Learning L2 Idioms: The Role of Verbal Mnemonics

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of English Language, Faculty of Humanities, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran,

2 Department of English Language, Faculty of Humanities, Imam Khomeini International University Qazvin, Iran



Researchers and teaching practitioners have been trying to find more effective methods of teaching idioms due to the significance of these expressions in language learning contexts. The present study sought to investigate the effects of three verbal mnemonic tools (grouping, stories, and conceptual metaphor) on EFL learners’ recognition and recall of English idioms. Ninety EFL learners at intermediate language proficiency level who were preparing themselves to take IELTS participated in this study. They were in three groups of thirty members each. Each group was randomly assigned to one of the experimental conditions and was instructed idioms using one of the verbal mnemonic devices. The collected data were analyzed using the one-way ANOVA procedure. The results showed statistically significant differences among these devices, with ‘stories’ being the most effective on recognition and ‘conceptual metaphor’ being the most beneficial in the recall of idioms. The findings of the study can have potential theoretical implications for researchers and pedagogical implications for curriculum developers, language teachers, and learners.


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