Words That Don’t Mean What They Say – Idioms!

Tim Rasinski is a renowned professor of literacy education whose research on reading fluency and word study has made him a literacy hero to many. Below, he shares his thoughts on teaching idioms.

Some of the most challenging words (and phrases) for students to learn are those that are metaphorical in nature – words not meant to be taken literally.  Idiomatic expressions, a type of figurative language, are among the most challenging words for students to learn. Expressions like going bananas, it’s raining cats and dogs, a chip on your shoulder, and it’s all Greek to me, are not to be taken literally.  The meaning of these expressions is hidden. It is up to the listener or reader to understand the underlying meaning of such expressions. Whether written or spoken, idiomatic expressions are common. Authors use idioms to make their writing more interesting and authentic.

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