The Effect of Audio-Visual vs. Written Contexts on Idiom Learning of Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners

Esmail Zare Behtash, Amin Saed, Zohreh Dehghan


Due to the significant role of idioms in second language learning and the difficulties EFL learners experience in learning them, finding ways to improve the learning process of idioms is of high importance. The present study investigated the effect of audio-visual vs. written contexts on idiom learning of Iranian Intermediate EFL learners. It was also an attempt to identify which context would lead to the language learners’ enhanced idiom comprehension. Particularly, the study explored the effect of audio-visual context on learners’ idiom learning, the effect of written-context on learners’ idiom learning, and finally the difference between idiom improvements of learners who were exposed to audio-visual compared to their counterparts in the written group. The participants were English language learners (L2) at Language Academy in Isfahan, Iran. They were all female, Persian native speakers. Their age range was between 19 and 26. Initially, a total of 80 EFL students were selected to participate in this study. Oxford Quick Placement Test (OQPT) was implemented to ensure homogeneity of learners in proficiency. According to the results of the test, 60 intermediate learners were selected. Then, they were randomly divided into two groups of 30. In the first group, they were taught the idioms through written contexts and in second group they were taught idioms through audio visual technique. After twelve sessions, a post-test administered to the learners in order to evaluate their improvement in learning idioms. In order to analyze data, descriptive statistics including mean and standard deviation and inferential statistics including paired and independent-samples t-tests were run. The results of the study showed that students exposed to the audio-visual context significantly outperformed in the post-test (p<0.01). Moreover, they significantly scored better compared to the written-group (p<0.01). Findings pinpoint important implications for idiom teaching and learning.


Idioms; Audio-Visual; Written Context; Idiom Learning

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