On EFL learners' idiom acquisition: A quantitative comparative study

Violeta Janulevičienė, Masoodi Marjan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study evaluates the potentially relative effectiveness of three different teaching methods applied for the acquisition of idioms by Iranian and Lithuanian intermediate EFL learners in university settings. To this end, 234 homogeneous intermediate learners were selected and randomly assigned to six equal groups (three Iranian and three Lithuanian groups). Following a pre-test, the six groups attended four sessions of teaching in which all the learners received the same set of idioms through different methods: the first group-translation group-received treatment via translation of idioms in specific contexts. The second group-historical origin and picture group - underwent teaching of idioms via presented related picture and cultural origin. The third group-output task group - received instruction through completing two types of output tasks. The results on idiom acquisition were processed statistically and it was established that teaching idioms with related picture and cultural note has a satisfactory significant effect on the acquisition of target items. Furthermore, a cognitive-learning questionnaire was given to all respondents before any instruction to assess if there was any consistency between the learning strategy for idiom acquisition and the applied effective method. The research revealed that although most of the participants focused primarily on meaning and contained words of an idiom before instruction, the picture along with cultural and historical note method fostered their learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-16
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Language and Literature
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2015



  • Dual coding
  • English as a foreign language
  • Learning and cognitive style
  • Output tasks
  • Pictorial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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