Teaching slang and idiomsEvery student takes a foreign language class for a different reason. Some take it as a school requirement, some students have parents who push them to take these classes, and some take these classes for business purposes. The goal for all of these students is to be able to communicate to someone who speaks another language. To really be able to hold a conversation, make a friendship, and understand a complete dialogue of another language, I find it is imperative to know the slang and idioms of the language so that a person can feel confident in their language knowledge in any situation.
For the student who is required or pushed to take an english course, there normally tends to be a lack of motivation to learn. They normally try to do what they can to get by because they do not yet realize the benefit of learning another language. Introducing lessons that include idioms or slang can really interest the students. english music and movies have gained international popularity, and now, through access gained by mass globalization, seeing or hearing english entertainment in a non-english speaking country is the norm. Most of these pop-culture hits are recognized by most young students. Introducing the language as a way of understanding their favorite artist or actor could really prove to be not only advantageous for the student, but also for the teacher, who could insert grammar and vocabulary into the “slang/idiom” lesson plan. Learning a language’s vernacular can also give the student’s confidence to talk to a native english speaker their age when they happen to meet one. Younger adults and children
tend to not be as conscience of the language they use when speaking to someone who doesn’t speak their native tongue, so knowing some slang words or jokes can really break the ice and put both parties at ease for relaxed conversation. Speaking from my own experience, learning the local slang while traveling has made getting around and conversing with people a great deal easier, and has given me more confidence in using my second language.
As a business professional who wants to work in a bilingual setting, it is almost necessary to learn slang and idioms of the english language. First and foremost, when you are coming in as an outsider or a foreigner, you always want to make a good impression, and repeating words you heard in a bad manner or in front of certain people could really put you off to a bad start. Learning not only the vocabulary of the vernacular, but how when to use it is extremely important in a professional environment. It is also very difficult to conduct business or be successful at your job when you do not understand the conversation of colleagues. Having had professional experience myself, I have noticed that not only are idioms used in a great deal, but each industry has its own lingo that would behoove any professional to deal with. Just thinking back to meetings I had been in or discussion with coworkers, baseball references are made all the time to relate to a situation and slang words are a common occurrence. Especially in the united states
, where every is always in a rush and running ten minutes late, people tend to not have the patience to take the time to explain to a non-native speaker the task or conversation just told to them. A lack of understanding in your daily tasks could lead to missed opportunities in promotions or even termination for even the smartest person out there who just never learned the slang of the country.
I strongly feel that a stress on grammar and vocabulary is absolutely the most important part of learning a new language. Without these two as a strong foundation, there is nothing to build on. However, learning the slang and idioms of a new language can prove to be the key to success in becoming fluent and confident in your speech. So keep your head down and your eye on the ball, and you’ll hit one right out of the park!