The Idiomatic Competence of Jordanian EFL Undergraduate Students: a Contrastive Pedagogical Study

fuad A. shajrawi, Oqlah M. Smadi


The present study aimed at investigating the idiomatic competence in English and Arabic that the Jordanian EFL undergraduate students possess. To achieve this, the researcher conducted a Completion-Discourse Test (DCT) on 125 students majoring Applied English in the Department of English in the University of Jordan during the academic year (2017-2018). The findings revealed that the Jordanian EFL undergraduate students have a low-intermediate competence in understanding the idioms in both languages and in using the Arabic idioms. They, however, showed low level in the use of English idioms. Moreover, the factors of transparency, equivalence, high exposure to English, the common use of some expressions and contextualization were found to have a role in facilitating the students' idiom understanding. Nevertheless, studying the idioms included in the textbooks did not show a better idiomatic competence than those who did not, The negative transfer had a great impact on distracting students and The students had insufficient knowledge of the English pragmatics and semantics.

الكلمات المفتاحية

Idiomatic Competence, EFL Undergraduate Students, Jordan, Contrastive Pedagogical Study.

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