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Academic calendar

A calendar used by schools dividing the months of the year into periods when courses are offered and the periods of vacation. Schools' Academic Calendars vary greatly due to the length of courses and frequency of enrollment. Some ESL schools have one course per month, while others have new students enrolling every week.

Academic communicative competence

Ability to use language to communicate academic knowledge and reach one's potential academically within the context of formal schooling. A variety of factors are involved, including the ESL student's previous academic experiences, literacy background, previous life experiences (e.g., trauma), motivation to learn the language, personality, and developmental history.

Academic language

Language used in the learning of academic subject matter in formal schooling context; aspects of language strongly associated with literacy and academic achievement, including specific academic terms or technical language, and speech registers related to each field of study.

Academic language proficiency

Ability in language skills needed for mastering academic material; pertains to both written and oral language.

Academic year

Period of nine months when schools offer classes. In America and the U.K., this nine months period begins in September and ends in either May or June of the following year. In Australia and New Zealand, classes begin in the month of February and continue to October.


Acceptable English is English that listeners can understand and which does not cause cause offence . In spoken English, it doesn’t necessarily mean’ perfectly accurate’;. English that is not appropriate in social gatherings is more likely to be unacceptable and cause offence.

Achieving aims

When a teacher succeeds in teaching what he/she has planned to teach.


This can mean word stress - control has the accent on the second syllable but we use it to mean the pronunciation used by some speakers - a regional or class accent.

Distinctive manner of oral ex-pression

Accents mark speakers as a member of a group by their pronunciation of the standard language. These groups may be geographical, socio-economic (social class), ethnic, or second language speakers.

The rhythmically significant stress in the articulation of words, giving some syllables more relative prominence than others.

The features of pronunciation which indicate the regional or the social identity of a speaker

Pronunciation habits of the standard language acquired by people from a particular geographic region


Formal procedures giving students certification after completion of studies, e.g. a certificate, a diploma, or a degree.


The process of adapting to a new culture. This involves understanding different systems of thought, beliefs, emotions, and communication systems. Acculturation is an important concept for understanding SLA, since successful learning is more likely when learners succeed in acculturating.

The process of two different ethnic groups exchanging cultural elements and complexes

Culture change resulting from contact between cultures. A process of external culture change

Cultural change that occurs in response to extended firsthand contacts between two or more previously autonomous groups

The process of assimilating new ideas into an existing cognitive structure

Acculturation is the obtainment of culture by an individual or a group of people. The term originally applied only to the process concerning a foreign culture, from the acculturing or accultured recipient point of view, having this foreign culture added and mixed with that of his or her already existing one acquired since birth.

Accuracy order

Learners learn and produce the L2 with varying degrees of accuracy at different stages of development, perhaps corresponding to the acquisition order.

The relative accuracy of grammatical forms in learner language. Some researchers have inferred that accuracy order is equivalent to sequence of acquisition

Achievable target, goal

An aim that is not too difficult for the learner too reach.


A term used to describe language being absorbed without conscious effort; i.e. the way children pick up their mother tongue. Language acquisition is often contrasted with language learning. The internalization of rules and formulas which are then used to communicate in the L2. For some researchers, such as Krashen, 'acquisition' is unconscious and spontaneous, and 'learning' is conscious, developing through formal study.

The cognitive process of acquiring skill or knowledge; "the child's acquisition of language"

Ability that has been acquired by training

Language acquisition is the process by which children learn their native language. They can achieve full competence in speaking without any formal instruction.

Acquisition device

Nativist theories of language acquisition claim that each language learner has an 'acquisition device' which controls the process of acquisition. This device contains information about possible universal grammars.

Action learning set

Cooperative learning activity where small groups of students work to identify what action should be taken to address a real world problem.

Action plan

Specific proposal developed by a learner, teacher or institution to address problems or difficulties or meet a desired goal.

Action research

A research methodology designed to have subjects, in particular teachers, to investigate an element of a particular activity which the aim of determining whether the changes can produce effective and positive improvements, especially student learning.

Activation of prior knowledge

A constructivist instructional strategy aimed at having students access their own prior knowledge in order to develop meaning by combining new information with their own previous knowledge.

