Chinese Idioms (Cheng-yu) for Second-Language Learners: Toward a Pedogogical Approach
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This thesis considers the importance of cheng-yu (Chinese language-specific, idiomatic lexical-syntactic units) in second-language acquisition at the intermediate and advanced levels and examines current research in order to formulate an instructional approach. Informed by linguistic and pedagogical research on idioms generally, the study aims to apply research relevant to Chinese language idioms specifically. Main topics to be considered include: the importance of cheng-yu in higher-level discourse including the social significance of cheng-yu use; the patterned structure of cheng-yu; idiom teaching methods and a review of idiom content and presentation in commonly-used Chinese language textbooks; and the significance of corpus data in cheng-yu instruction. Results confirm the importance of cheng-yu in discourse and recommend practicable, research-based classroom strategies. Finally, a sample lesson is provided which encourages the use of corpus data and utilizes research findings on the structure of cheng-yu and on teaching practices thought to foster acquisition.