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ERIC Number: EJ1140389
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1362-1688
The Power of Sound in L2 Idiom Learning
Eyckmans, June; Lindstromberg, Seth
Language Teaching Research, v21 n3 p341-361 May 2017
Corpus analyses of learners' dictionaries of English idioms have revealed that 11% to 35% of English figurative idioms show either alliteration ("miss the mark") or assonance ("get this show on the road"), depending on the type considered. Because English multiword combinations, particularly idiomatic expressions, present a huge challenge even to advanced learners, techniques for helping learners come to grips with this part of the lexicon should be welcomed. A quasi-experiment was conducted to investigate whether interword phonological similarity (specifically, alliteration and assonance) facilitates the delayed recall of the forms of common second language (L2) English figurative idioms which were not known at pretest. Twenty-six advanced-level EFL learners learned significantly more phonologically similar, or "sound-repeating", idioms than phonologically dissimilar control idioms after a treatment designed to raise awareness of phonological similarity and to direct learners' attention toward occurrences of it. Learners in a comparison group (n = 24), who experienced no awareness raising or attention direction, recalled more non-sound-repeating control idioms than sound-repeating ones. We conclude that the presence of sound-repetition in idioms makes the forms of those idioms relatively easy to recall, but only when learners experience appropriate awareness raising and attention direction. It appears that the techniques of awareness raising and attention direction did not hinder learning of the control idioms.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A