Active control

If the students have active control of a structure or some vocabulary they can use it , use it , where relevant . A lot OF school student leave school with only a passive control of English , as they have had no practice in communicating in English or actively producing any English for themselves , their English needs to be activated

Active learning method

Learning methods that focus on ensure learners play and active role in the process of learning instead of passively receiving information.

Active control: if the student have the active control of a structure or some vocabulary they can say it , use it , where relevant.A lot of school students leave school with only a passive control of English , as they have had no practice in communicating in English or actively producing any English for themselves. Their English needs to be activated.

Active vocabulary

The words and phrases which a learner is able to use in speech and writing. Contrasted with Passive Vocabulary.

Activity based learning

A way of learning by doing activities. The rules of language are looked at either after the activity or not at all.


To change a text or other material , so that it is suiable to use with a particular class.


The process of achieving an equilibrium between new experience and what is already known.

Additive bilingualism

A process by which individuals develop proficiency in a second language after or at the same time as the development of proficiency in the primary language (L1), without loss of the primary language; a bilingual situation where the addition of a second language and culture are unlikely to replace or displace the first language and culture.

Adult learning

Formal education geared to individuals classified as adults, typically over the age of 18; includes education provided by institutions of higher education but may also include informal training of workers or others in the development of a specific skill set or knowledge.

Advance organizer

Concepts given to students prior to a course or session to provide a stable cognitive structure in which the new learning can be subsumed.


A level of attainment where the learner has mastered most of the structures and functions of the language and is able to move freely through several registers - there may be a working vocabulary of in excess of 3000 words.


A school employee who assists students in obtaining their personal and academic objectives. There are some schools with advisors that handle all issues of student life. Other schools have different advisors assigned to specific fields, such as an "Academic Advisor," who handles things like course registration and credit issues.

Aesthetic response

An affective or emotional response a person has to material, which is based on the individual's background knowledge, attitudes, and experiences.


Relating to emotional, non cognitive, aspects of learning.

Affective domain

The emotional aspect of experience and learning.

Outcomes of education involving feelings more than understanding; likes, pleasures ideals and/or values.

The area of learning that includes feelings, attitudes and values. The lowest level of this domain is acquisition of these and the higher end is internalization and action upon them.

Affective filter

Process whereby a person learns to adapt to new surroundings through low anxiety and emotional support to incorporate social and cultural ideas and traditions and to become part of the new culture without losing his/her own sense of self worth as he/she gains new social and cultural ideas and traditions.


A syllable added to either the beginning or end of a base word to modify its meaning.

Aids to teaching

Visual: Blackboard, whiteboard, overhead projector, realia, posters wallcharts, flipcharts, maps, plans, flashcards, wordcards, puppets.

Electronic:Tape recorder, TV or video player, computer, CD Rom, language laboratory.

Aids such as charts, slides, etc used at a presention

A syllable added to either the beginning or end of a base word to modify its meaning.


Lesson aims are what you want the students to have achieved in language terms by the end of your lesson.

Personal aims are what you want to improve on personally. E.g. clearing checking of instructions.

The main aim is the most important aim, eg. The teacher’s main aim in a lesson could be to teach the present perfect in the situation of travel

A subsidiary aim is the secondary focus of the lesson , less important than the main aim. It couldbe the language or skills students must be able to use well inorder to achieve the main aim of the lesson or a skill or language area which is practiced while focusing on the main aim

Personal aim is what the teacher would like to improve on in his/her teaching , eg.

To reduce the time I spent at the white board

Anticipated language problems, when teachers are a planning a lesson , they think about what their students might find difficult about the language in the lesson so that they can help them learm more effectively at certain points in the lesson

Alternative Assessment

Analysis and reporting of student performance using sources that differ from traditional objective responses, such as standardized and norm-referenced tests. Alternative assessments include portfolios, performance-based tasks, and checklists.

Aligning instruction with assessment

Assessment strategies should be very similar to classroom instruction. It is important that lesson plans and assessments encompass the needs of all learners, including ESL learners. Teachers should plan lessons according to the learning styles of classroom students. Additionally, instruction needs to be conducted with assessments in mind. The format in which the material is presented should be the same technique used for assessment. For example, if a hands-on activity is used to teach the lesson, the assessment should include a hands-on type of evaluation. ESL students will be aware of and familiar with assessment expectations as a result of classroom routine.

