Idioms for English Language Learners
Learning English can be challenging enough for someone from another country. Quite often, English is not the primary language spoken at home and many ESL (English as a second language) students are often exposed to comical idioms and expressions that just make no sense to them whatsoever! I believe it is necessary to include lessons on idiomatic expressions for all grade levels. This hub is not a lesson plan, but just a listing of some of the more perplexing idioms some of my students have encountered and the meanings that have made sense for them.
- Skate on thin ice - to take a big chance; to take a risk of suffering negative consequensces.
- Let the cat out of the bag - to give away a secret.
- You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. - People can be encouraged, but you can't force them to do something.
- Read between the lines - to know or discern the true or hidden meaning of a fact in actions or documents.
- More than one way to skin a cat - there are several different ways to reach the same goal or solve a problem.
- If the shoe fits, wear it - if a statement applies to you, you should admit that it is true.
- Watched pot never boils - when you are anxious or impatient for something to happen, it takes longer.
- Ring a bell - something sounds familiar or comes to mind.
- Put your best foot forward - make the best attempt possible.
- Out of the woods - out of danger or trouble.