When you ask university-level English language learners how they would like to improve their English, many of them say they want to use more idiomatic expressions. Unfortunately, teachers seem to rarely have time to explicitly teach idioms in class. Luckily, there are various online resources that learners can use to enlarge their repertoire of idiomatic expressions. And certainly, some of these resources can be used in the classroom as well. Here are six websites for learning idioms.
This website has a large number of American idiomatic expressions not only with their meanings but also with their origins. So, if your students are interested in the etymology of idiomatic expressions, this website would be a great resource to use.
Activities offered on this website can be used as an assessment tool after particular idioms have been taught. Students can use these activities for their independent learning of idioms as well.
If you need to know the meaning of an idiom, this online idiom dictionary is the right place to go. The list is compiled from the Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms and the Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Each idiom comes with its meaning(s) and examples of sentences. For most idioms, this website also offers examples from periodical archives.
This website would be great for someone who likes to learn random vocabulary on a consistent basis. Each week, the website offers a new idiom with its meaning and a short dialogue in which the idiom is used. The dialogues also come with audio-versions (which, of course, can be used in a classroom activity).
This website has a list of idioms organized both alphabetically and thematically. Some of the themes include: food, money, clothes, body, business, and medicine. This thematic organization allows the teacher to quickly find interesting idioms for a particular topic. If learners would like to acquire the most common idioms, the list of 100 most frequently used English idioms would certainly be a helpful resource for them. For assessment purposes, the teacher can use quizzes (multiple-choice items) provided on the website.
This resource is very similar to the previous one; it has a list of idioms organized in alphabetical order and thematically. However, the website does not offer assessment quizzes.
What online resources do you use to help students learn idioms?