Anecdotal records

Dated notes that a teacher records while observing ESL students during classroom activities and information collected during assessment. The records can be collected in order to track a second language learner's academic progress. This valuable information may be passed on to the student's next teacher to keep records of the second language acquisition process.


A collection of published works (poems, plays, essays, etc.) by one or more authors


A word that means the opposite of another word (ie, happy/sad)

Applied linguistics

The study of the relationship between theory and practice. The main emphasis is usually on language teaching, but can also be applied to translation, lexicology etc.

The branch of linguistics concerned with practical applications of language studies, with particular emphasis on the communicative function of language, and including such professional practices as lexicography, terminology, general or technical translation, language teaching (general or specialized language, mother tongue or second language), writing, interpretation, and computer processing of language

Applied linguistics is concerned with using linguistic theory to address real-world problems. It has been traditionally dominated by the fields of language education and second language acquisition. There is a recurrent tension between those who regard the field as limited to the study of language learning, and those who see it as encompassing all applications of linguistic theory. Both definitions are widely used


A formalized evaluation, typically a face-to-face meeting, of an individual's or learner's progress and performance intending to identify strengths and weakness and improve future performance

Appropriate ESL services

Appropriate ESL services are those provided for ESL students who cannot meet the prescribed learning outcomes. They may include in-class or pull-out ESL support, reception class support, or the support provided in locally developed courses. Curriculum and instruction provided for ESL students should reflect current research and effective ESL practices


The specific ability a learner has for learning a second language. This is separate from intelligence.

An individual’s ability to learn or to develop proficiency in an area if provided with appropriate education or training. Aptitude tests include tests of general academic (scholastic) ability; tests of special abilities (ie, verbal, numerical, mechanical); tests that assess “readiness” for learning; and tests that measure ability and previous learning that are used to predict future performance.

One's capability for performing a particular task or skill; usually involves a narrower skill than ability (eg, mathematics aptitude or foreign language aptitude

A combination of abilities and other characteristics, whether native or acquired, that are indicative of an individual's ability to learn or develop proficiency in some particular area if appropriate education or training is provided

Aptitude test

Standardized test designed to assess an individual's potential to acquire and/or develop knowledge or skills

Standardized tests measuring specific intellectual capabilities or other characteristics

In education, certification, counselling, and many other fields, a test or exam (short for examination) is a tool or technique intended to measure students' ex-pression of knowledge, skills and/or abilities. A test has more questions of greater difficulty and requires more time for completion than a quiz. It is usually divided into two or more sections, each covering a different area of the domain or taking a different approach to assessing the same aspects.

Aptitude treatment interaction

The relationship between individual differences and appropriate or effective teaching strategies


To make students interested in a task


The process of interpreting new perceptions in order to make them consistent with existing cognitive structures.


The process of evaluating and measure an individuals achievement; typically done with assessment tools such as assignments or examination

Assessment is the process the college uses to evaluate student skills in areas such as reading, writing and mathematics and English as a Second Language (ESL).

The means by which course grades are determined. May include either or both internal assessment on the basis of essays, reports, exercises, tests, student presentations or tutorial participation during the course, and a final examination at the end of the course.

Assessment is the process of documenting, often times in measurable terms, knowledge,skills, attitudes and beliefs. Assessment is often used in an educational context, but applies to many other areas as well.

The appraisal and valuation of student learning. Assessment can be an appraisal of the process (or progress) of learning (see formative assessment), or it can be an appraisal of the achievement of learning (see summative assessment). The assessment of learning can include a whole range of skills, qualities, methods and approaches, including peer and self assessment, and its focus is on determining the extent of student learning. In the literature there can be confusion between the terms assessment and evaluation, but a clearer distinction can be made by applying the former to student learning, and the latter to teaching and course effectiveness

Continuous assessment

A type of testing which is different from a final examination. Some or all of the work that students do during a course is part of the final mark

Formal assessment:

When a teacher judges students’ work through a test and then gives a formal report or grade to students, to say how successful or unsuccessful they have been

Formative assessment

When a teacher gives students feedback on their progress during a course, rather than at the end of it so they can learn from the feed back.

