Refocusing the Digital Lens of Idiomaticity: A Second Look at Understanding Idiomaticity in CALL

Document Type : Original Article


University of South Florida, Tampa, US


This article takes a critical second look at understanding idiomaticity in CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning). The conditions markedly affecting second language teaching and learning are highlighted amidst pedagogical constructs supporting the reconstructive nature of idiomatic understanding and production in English. The ensuing discussion underscores the promise digital technologies hold for further research work on idiomaticity including, but not limited to, idiom, metaphor, simile, metonymy, hyperbole, proverb, slang, cliché, lexical bundle, phrasal expression, multiword construction, collocation, colloquialism, and tropes of figurative language. It is argued that for the purposes of diagnosis and achievement idiomaticity must be thoughtfully anchored in pedagogical paradigms requiring further examination and care. These exemplars, as the need arises across contexts and audiences, are seen as particularly useful to the development and refinement of idiomatic knowledge, especially when such knowledge reflects the judicious and purposeful use of CALL technologies, electronic tools, and digital resources. Pedagogical implications addressing idiom-learning activities and task-based digital projects are also discussed.