Investigating the Challenges and Strategies of Thai University Students in Mastering English Idioms

  • Aisah Apridayani Walailak University, Thailand
  • Natthayos Chatwichit Walailak University, Thailand
  • Tiparoon Supanpong Walailak University, Thailand
  • Sukanya Kanto Walailak University, Thailand
Keywords: Communication skills, English idioms, learning difficulties, learning strategies, Thai students


Background: The acquisition of English idiomatic expressions is a critical aspect of language proficiency that unquestionably contributes to the improvement of effective communication skills. A number of studies have been conducted in the field of English idioms; however, there are still unanswered questions in this area. Since learning English idioms is a complex process, further investigation is needed, especially among students learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in the specific educational milieu of a university setting.

Purpose: This study investigated the attitudes of Thai university students towards the importance of learning English idioms. In addition, it examined the challenges faced by these students in learning and comprehending English idioms, along with the effective strategies employed to overcome the difficulties.

Methods: This study adopted a descriptive research design involving 50 fourth-year English major students (12% male, 88% female) from a university in southern Thailand. A survey questionnaire on a five-point Likert scale adapted from Orfan (2020) was used to collect the data from the participants.

Results: The findings demonstrated that Thai university students had a positive attitude towards the importance of learning idioms and recognized the critical role they play in successful communication in English. Nevertheless, they faced various challenges when learning English idioms. They reported that idioms were challenging to grasp when taken out of context, and they faced difficulties due to their limited knowledge and cultural background. The participants in the study also reported utilizing different strategies to learn and comprehend idioms, such as guessing the meaning of idioms, using descriptive definitions in English, and memorization.

Conclusion: This study offers valuable insights for both educators and researchers, serving as a foundation for the development of more efficient language teaching methodologies and promoting cross-cultural understanding in language acquisition.


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How to Cite
ApridayaniA., ChatwichitN., SupanpongT., & KantoS. (2024). Investigating the Challenges and Strategies of Thai University Students in Mastering English Idioms. Journal of Language and Education, 10(1), 25-34.