Informal assessment

When a teacher decides whether a student is doing well or not, or whether a course is successful or not, but without a test or an official report or grade.

Peer assessment

When students give feedback on each other’s language


When students decide for themselves if they can think their progress or language use is good or not.

Assessment criteria

The qualities against which a student’s performance is judged for assessment. For example,assessment criteria for judging students’ writing may be: accuracy, use of vocabulary, spelling and punctuation; organization of ideas

Assignment return sheets

The part of a competency standard specifying the required level of performance in terms of a set of outcomes which need to be achieved in order to be deemed competent.

Forms used to provide written comments regarding assignments completed by students

Assessment standards Attention span

Statements that establish guidelines for evaluating student performance and attainment of content standards; often include philosophical statements of good assessment practice.


Refers to academic work completed outside of class. In many ESL courses "Assignments" are given to students in order to review skills learned in class. This is also called "Homework."


When teachers think about what they believe their students will or will not know or how they behave in a particular lesson. For example , a teacher plans to teach present simple using the context of jobs and daily routines. The teacher makes the assumption that students will know basic job vocabulary and so will not spend time in the lesson presenting these words.

In lesson planning a teacher assumes a certain level of prior knowledge or ability in the students, meaning that certain things are appropriate to teach now. E.g. assuming a knowledge of the past simple and present perfect before a lesson which compares and contrasts the two.

Attention span

The length of time a learner can concentrate on some idea or activity

Attention span is the amount of time a person can concentrate on a single activity. The ability to focus one's mental or other efforts on an object is generally considered to be of prime importance to the achievement of goals


Learners possess sets of beliefs about language learning, the target culture, their culture, the teacher, the learning tasks, etc. These beliefs are referred to as attitudes. They influence learning in a number of ways.

Audio lingual method (ALM)

Listen and speak: this method considers listening and speaking the first tasks in language learning, followed by reading and writing. There is considerable emphasis on learning sentence patterns, memorization of dialogues and extensive use of drills.

A method of teaching language that focuses on listening and speaking

Listen and speak: this method considers listening and speaking the first tasks in language learning, followed by reading and writing. There is considerable emphasis on learning entence patterns, memorization of dialogues and extensive use of drills.

A language teaching method emphasizing grammar , vocabulary, and sound pattern practice , presented in dialogue form

Auditory learner

Learns through listening; these students learn best through verbal lectures, discussions, talking things through and listening to what others have to say. Auditory learners interpret the underlying meanings of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch, speed and other nuances. Written information may have little meaning until it is heard. These learners often benefit from reading text aloud and using a tape recorder

Audio/visual discrimination

Learning to process auditory and visual information so that it can be understood.


A non-Chinese–speaking adult arriving in China will not be able to understand a single word of Chinese. She will get the impression that the Chinese speak very fast, without pausing.

With time (and Chinese lessons!) she will learn to recognize individual words and phrases in spoken Chinese. As she progresses, she will eventually be able to divide the spoken language in intelligible words and sentences. She is learning to discriminate the auditory input.

Auditory and visual discrimination is not limited to language learning. Babies and children are learning to process all the perceptual information they receive - they are learning to recognize patterns, colors, shapes and objects, and to understand sounds as speech, music, animal sounds and so on. It’s a fundamental process in cognitive development.


Pertaining to the ear

A test in which the questions are given through the spoken word e.g. heard rather than seen.

Aural comprehension

Understanding the spoken word

Aural discrimination

Distinguishing between spoken sounds, words, or phrase

Authentic assessment

Authentic assessment refers to a broad evaluation procedure that includes a student's performance or demonstration of complex cognitive behaviors. The performance test of the skill or knowledge should be in a context as close to the "real thing" as classroom conditions allow. These assessments are used to evaluate complex behaviors not easily assessed by traditional paper-pencil tests

In order to accurately evaluate limited English proficient learners, testing strategies must mirror classroom activities. Lesson information is usually not presented to students in a multiple-choice format therefore; standardized multiple-choice tests are biased forms of evaluations for ESL students. Utilizing multidimensional assessments allow the ESL learner to experience success in a practical way. For example, if the ESL student comprehends the information in the classroom through the use of visuals, these same types of visuals should appear in the evaluation process. Authentic assessment allows the teacher to use classroom instruction to teach the material and to follow up on lessons by evaluating ESL students in a real and relevant way. A teacher made assessment that is aligned with classroom instruction will give ESL students opportunities to succeed while learning English. Examples of unbiased authentic methods of assessment include portfolios, teacher observations, self-assessments, scoring rubrics, anecdotal records, etc.

