Idioms and/or figures of speech can be seen every day in social conversations. A friend may tell you that he/she cannot meet you for lunch because he/she is “under the weather.” Now, “under the weather” does not mean that he/she is sitting in the rain, it means that they are sick. How does one connect the two ideas? In the English language and many other languages, idioms or expressions are used as a way to emphasize or draw attention to something. Some idioms originated hundreds of years ago and are considered to be an everyday part of our language. For example, “it’s raining cats and dogs” is one of the most commonly heard idioms and simply means it’s raining very heavily. Idioms are generally learned over time from one person hearing another person saying it and so on. Some students may interpret idioms literally instead of figuratively. During this topic, students will work on identifying/understanding situations where idioms and expressions are used. It is important to remember it is okay to ask for clarification. If a friend says something that just does not make sense, ask them what they mean. This topic is suggested to be targeted for two weeks. Below, you will find is a suggested sequence to follow.
Students and clinician will view a peer-mentored video titled, “Break a Leg.” After viewing this video, the clinician and student engage in discussion with questions. Questions may include, “Why did a friend say, ‘Break a leg?’ Has anyone ever said a funny expression to you? If we don’t understand why someone said something, what should we do?”
Clinician and students will view two practice videos titled, “Popstar” and “Heavy Books.” After viewing this practice video, the clinician and student will engage in discussion with questions. Questions may include, “What went right? What went wrong? What could have been done instead? Let’s role play this scenario correctly.” Note: It can be very helpful to video tape students when role playing and then have students watch and rate themselves. (Remember to obtain written parental consent before incorporating photos/videos).
Week two begins with a review of the previously learned concepts. The concepts of idioms and expressions will be reviewed.
Students and clinician view three practice videos titled, “Jungle,” “Math, Eyes Closed,” and “Raining Cats and Dogs.” After viewing this practice video, the clinician and student will engage in discussion with questions.” The clinician and student will discuss why idioms or expressions are used, why it is important to understand common expressions, and how to react when we are unsure of an expression being used. Additional questions may include, “What were the idioms used? What do you think the speaker meant when they used each idiom? What went right? What went wrong? What could have been done instead? Let’s role play this scenario correctly.”