How does “A Stitch in Time Save Nine” in EFL Classes?

İsmail ÇAKIR


It is widely admitted that understanding a language does not only refer to knowledge of grammar but also peculiar features and characteristics of that language such as idioms, proverbs, metaphors, etc. Admittedly, such utterances extensively take place in native speakers’ oral or written utterances. However, due to such nonliteral expressions it is not always possible for nonnative speakers to get the gist of the message implied by the native speakers. To comprehend what is meant, it is necessary to have an efficient competence in the related language which covers what a speaker needs to know how to communicate effectively in culturally significant settings. Proverbs pertaining to this setting do frequently occur in many authentic materials, and require special attention in foreign language teaching circumstances. As in foreign language teaching classrooms most of foreign language teachers avoid using or handling these cultural expressions, students cannot learn and use them adequately and appropriately. Considering this fact, this paper aims to probe how to deal with proverbs in learning and teaching a foreign language. A classroom implementation to develop learners’ lexical competence through proverbs will be presented in this paper after giving the necessary review of literature related to proverbs and their function in foreign language learning. Moreover, some ideas and suggestions on teaching proverbs will be focused on within the context of this study. Key words: Proverb; Culture; Competence; Pragmatics; Language; Teaching

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