Authentic language

Real or natural language, as used by native speakers of a language in real-life contexts; not artificial or contrived for purposes of learning grammatical forms or vocabulary

Authentic material

Unscripted materials or those which have not been specially written for classroom use, though they may have been edited. Examples include newspaper texts and TV broadcasts.

Oral and written texts that occur naturally in the target language environment and that have not been created or edited expressly for language learners

Authentic task

A task which involves learners in using language in a way that replicates its use in the 'real world' outside the language classroom. Filling in blanks, changing verbs from the simple past to the simple present and completing substitution tables are, therefore, not authentic tasks. Examples of authentic tasks would be answering a letter addressed to the learner, arguing a particular point of view and comparing various holiday brochures in order to decide where to go for a holiday.

Authentic text

A text which is not written or spoken for language teaching purposes. A newspaper article, a rock song, a novel, a radio interview and a traditional fairy tale are examples of authentic texts. A story written to exemplify the use of reported speech, a dialogue 2scripted to exemplify ways of inviting and a linguistically simplified version of a novel wold not be authentic texts.

Text materials representative of the real world; nonacademic text; as bus schedules, directions for assembling a computer, etc.

Autonomous learning

Learning which is a consequence of individual volition, unconnected with any formal program

The final stage of learning a skill in which the skill becomes more and more automated and rapid.


Back chaining

A form of drilling where the teacher gets students to repeat from the end of a sentence or word, starting with the last word, then the last two words, last three etc.

For difficult words treat each syllable separately starting with the last one.

Basic Interpersonal communication skills (BICS)

A component of second language proficiency which usually occurs on an informal level that preceedes the more complex skills of cognitive/academic language proficiency occurs. If only an oral assessment of a student’s skills is taken, the student may appear proficient according to BICS. BICS are less abstract and more concrete than the more demanding cognitive/academic language proficiency skills

The language ability required for face-to-face communication where linguistic interactions are embedded in a situational context; for example, children acquire BICS from their playmates, the media, and day-to-day experiences. BICS are generally more easily acquired than cognitive academic language proficiency

Beginning literacy

It shows teachers how to group pre-literate, non-literate, semiliterate, and literate students in the same classroom to teach reading and writing skills. Various grouping strategies and instructional approaches based on students' backgrounds, goals, interests, and learning styles are presented as important aspects of literacy instruction.


A psychological theory that claims all mental states can be reduced to statements of observable behaviors. In learning theory, the claim is all learning is based on a stimulus-response relationship

Belief that learning results in a change in the learner's behavior. The focus of behaviorists is on the outputs of the learning process. The study of learning only through the examination and analysis of objectively observable and quantifiable behavioral events, in contrast with subjective mental states.

A theory of learning. The idea of Behaviorism is that all learning is determined by positive and negative reinforcement: If a person receives positive reinforcement (praise, a smile, a candy) for doing something, they will automatically do it again in similar situations. The reverse applies to negative reinforcement (criticism, a frown, a physical punishment).

Behaviorists think of learning as an automatic process and do not think there are any cognitive processes in the brain. It is the opposite of cognitivism

Behaviorist learning theory

This a general theory of learning, developed by B F Skinner. It sees learning as the formation of habits. Environmental factors (input, teacher, classroom, etc.) are seen as more important than the student's mental, internal factors.


A listing of works used and/or considered by an author in the preparation of a work.


Near nativelike knowledge of two cultures; includes the ability to respond effectively to the different demands of these two cultures


Possessing knowledge of two languages; typically it refers to a person who can speak and write two languages

Bilingual dictionary

A dictionary giving equivalent words in two languages

Bilingual education

Teaching a second language by relying heavily on the native language of the speaker. The theory is that maintaining a strong sense of one's one culture and language is necessary to acquire another language and culture.

