No-Glamour Idioms includes everything you need to help your students recognize and understand over 700 current English idiomatic expressions.
- Accurately interpret and use idioms
- Recognize and think about any expression that doesn't make sense literally
- Communicate more effectively
Developed for students in grade six and above who have trouble understanding idiomatic expressions, the lessons are especially effective for students with Asperger's syndrome, high-functioning autism, learning disabilities, and limited English proficiency.
The readability of the stories is controlled at or below grade 6.0. The tasks require minimal writing and emphasize determining meaning via context clues. Each lesson teaches ten idioms in a sequence of tasks that demand increased mastery of the figurative expressions. Your students will:
- listen to and/or read a story containing ten idioms and answer questions about the story
- study the set of ten idioms individually in varied contexts in order to accurately define, explain, and paraphrase them
- match the idioms to their definitions
- compare and contrast closely related idioms
Use the Previewing Readiness for Idiom Lessons tool to determine whether a student would benefit from the lessons in the book as well as to judge the amount of support the student requires to manage the lessons. Additional helps include a progress log, an idiom log, and an answer key.
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- According to the National Reading Panel, students need multiple exposures and repetition to develop rich vocabulary skills, including understanding and using idiomatic words and expressions. The panel found that explicit instruction of vocabulary is highly effective and recommended using multiple tasks to teach vocabulary in context (National Reading Panel, 2000).
- Figurative language interpretation instruction is a necessary component of reading comprehension curriculum for at-risk students, who find idioms and figurative expressions particularly difficult to understand (Palmer & Brooks, 2004; Wiig & Semel,1984). This inability impairs text comprehension (Diamond & Gutlohn, 2006). People with language-learning disabilities may struggle with idioms even in adulthood (Wallach & Miller, 1988).
- Although there are patterns in understanding idioms, children learn most idioms one at a time, generally in context (Vicker, 2007).
- Successfully learning idioms depends upon processing context clues, the transparency or figurativeness, and prior exposure to an idiom (Nippold & Duthie, 2003; Nippold & Martin, 1989). Transparent idioms (close relationship between the figurative and literal meanings) are easier to understand than figurative idioms (Levorato & Cacciari, 1999).
- An effective vocabulary program includes directed, explicit instruction; opportunities to practice using words; teaching meanings explicity and systematically; and teaching independent word-learning strategies, such as context clues (Graves, 2006).
- Explicitly teaching and reinforcing inference skills, including understanding idioms, yields better overall text comprehension, text engagement, and metacognitive thinking. Students should cite the evidence they used to draw conclusions in order to make the implicit process of making inferences more explicit (McMackin & Lawrence, 2001).
No-Glamour Idioms incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.
Diamond, L., & Gutlohn, L. (2006). Vocabulary handbook. Baltimore: Brookes Publishing.
Graves, M.F. (2006). Vocabulary instruction in the middle grades. Voices from the Middle, 15, 13-19.
Levorato, M.C., & Cacciari, C. (1999). Idiom comprehension in children: Are the effects of semantic analyzability and context separable? European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 2, 51-66.
McMackin, M.C., & Lawrence, S. (2001). Investigating inferences: Constructing meaning from expository texts. Reading Horizons, 42, 117-137.
National Reading Panel. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching children to read: Reports of the subgroups. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Nippold, M.A., & Duthie, J.K. (2003). Mental imagery and idiom comprehension: A comparison of school-age children and adults. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 46, 788-799.
Nippold, M.A., & Martin, S.T. (1989). Idiom interpretation in isolation versus context: A developmental study with adolescents. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 32, 59-66.
Palmer, B.C., & Brooks, M.A. (2004). Reading until the cows come home: Figurative language and reading comprehension. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 47, 370-379.
Vicker, B. (2007). Aiding comprehension of individuals with autism spectrum disorders during one-on-one interactions. Retrieved October 2008, from www.iidc.indiana.edu/irca/communication/aidingComprehension/html
Wallach, G.P., & Miller, L. (1988). Language intervention and academic success. San Diego, CA: College-Hill/ Little Brown.
Wiig, E.H., & Semel, E. (1984). Language assessment and intervention for the learning disabled (2nd ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill Publishing.