Teaching Idioms to Increase Comprehension

Working with English Language Learners this year has really opened my eyes to just how much we use idiomatic expressions. They are EVERYWHERE! We use them in everyday conversations. We see them referenced in literature. We see them used in movies and tv and commercials. They are everywhere, and our students need to have a strong base in idiomatic expressions in order to be able to fully understand the language.

So, I started “an idiom a day” with my ESOL and bilingual classes. It has been really a great conversation starter! I am hearing lots of “oh, I heard that but I didn’t get it” and “oh, that makes sense now” from my students.

Here is a link to a free version with a few of them. Feel free to use them in your classes, use them to create your own or even adapt them to the language you teach!

I have used them to start class, given them to students to try to figure out on their own and used them as group work for students to discuss and come up with their best guess at the real meaning of the idiom! You could use all of the slides or even have students draw what the words say and then what it really means after a class discussion. This helps them really internalize the difference in the words alone and the expression as a whole.

You can also find Idiomatic Expressions in English Part 1, Part 2 and 3 (each with 15-20 idioms) on my TpT store!

Hope this makes incorporating idioms a little easier. Idiomatic Expressions 1 comes FREE as part of the Sra. K. Spanish Squads, and Part 2 and 3 will be included in November and December. You can go HERE and learn more about the squads and join today!

Happy Teaching!


Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) , Facebook (sra k Spanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources! Become a Patron on Patreon!

Author: srakspanish

I have spent 25 years in education. I have taught Spanish, ELA, Social Studies, Science and ESOL in all levels of public school, and even several years at a local community college. I am the Curriculum Director and Lead Instructional Coach for a language learning organization.

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