Bilingual glossary

Here are some commonly used terms explained so that new members or outsiders don't feel confused by abbreviations used in discussing bilingual topics:

Bilingual instruction

Provision of instruction in school settings through the medium of two languages, usually a native and a second language; the proportion of the instructional day delivered in each language varies by the type of the bilingual education program in which instruction is offered and the goals of said program


Being able to communicate effectively in two or more languages, with more or less the same degree of proficiency.

Ability to speak two languages colloquially

Ability to speak two languages with native speaker competence

Blackboard blindness

The most common form of blackboard blindness is when you have to write a word you know well on the board and you can’t remember how to spell it.

In a more general context, it refers to all those situations in the classroom where you suddenly forget something you in fact know and understand perfectly well.

Blended learning

An educational formation the integrates e-learning techniques including online delivery of materials through web pages, discussion boards and/or email with traditional teaching methods including lectures, in-person discussions, seminars, or tutorials

An increasingly popular combination of online and in-person, classroom learning activities

Blended learning is the combination of multiple approaches to teaching or to educational processes which involve the deployment of a diversity of methods and resources or to learning experiences which are derived from more than one kind of information source. Examples include combining technology-based materials and traditional print materials, group and individual study, structured pace study and self-paced study, tutorial and coaching

Body language

The use of facial ex-pressions, gestures and physical orientation to express a message

Gestures and mannerisms by which a person communicates with others

Body language is a broad term for several forms of communication using body movements or gestures, instead of, or as a complement to, sounds, verbal language, or other forms of communication. In turn, it is one category of paralanguage, which describes all forms of human communication that are not language.

Bookmark websites

Using the computer, this is a method to mark websites for future reference

Bottom –up approach to language comprehension and production

This approach teaches the micro skills first (e.g. grammar, vocabulary, structure), before asking learners to use the language (communication). The focus is on the various components of the language first. Students then have to fit these together in comprehending or producing language.


-Typically used in writing, but is any activity where individuals general ideas related to a topic or task; done in either groups or individually with no restriction on quality of ideas. Once ideas are generation, they are they evaluated and a decision about which to pursue is made.

A problem-solving technique that involves creating a list that includes a wide variety of related ideas

A technique for generating, refining and developing ideas that can be undertaken by individuals, but is more effective when undertaken by a group of people.

A learning technique involving open group discussion intended to expand the range of available ideas

A method to get ideas from persons who are potential contributors. No criticism or discussion of ideas is allowed until all the ideas are recorded. The ideas are critically reviewed after the brainstorming session

Typically used in writing, but is any activity where individuals general ideas related to a topic or task; done in either groups or individually with no restriction on quality of ideas. Once ideas are generation, they are they evaluated and a decision about which to pursue is made.

A method of generating ideas by free association of words and thoughts

A group process used to generate a large number of ideas about specific issues in a non-judgmental environment

A group activity that stimulates creative thinking. The goal is to come up with as many ideas related to a topic as possible. The main principle is deferred judgment. All ideas are accepted without criticism. After the brainstorming is over, ideas are evaluated.

A method of shared problem solving in which all members of a group contribute ideas, or a similar process undertaken by one person to solve a problem by rapidly listing a variety of possible solutions.

Brush up

Review: refresh one's memory

Buffer event

In teaching, an activity which is not time-critical and which provides flexibility to allow the session to be completed at the appropriate time.



Call is an acronym for Computer Assisted Language Learning: the use of computers, software, and the internet for (you guessed it) language learning.


The buildings, facilities, and grounds owned by an institution or school. The term usually applies to institutions or schools that are separated to some degree from the surrounding environment.

Case study

An investigation format focusing on a specific group, setting, and time period with the aim of studying and clarifying a unique feature(s) of the situation.

A method for learning about a complex instance, based on a comprehensive understanding of that instance, obtained by extensive description and analysis of the instance, taken as a whole and in its context.

