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Top 5 North American Idioms Learning Materials


One of the most frustrating aspects of learning a language is learning the idiomatic phrases, slang and common usage of native speakers. These five books focus on giving students a hand when learning North American idiomatic language. Some are reference guides, while others provide exercises to which can be used in the class or for self-study.

1. Ya Gotta Know It: A Conversational Approach to American Slang

"Ya Gotta Know It" by Hania Hassan provides an excellent mixture of materials for classroom lessons and American slang reference. By using the same characters and a developing story line, students are provided with ongoing context reminding learners of idioms learned while improving their understanding. Exercises provide a chance for students to practice in appropriate situations.

2. All Clear! Idioms in Context

"All Clear! Idioms in Context" by Helen Kalkstein Fragiadakis is a classic text for classroom use. This first book of the series provides a realistic first approach to American idioms for intermediate level students. The language is mainstream enough to be useful for all students and focuses on common idioms and slang that can be found throughout the US.
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3. Common American Phrases

"Common American Phrases" by Richard A. Spears has written a wide variety of resources on American English. This volume contains more than 2,000 phrases and idioms. Excellent for in class use as this reference guide focuses on standard phrases that can be found in everyday standard usage.
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4. American Idioms and Some Phrases Just for Fun

"American Idioms and Some Phrases Just for Fun" by Edward Swick's strength is its translation of more formal English of a number of idioms. These phrases are then repeated in a number of different contexts giving students a good idea of common usage. There are also a number of exercises designed to help students put their new found idiomatic understanding into use.
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5. American Slang

"American Slang" by Robert L. Chapman provides a fascinating guide for advanced level English students. This reference guide to slang is best used by those interested in the very latest and up-to-date slang such as Inherent English and slang you might hear on the latest films from Hollywood.
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