From undertaken research on teaching english
slang and idioms in tefl course
s, it has been realised that there are varied opinions on the issue. With an overview of the varied responses, and in conjunction with my own view, a healthy introduction and balance of slang and idioms are necessary when it comes to learning english
. However, there are many dependencies to consider.
Slang is a very informal usage of vocabulary, different between cultures, classes, professions and more within a language and idioms are similar yet more so a metaphorical, playful or vivid phrase. With some opinions on the two matters, it is seen as informal, improper and not the correct way to speak english
and many believe that terrible language habits like such should not be taught to those learning it as a foreign language. However with increased international exposure to slang has been and is occurring, through media outlets in particular such as movies, television shows and music. It is around and due to this; it will bring about curiosity in the students as to what these words mean, as they are constantly exposed to western colloquial language. With this, it is safe to say that it is dependant on the country or culture in which you are teaching the tefl course
. A culture such as the japanese
culture would not be as open and accepting of slang as that of a culture which has heavy exposure to westernised and english
It can also be dependent on the language level of the students. It would be too difficult and confusing to teach to those at a beginners level, and probably not necessary at that stage. However throughout progression, such as to the high intermediate to advanced stage, it can be an important and even an entertaining aspect to teach, as at this level, learning some slang can provide students with a nice break from standard teaching and is new, different and exciting to undertake.
Another dependency is determining what situation the students will be using their english
in once they are taught, as this has an impact as to whether to teach slang or not, as well is which type of slang. For those only needing english
for travel, study or to use in a business
environment, slang is probably not the most appropriate use of speech. However for those wishing to use english
more conversationally, slang is more than necessary in order to completely understand and to completely engage in conversational english
. However, slang is different in all english
speaking countries therefore it depends on the needs of the students.. It can also however, depend on the tefl teacher
and the slang and idioms used in their country of origin. This may also have to be carefully considered and thought about by the teacher
whilst speaking to students and teaching their student, for example, trying to consciously refrain from the usage of slang for those at a beginner's level of learning english
From our experience, coming from a country in which slang is heavily in day to day conversational speech, if any non australia
n, even native english
speakers were to come to australia
, it would be very confusing to understand a lot of things being said and using english
internationally, we have to consciously think of how we speak otherwise we are not always understood. I am sure this is the same in many native english
speaking countries so those learning english
as a foreign language, need to at least be aware that it is out there and that they will be exposed at some point if immersing into an english
speaking culture. That does not however, mean it is the correct way to speak and should always be used.
As a conclusive statement to teaching slang and idioms in tefl
environments, it should not be ignored that it exists within the language, however, in saying that, it is a vast and confusing area to cover so it needs to be taught carefully, consciously, and in regards to the particular wants, needs and interests of the class in which is being taught. Catering to the student's needs of the english
language is the most important thing to consider.
Dictionary.com – www.dictionary.reference.com
' Forum – www.usingenglish