Teach English in Shahe Zhen - Xinzhou Shi

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Slang and idiom are used in a majority of casual conversations, and create connections between people in those shared phrases. Often, slang and idiomatic phrases are specific to a certain country or region, and they contribute to creating a similar culture or understanding in that region. Language is constantly evolving and changing, just like people, and understanding certain slang or phrases can help someone better understand a culture or language, especially as a non-native speaker. Slang and idiom in the English language is both complicated and interesting because there are many different regions and countries that speak English, all with their own slang and common sayings. This is one reason why it is important to learn slang and idiom that is used in a country that an English learner might be travelling to, so that they may communicate better with the local people and learn a little bit about the culture as well. A huge part of friendships and relationships is centered around conversation and, as a result, commonly used slang. In my own personal experience, I have found that using certain slang and similar sayings among my friends helps create a stronger bond between us. When spending time around people, we tend to start speaking similarly, and that leads to a sense of commonality and similarity between us, as well as distinguishes us as a group. For example, we use the word “yeet”, which originates from a vine video on the internet, but within my friend group it is used as an alternative for the verb “to go” (i.e. I’m going to yeet to the store). This is only one of many different sayings that we use as a group in casual conversation, and it is extremely helpful to explain to people outside the group what we mean when we are using these slangs, and that would also be beneficial to an English language learner to learn for a country they may be travelling to. Idioms are also a relevant component of the English language that are used in both everyday conversation as well as in literature and even the workplace. It is important for English learners to learn commonly used idioms so that they can better understand colloquial language and phrases that may not be easily translated into their own native language. For example, the idiom “call it a day” is extremely commonly used among native English speakers. However, that phrase does not necessarily translate well into other languages. To “call it a day” is a phrase spoken both in the workplace and outside of it, and teaching English learners phrases like this helps prepare them for both situations. Other common phrases in the Englihs language are “cross that bridge when we come to it” or feeling “under the weather”. Finally, for younger students of English, slang and idiom are important for understanding pop culture and social media content. For example, the culture of memes and the trends of online videos have a huge influence on young people, from children to young adults. If a young person is moving or travelling to an English-speaking location and is hoping to interact with and understand pop culture, it is important they be able to understand the internet culture. This may even be easier, because most countries do have access to this content, however they may not be reading/watching things online in English, but rather their native language. Being able to look at and maybe even compare pop culture in their native country to an English-speaking one could help prepare them to find things in common with young people who are native English speakers. Overall, slang and idiom are relevant components of everyday dialogue, literature, and online content, and it is important that learners of the English language learn these parts of the English language. Learning even the most commonly used slang terms and idiom could help an English learner pick up on conversations a lot faster and be able to practice speaking casually like a native speaker would, rather than exclusively practicing formal language one might read in a novel.