Aspects of Modern Language Teaching in Europe

By Wolf Gewehr; Georgia Catsimali et al. | Go to book overview

13

‘LET’S TAKE THE BULL BY THE HORNS!’

Phraseology in modern language teaching

Wolf Gewehr

Introduction

Phraseology is without a doubt a widely neglected area in foreign language teaching and most certainly deserves closer attention. Imagine that a teacher of English as a foreign language is greeting his students with the following remarks:

‘Good morning, class!

Believe it or not: I have been up with the lark this morning. But I can see that obviously all of us are early birds and busy bees. Whether we are poor as a church mouse or whether we were born with a silver spoon in our mouth, when it comes to learning a foreign language, we are all in the same boat.

Although some of you may already smell a rat, this is not a rat race, believe me! And those of you who might think I could possibly be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, I assure you that I will not monkey around, but rather talk turkey with you. That’s cold turkey indeed.

What’s really bugging me at the moment is that I have so many experts around me that I am afraid I may behave like a bull in a china shop. Who among you does not know that strange feeling like having butterflies in your stomach. But after all, we all have some common interest, or as the true Brits are used to saying: “Birds of a feather flock together.”

Just ask Lindsay as she is from England—then you will get it straight from the horse’s mouth! And trust me: we are not talking about the Trojan Horse in this context! Come on: let’s not change horses in mid-stream, let’s not go on a wild goose chase, let us not chicken out…oh no! —Let’s rather take the bull by the horns!’

-190-

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