Opening Pandora’s box: A corpus-based study of idioms in ELT materials

Y. H. Chen, L. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Idiomatic expressions have increasingly received attention in ELT over the past few decades as they are an indispensable part of our daily communication. Depending on the degree of literalness, Fernando (1996) divides idioms into three categories: pure (non-literal), semi-literal and literal (as illustrated in TABLE 1). As pure idioms, often linguistic metaphors, tend to be understood figuratively, they are considered ‘the most ambiguous multi-word expression’ within the three classifications (Hummer & Stathi, 2006). Characterized by the feature of semantic opacity, pure idioms often cause great difficulty for L2 learners and are therefore the focus of the current study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-390
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Asia TEFL
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

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