The Gold Standard Webinars

The Mystery of Idiomaticity in English as an International Lingua Franca (1)

Date: Thursday,19 April 2012 12:00 PM (GMT +03:00) Athens, Istanbul, Minsk

In this talk, Dr. Luke Prodromou will explore the mysterious behaviour of idioms and idiomaticity in English as a first language and English as an International Language. Idiomaticity is important because it is central to L1 fluency and because?it is tested in international exams. The higher the level (say from B2 to C2) the greater the idiomatic content of tests.

The mystery explored is based on the hypothesis that for the L1-user (or ?native speaker' of English) idioms of all kinds come easily and make for fluency. Paradoxically, for the L2-user of English (or ?non-native' speaker) English idioms of all kinds tend to come with great difficulty and rather than make for fluency they slow the speaker down and make for awkwardness.

In the speaker's experience - and in his research - L2 learners of English can reach very high levels of competence in grammar and vocabulary, indeed in these two areas they often surpass their ?native' counterparts. The stumbling block comes with idioms: why should this be so? Indeed, the highest level of competence in a language is what Luke Prodromou refers to as ?creative idiomaticity'. He will look at the way L1 and L2 users bring creativity to the use of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), by each drawing on their own cultural and linguistic resources and he will attempt a redefinition of the notion of fluency, which takes into account the needs and capabilities of the diverse users of ELF.

Luke Prodromou

Dr. Luke Prodromou is a teacher, teacher-trainer and materials writer. He has been a plenary speaker at many international conferences. Luke graduated from Bristol University in English with Greek and has an MA in Shakespeare Studies (Birmingham University) a Diploma in TEFL (Leeds University, with distinction) and a Ph.D (Nottingham University) in idiomaticity in English as a Lingua Franca. He has conducted teacher training courses for Pilgrims (Canterbury), NILE (Norwich), the University of Edinburgh and ESADE (Barcelona) and many other institutions.

Luke has written over 20 textbooks for various international publishers, including Grammar & Vocabulary for Cambridge First for Pearson. Luke is the co-author of Dealing with Difficulties (Winner of the Ben Warren Prize and an English Speaking Union Award). He is also a member of two theatre groups and a founder-member of the Disabled Access-Friendly campaign.

Link to attend the event


This webinar was recommended by my colleague from Niš, Aleksandra Nikolic: "I've got this mail from a fantastic teacher trainer whose seminar I attended a month ago and it was one of the best I've ever been to."

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