An intensive, detailed description and analysis of a single project or program in the context of its environment

An in-depth study of one individual or situation. The data in such a study may be recorded in field notes, typically a chronological account of both formal and informal observations. These notes are summarized and usually analyzed using some form of coding that identifies important trends and relationships in the data

Type of research which focuses on one subject, or person, as opposed to a group of subjects

Case studies involve a particular method of research. Rather than using large samples and following a rigid protocol to examine a limited number of variables, case study methods involve an in-depth, longitudinal examination of a single instance or event: a case. They provide a systematic way of looking at events, collecting data, analyzing information, and reporting the results.


To group, or classify, according to a specific characteristic, eg, color, shape, etc


Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (UCLES)


Certificate in English Language Teaching to Young Learners (UCLES)


Specialist Certificate in Teaching English for Industry and Commerce (Trinity College London)


Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (Trinity College London)


Trinity Certificate in Teaching English to Young Learners


A strategy involving organizing concepts into a sequence of logically connected steps.


To repeat a phrase , sentence or poem , usually with others , in a regular rhythm

A repetitive song in which as many syllables as necessary are assigned to a single tone

A chant is the rhythmic speaking or singing of words or sounds, either on a single pitch or with a simple melody involving a limited set of notes and often including a great deal of repetition or status. Chant may be considered speech, music, or a heightened form of speech which is more effective in conveying emotion or expressing ones spiritual side


A low challenge activity is one which the students can do without too much effort.

A high challenge activity is one which needs a greater amount of effort and concentration to do.

Remember that a low challenge activity doesn’t mean that students aren’t working properly. A good class balances the low challenge, medium challenge and high challenge activities


Applies to tests and homework when students obtain help that was forbidden

Choral drill

When a teacher says a word or sentence and students repeat it together

Choral reading

Sometimes referred to as unison reading. The whole class reads the same text aloud. Usually the teacher sets the pace. Choral reading helps with the ability to read sight words and builds fluency

Choral reading is a paired reading technique. The reading partner and a group of children read aloud together. The partner's voice provides guidance to the children as needed

Group reading aloud, Choral reading may be used with a group to develop oral fluency or to make a presentation to an audience. It may also be used by two people, one of whom usually is a better reader and serves as a model during the reading.


Smallest unit of content that is used independently and needs to be indexed individually

If a paragraph is too long for your students to read or to study all at once, you can divide it up into smaller sections which are still meaningful. These are known as chunks.

Class exercise

Learning exercises or problems students complete during regular classroom or laboratory sessions under the supervision of an instructor

Class management

The process of setting up an activity in class, monitoring it, and following it up.

Different activities require very different types of classroom management. For example, getting students to do a fill-in exercise in their books is very different to setting up a team game.

A key concept in classroom management is classroom dynamics. This is the type of interaction going on in a class:

Example: Teacher to group – Here you must ensure that all the students are paying attention to you, and that you are addressing all of them – not just the keen students at the front, or the student who is always daydreaming at the back.

Other types of dynamic – Student to Student, Student to Teacher, Group to Teacher, and so on, require different management.

Ways of organizing the resources, pupils and helpers in your classroom so that teaching and learning can proceed in an efficient and safe manner

Class management techniques

These are the strategies for organizing and maintaining a classroom environment that is conducive to learning. The purposes for these strategies include controlling student behavior, enhancing constructive student participation, and responding to and reducing inappropriate student behaviors

Class participation

Students should be actively involved in classroom discussions on a frequent basis. Discussion of homework problems and quiz questions in class will help toward correctly answering similar questions on tests

Closed pairs

When students do pair work with the person sitting next to them and no one else listens


A procedure whereby a word or words has/have been removed from a sentence and the student must fill in the blank using context clues (clues in the sentence)

Based on or being a test of reading skill using the cloze procedure

Cloze (from closure) is a form of examination technique, commonly but not limited to use on young children to test writing and comprehension skills.

An instructional tool which asks a student to complete a sentence or phrase by filling in a word or set of words in a text

Cloze procedure

A technique for assessing reading skills in which words are omitted from a text and the student is asked to fill in the missing words.

A reading comprehension activity in which students infer the missing words in a reading passage. When preparing a cloze activity, words are omitted at set intervals, such as every 5th or 7th word, etc. A word bank may or may not be provided; synonyms for the omitted words may or may not be accepted.

