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From Head to Toe: L2 learners' understanding of English idioms involving body parts
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to find out if Swedish students in the senior level of compulsory school,

with English as their second language, have receptive and productive knowledge of English idioms

involving body parts. The idioms chosen are based on the model of Glucksberg (2001) as well their

frequency in the British National Corpus (BNC), four with a high frequency and four with a low

frequency. According to Glucksberg, idioms are categorized into four groups, non-compositional

idiom, compositional transparent idiom, compositional opaque idiom and quasi-metaphorical

idiom.

Four groups of students were given a questionnaire with eight different idioms, two from

each category. They were to answer if they knew the meaning of the idiom and to produce a

sentence with that specific idiom. The result shows that the compositional transparent idioms have

a better result than the non-compositional and opaque idioms. It also shows that the idioms with

high frequency in the BNC have better results on the compositional transparent and the

compositional opaque idioms, whereas the non-compositional and the quasi-metaphorical idioms

have a better result on the low frequency items in the BNC. The receptive knowledge of all the different idioms were higher or much higher than the productive knowledge. In all of the groups the girls have a better result than the boys in English. This is can also be shown in statistics from Skolverket, the national agency for education, where girls have a better average grade than boys. In three out of the four groups, students who are monolingual have a better result than the bilingual ones.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
Second language acquisition, English idioms, compositionality
National Category
Specific Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-16791OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-16791DiVA: diva2:785680
Available from: 2015-02-03 Created: 2015-02-03

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf