The inclusion of our Idioms series in the latest Read Live release is a significant upgrade to the program. Are you wondering why and how to take advantage of this new content? Here’s what you need to know:

What Is the Idioms Series?

The Read Naturally Idioms series uses the Read Naturally Strategy to teach common American idioms as students build fluency. Each of the four levels in the Idioms series has 12 stories with corresponding vocabulary and activities. Each story teaches two to three similar idioms and provides examples of how and when a reader might use these expressions in conversation and writing.

What Are the Four Levels in the Idioms Series?

Idioms content is available at levels 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5.

Why Teach Idioms?

Idioms are so common in our language, native adult speakers tend to take them for granted (did anyone catch the idiom in the title of this blog post?). But our students—especially English language learners—often find them confusing. Understanding these expressions helps students comprehend the many things they read and hear on a daily basis. For English learners who haven’t been immersed in these idioms from an early age, learning them is an essential part of learning the English language.

Furthermore, idioms provide a shortcut for describing a common situation. For example, it may be more concise to say, “I’m walking on eggshells,” than to describe the awkward feeling this expression encompasses. In this way, idioms are a handy tool in conversation, story writing, etc.

Resources for guiding instruction of idioms are often very teacher-intensive or not readily available, which is why Read Naturally chose to develop this series.

How/When Should I Use the Idioms Series?

We recommend placing a student in an Idioms level when these two conditions coincide:

  • The student’s placement timing falls within the placement range for an Idioms level (e.g., the student scored 30–60 wcpm on a level 3.0 placement story).
  • The student needs to develop language skills.

Most often, teachers will use the Idioms series with students who have completed the corresponding Sequenced level but need additional content before moving to the next higher level. An Idioms level could also be used in place of a Sequenced level if the student is able to attain his fluency needs with only 12 stories—for example, a student who is close to his long-term fluency benchmark goal.

What Are Some Sample Story Titles/Idioms?

Sample story titles/idioms include:

  • Time to Speak: teaches idioms “have the floor,” “give your two cents,” and “weigh your words.”
  • In Love: teaches idioms “have a crush,” “swept off your feet,” and “head over heels.”
  • That’s Easy!: teaches idioms “in the bag,” “piece of cake,” and “ace up your sleeve.”
  • Feeling Great: teaches idioms “walking on air,” “sitting on top of the world,” and “on cloud nine.”

Click here for a PDF that lists all Idioms stories by level.