if proverbs may be considered as culture-specific because they are very bound to culture, many proverbs have equivalents in different languages. For instance, the English expression ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ has a similar proverb in Romanian “Ochii care nu se vad, se uita”. Idioms and proverbs are not always transparent, and their meanings are sometimes ambiguous. Yet learners are fascinated by them since they are always intrigued with expressive colorful language. Idioms and proverbs are also a part of figurative language that produces cultural information, and their use shows that the person is a part of that social group that uses them (Hartch and Brown 1995:202-203).
2.4.4 Idioms and Fixed Expressions
There are fixed expressions like having said that, as a matter of fact, not at all, ladies and gentlemen, all the best which allow a little or no variation in form, just as idioms do. Fixed expressions, however, are distinguished from idioms since they have almost transparent meanings. Thus, the meaning of as a matter of fact for example, can easily be inferred from the meaning of its constituents, in contrast to idioms like pull a fast one or fill the bill where the meaning of the whole expression is different from the meaning of its parts. In spite of its clarity, the meaning of a fixed expression, as that of an idiom, is not just the sum meanings of its components. Fixed expressions may bring up in the mind of the reader all the aspects of experience associated with the different contexts in which the expression is used.This characteristic seems to be the cause of the widespread use of fixed and semi-fixed expressions in any language. (Baker 1992, p. 63)Although they have many features in common with other forms of non-literal language, idioms have their own characteristics. Generally speaking, an idiom is a kind of lexical unit in which the whole meaning of the expression is not apparent from the meanings of its components.
2.5 Transparent and Opaque idioms
The basic characteristic of idiomatic expressions is that the words are used metaphorically. Therefore, the surface structure has a little role to play in understanding the meaning of the whole expression. For example, in ‘to bury the hatchet’, meaning to become friendly again after a disagreement,