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Curry Dean. Illustrated american idioms

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Curry Dean. Illustrated american idioms
Most Americans use idioms, especially when they talk to one another, and, consequently, idioms form a very important part of American English. They are used to give life and richness to the language by enabling it to absorb new concepts which need to be expressed linguistically in a new way. Idioms take existing words, combine them in a new sense, and bring forth new expressions.
What really is an idiom? One definition is that an idiom is "the assigning of a new meaning to a group of words which already have their own meaning. " (Makkai) Idioms are informal in nature and although they appear in literature, they are not necessarily considered to be "literary. " They are often colloquial, often slang, and through overuse can become cliches. Idioms may be adjectival, adverbial, verbal, or nominal. They also may take the form of traditional sayings or proverbs.
For the foreign student of English, the learning of idioms is an important aspect of the mastery of American English. And, although learning the idioms by rote may be one Important goal, learning to use idiomatic expressions correctly is even more important! The more idioms that a nonnatlve speaker of English can use In the right context In conversation with native Americans, the more easily will he be able to establish a communicative relationship, thus opening doors to friendly feelings on the part of both native and nonnative speakers. There is also an added bonus. It is quite likely that the nonnative speaker of English who has a good command of Idiomatic expressions will be judged by native Americans to be "fluent, " an attainment dear to the heart of every learner of a foreign language!
Illustrated American Idioms is an attempt to provide material In English as a foreign language in which graphics serve as the supporting visual representation of selected American idioms. Only a small fraction of the large number of idioms in American English lend themselves to graphic presentation. This factor in itself serves to limit the scope of the book.
In format the text uses a line drawing—serious or humorous in nature—to act as a mnemonic device for the base Idiom. In some cases the drawing may be a realistic representation of the idiom or it may be a symbolic scene or figure. The exercises consist of the base idiom(s), one or two definitions, illustrative sentences with paraphrases, synonymous expressions, and a functional activity.
The Illustration serves as a kind of jumping-off place for arousing linguistic curiosity, which, in turn, Is satisfied by the definition(s) and illustrative sentences. The latter, together with the paraphrases, provide a contextual application of the idiom. The synonymous expressions add a note of variety and language enrichment.
To give students an opportunity to use the idioms in context with some degree of realism, the Functional Activity provides suggestions to this end. However, teachers should not limit application of the newly learned expressions exclusively to suggestions given in the Functional Activity. No doubt other pedagogic applications for both the Illustration and the Idioms will occur to many teachers using the material on a regular basis.
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