When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do : Proverbs as a Part of EFL Teaching

by Hanzén, Maria

Abstract (Summary)
This essay was underpinned by the premise that the proverb plays an important role in language teaching as a part of gaining cultural knowledge, metaphorical understanding and communicative competence. The purpose with this essay was to examine whether proverbs are a part of the EFL (English as Foreign Language) teaching in the county of Jönköping, Sweden. The investigation focused on the occurrence of proverbs in eleven textbooks for the English A- and B-courses, and on the attitudes toward using prov-erbs in the teaching among nineteen teachers at seven upper secondary schools. Descriptive methods were used, which combined quantitative and qualitative approaches, i.e. content analysis and close read-ing of the textbooks and a questionnaire answered by the teachers.The result showed that proverbs are a small part of the EFL teaching regarding both the textbooks and the use in the classroom by the teachers. Proverbs are mainly used as bases for discussions in the text-books, and by the teachers as expressions to explain, to discuss the meaning and to compare to the Swedish equivalents. There is a positive attitude toward using proverbs and the result showed awareness among the teachers regarding proverbs as a part of the language and the culture as well as for communi-cation. The conclusion of the result was that the knowledge has to increase among educators and text-book authors about how proverbs can be used as effective devices and tools, not only as common ex-pressions, in every area of language teaching.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Högskolan i Jönköping

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:proverbs efl esl culture metaphors communication teaching language


Date of Publication:01/24/2008

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