Saturday, March 17, 2018

Teaching English with Marvin Gaye

Are you wondering what Marvin Gaye has to do with teaching English? Good!  Keep reading.  

My upper level students study idioms  "expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, or from the general grammatical rules of a language."

One common idiom is "I heard it through the grapevine", which means:  To hear something through the grapevine is to learn of something informally and unofficially by means of gossip or rumor. The usual implication is that the information was passed person to person by word of mouth, perhaps in a confidential manner among friends or colleagues.

When I hear this idiom, I can't help but think of Marvin Gaye and this song, although I know it was recorded by others too.  I love idioms, but I know they are difficult for my students.  Idioms just don't make sense! 

Do you have a favorite English idiom or one you just hate?


Anonymous said...

Hi Pamela i have never heard of a idiom ,must look it up,hope you have a lovely day my friend xx

Sarah said...

I took your advice and have been using Duolingo to brush up on my Spanish. I “bought” some idiom lessons and they are kicking my butt!

Janie said...

Yes, how about 'bite off more than you can chew'.
I've been known to do that, literally and figuratively.

Queeniepatch said...

I think my favorite is 'piece of cake', and I am not only talking about the idiom!!!

Vireya said...

Idioms are so hard to explain to English learners. But then they are also the hardest part to learn of another language!

roughterrain crane said...

Cats and dogs! Members of animal welfare organizations must stay in home though they have a strong umbrella.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Marvin Gaye caught my EYE!!
My favorite idiom is: Cut to the chase. I hate long stories only to find the end is a favor asked.
I HATE: Talk to the Hand.

I frequently use lines from a movie. My favs are:
From Wizard of OZ: Don't make me get my flying monkeys. and
From Gone With The Wind: I don't know nuthin' 'bout birthin' babies
Cool post.
xx, Carol

diamondc said...

Pamela: interesting post, I must say my fav would be close the door were you born in a barn.


Leonore Winterer said...

I love some English idioms and sometimes I catch myself trying to insert them (translated word by word) into my German. Works better than the other way around usually!