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Fee Online TESOL
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Teaching Slang and IdiomsLearning english is challenging in and of itself, but learning a dictionary full of words is not enough to really understand it because native english speakers colour their speech with a myriad of slang words and idioms. Slang is defined as vocabulary used that is nonstandard and is specific to a particular culture or subculture (Burke, 1998). Slang words can, but do not necessarily have an alternative literal meaning; examples of slang include words/phrases like 'cheesy', 'dodgy', 'ticks me off', 'boob-tube', 'pulling my leg', etc. Idioms are defined as a group of words established by usage within a culture or subculture, but the meaning is not deducible from knowledge of the individual words (Burke, 1998). Examples of common english idioms include expressions such as: 'a blessing in disguise', 'beating around the bush', 'close but no cigar', 'putting all your eggs in one basket', 'head over heels', etc. There has been debate within the ESL teaching community as to whether or not slang and idioms should be taught in the classroom. However, it is important for students to learn this