The ability to produce grammatically-correct language (contrast with fluency).
A short task which is part of a lesson. Often used interchangeably with task.
Teaching which is based on adherence to a particular theory about language or language learning.
The most suitable choice of language for the situation, the relationship between speakers, the topic, etc.
Spoken or written texts from real-life sources, originally intended for native speakers.
Teaching a pronunciation pattern by getting learners to repeat successively longer portions of it, starting with the last part and extending backwards to the beginning.
Non-verbal communication (also known as paralinguistics); how messages are conveyed with the body (e.g. through eye contact, facial expression, gestures).
A group activity in which learners come up with ideas themselves on a topic without teacher intervention.
An activity in which groups of students have a brief discussion to generate ideas, answer specific questions, etc. (similar to brainstorm).
The way a teacher organises her classroom and learners (e.g. physical arrangement of room, when to stop and start activities).
A technique commonly used in testing whereby every “n” word is deleted from a text and replaced by gaps. Learners then fill in the gaps.
The linking of ideas or concepts in a text to express the underlying message which may or may not be marked by explicit cohesive devices.
The linking of sentences and paragraphs in a text through the use of formal features, such as pronouns, and sequence expressions, such as, therefore, next, etc. Linking devices are also known as cohesive devices.
communicative language teaching:
A teaching method in which the goal is for learners to be able to communicate using L2 both in the classroom and in real life. It generally encourages more learner talk for real communicative purposes and a more facilitative role for the teacher.
A technique in which the teacher draws information from learners through question and answer, (also to elicit).
Imperfect production caused by genuine lack of knowledge about the language.
(Contrast with mistake.)
The judgement of something, such as a learner's performance, a class, a task, a book.
Reading a long text, such as a book, or reading a variety of texts, generally for pleasure, for overall understanding and not for detailed understanding.
A person (usually the teacher) who helps learners find their own answers rather than providing them with the 'right' answers.
Information that is given to learners by their teacher on their spoken or written performance, or to trainees or teachers about their teaching.
Small pieces of card with pictures or words on them, used as teaching aids.
The ability to produce language easily without too many hesitations, with the focus on communication of the message rather than grammatical accuracy (contrast with accuracy).
The actual words (written) or sounds (spoken) used to express something in language as opposed to meaning or use. Often synonymous with structure.
The stage of a lesson in which the teacher does not intervene or attempt to control learner production. (Contrast with controlled practice) Free practice is sometimes called production.
The communicative purpose of a structure on a particular occasion – what the speaker is trying to do through language (e.g. inviting, suggesting).
The type of text e.g. a magazine, a letter, a note.
The main idea or message of a text, either spoken or written.
Adjusting language or tasks to suit the ability level of students.
The way a group of people interacts with one another.
A guess about something which is not explicitly stated in a text – ‘reading between the lines’.
An activity in which a learner knows something that another learner does not know, so has to communicate to ‘close the gap’.
Language which learners experience in a lesson from which they can learn. It can also refer to information, or a mini-lecture, given by a trainer to trainees.
All or some of the language skills together (listening, speaking, reading and writing).
Careful reading to obtain detailed understanding of a text.
Patterns of communication (verbal and non-verbal) between people.
An activity which involves the splitting of a text into different parts or the use of different texts on the same topic. The parts are given to different learners to read. They must communicate with each other in order to find out the whole message or different views on the topic.
An activity in which the paragraphs in a text are mixed up and learners must put them in the right order.
the questions that the teacher uses to draw attention to the meaning or use of the structure, or the main ideas of a text.
The effect of the mother tongue on a learner’s production of the foreign language, causing errors.
‘Picking up’ the a language, not learning it consciously by being exposed to it in natural situations (contrasted with language learning)
listening, speaking, reading and writing. The skills also involve grammar and vocabulary.
Learning situations where information and ideas are brought to the class by learners and used as learning material, and which are concerned with the interests, needs, learning styles, feelings, lives and/or values of learners.
A process or technique which a learner uses to help herself learn a language (e.g. drawing on background knowledge and experience before listening to the news).
The way a particular learner learns something; their preferred style of working.
Another term for vocabulary. A lexical item is a piece of vocabulary to be taught - not only the meaning of single words but also phrases, idioms, etc.
A group of related words, a word family (e.g. all the words for pieces of furniture = lexical set)
The conventional or literal meaning of a particular form (e.g. that past tense form means past time). Traditional grammar books explain form and meaning. More contemporary grammar books also explain use of a structure.
A drill which cannot be performed correctly without an understanding of the meaning of what is said.
A drill which requires learners to produce correct examples of the language without needing to think about the meaning of the sentences.
Language used for talking about language, e.g. the use of grammatical terms (noun, verb, etc) or linguistic terms (e.g. paralinguistics)
A language teaching method is a set of techniques and procedures e.g. The Grammar-Translation method, Total Physical Response.
A teaching situation which has been reduced in some way (e.g. the teacher's task is simplified, the lesson is very short, the number of learners is small). It is often used on training courses to concentrate on one particular aspect of a trainee's teaching and can involve real students or fellow trainees acting as students.
A diagram which supposedly represents the brain or the mind: topics or words associated with a topic are spread round the main topic or heading on a page (also known as a scattergram or spidergram).
A slip of the tongue which the learner can self-correct when challenged because it is not caused by lack of knowledge. A mistake is sometimes referred to as a performance error.(Contrast with error.)
A class in which the learners are of different language proficiency levels.
What a teacher does while learners are doing an activity - walking round the class, listening to learners, and perhaps making notes on their performance to give feedback on later.
Gathering information by watching a class in order to describe what is happening.
Pairs of students working simultaneously on a task or tasks.
Whole class activity, often at the feedback stage.
When learners communicate about themselves or their own lives (also personalised task).
A stage in the lesson when a language item is introduced for the first time.
To prepare learners for an activity by introducing new language before starting the topic.
An activity where learners have to solve a problem (e.g. choose the best applicant for a job from several descriptions of applicants).
Speaking and writing - learners are required to produce the language. (Contrast with receptive skills.)
A kind of task-based activity which usually involves an extended amount of independent work either by an individual student or group of students.
A form of group activity in which the class is divided into groups. After some " time, the pairs are joined together and continue the discussion. This procedure is continued until there is only one group, consisting of the whole class.
To put items in a certain order, often in order of preference or importance.
Things from real life which are used as a teaching aid.
A drill which is disguised to resemble a natural conversational drill.
Listening and reading - learners are receiving language and processing it, without producing it. (Contrast with productive skills.)
A communicative activity in which learners talk to each other in different character roles.
Reading quickly to find specific information from a text.
A group activity which imitates (simulates) real life situations. Learners play themselves skimming:
Reading quickly for the main ideas of a text.
Another term for a short classroom activity.
The transcription of a tape-recorded text.
A description of learning which involves the performance of a specified task or tasks.
The area that a teacher uses in the classroom while teaching.
A straight line drawn on the board representing the passage of time and used in teaching verb tenses.
A written record of what happens in a classroom.
The way a teacher makes a link between two separate parts of a lesson.
Refers to examples of language that are correct grammatically and have meaning, but which have no communicative value. Rules of usage refer to knowledge of grammatical form and meaning.
The way in which a speaker uses a particular language form to communicate in a particular situation for a particular purpose. Rules of use refer to knowledge of when and with whom an item should be used i.e. appropriacy.
A card or sheet of paper containing a task or tasks for learners to complete.
A task-based group activity which involves the completion of a specified task. All members of the group will contribute something to the completion of the task (e.g. trainees produce some teaching material).