Towards Idiomatic Competence of Yemeni EFL Undergraduates


Keywords: idiom, idiomatic competence, EFL learners, Yemen


This study investigates how Yemeni EFL undergraduates recognize, comprehend, and use English idioms. It attempts to find out the link between English proficiency and idiomatic competence of a sample of 63 sophomores recruited from the Department of English at the Faculty of Education, Taiz University. Three idiom tests and a questionnaire were used to answer three research questions: a) To what extent are Yemeni EFL undergraduates able to process English idioms? b) What strategies do they use to learn idioms? c) What challenges do they encounter in acquiring idiomatic expressions? Findings of the study show that high-scoring students in the idiom tests outperformed their low-scoring counterparts in achievement tests of listening and speaking skills. The study highlighted some major challenges that face Yemeni EFL learners and the strategies they tend to use in order to tackle those challenges. Some implications and recommendations were suggested accordingly.