A cloze passage is a prose passage from which certain words have been deleted and replaced with gaps. The task of the test taker is to supply words for these gaps.

A test for diagnosing reading ability; words are deleted from a prose passage and the reader is required to fill in the blanks

Cloze Reading

A test or exercise of reading comprehension in which the student is asked to supply words systemically removed from the text

Cloze Test

A reading comprehension activity in which students infer the missing words in a reading passage. When preparing a cloze activity, words are omitted at set intervals, such as every 5th or 7th word, etc. A word bank may or may not be provided; synonyms for the omitted words may or may not be accepted.

A test of reading comprehension. Students read a passage in which words are missing at regular intervals (every fifth word is deleted for example). The student must figure out what the missing words are as they read

A test for diagnosing reading ability; words are deleted from a prose passage and the reader is required to fill in the blanks

A cloze test is a special type of fill-in exercise where, for example, every 5th word in a paragraph of about 150 words is deleted. (It could be every 6th word, or every 7th word, and so on.)

Cloze tests are a very good indicator of general ability in the language: usually a student who gets a good score in a cloze text is a good “all-rounder” in the language.


Abbreviation of Communicative Language Teaching


Cognates are words from different languages which are related historically; for example, English bath - German bad or English yoke - Hindi yoga. Beware of False Friends however.

Cognates are words that have a common origin

Cognates are words that (1) match each other to some degree in sound and meaning, (2) from a common root in an older language, but (3) did not actually serve as a root for each other. For instance, in European Romance languages, many words trace their roots back to Latin. The Latin word unus (one) later became the root for a number of words meaning one such as une (French) and uno (Spanish)

A word related to one in another language, such as theater (English) and theatre (French)

A word in a second language that is very similar (in spelling, meaning,...) to the equivalent word in the mother tongue

Cognates are words in English which are similar or the same as words in the students’ language and have the same meaning.

Example: computer in English means the same as computadora in Mexican Spanish.


Mental abilities of knowing, perceiving, and understanding mental functions such as the ability to think, reason, and remember: The conscious process of knowing or being aware of thoughts or perceptions, including understanding and reasoning

High level functions carried out by the human brain, including comprehension and use of speech, visual perception and construction, calculation ability, attention (information processing), memory, and executive functions such as planning, problem-solving, and self-monitoring.

The conscious process of the mind by which individuals perceive, think, and remember.

Programmed models which approximate the behavior of natural cognition, in the context of robotic and artificial intelligence systems.

Includes all the mental processes that are used to obtain knowledge or to become aware of the environment. Cognition encompasses perception, imagination, judgement, memory, and language. It includes the processes people use to think, decide, and learn.

Awareness, one of the three aspects of the mind, the others being affection (feeling or emotion), and conation (willing or desiring). They may work as a whole, but any one may dominate any mental process.

Cognitive academic language learning approach( CALLA)

An approach that capitalized on the knowledge and skills that learners already possess , while encouraging them to develop new and more effective strategies for learning ( developed by Chamot and O’Malley)

Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP)

The level of language proficiency needed to succeed in an academic classroom

Language proficiency associated with schooling and the abstract language abilities required for academic work. A more complex, conceptual, linguistic ability that includes analysis, synthesis and evaluation

Cognitive domain

The major area of learning in most disciplines. Has to do with knowledge, understanding and thinking.

Outcomes of education involving thinking and content knowledge, logic, classification and problem solving

This domain concerns to how individuals think; their intellectual capabilities, level of development and preferred thinking styles. Related terms/concepts include: cognitive or thinking styles, intellectual development, critical thinking

The learning domain that consists of intellectual skills

Cognitive model learning

Learning models based on the theory that acquisition of new knowledge and skills rests on the existence and development of mental cognitive structure

Cognitive process

Mental process such as knowing, perceiving, and understanding

Elicited by the site's activities. Different activities may pose different cognitive demands, ranging from plain information retrieval, through complex processing of varied types of information (eg, textual, visual, auditory, dynamic) or problem-solving and decision-making processes, to creative activity or invention.

Cognitive style

Individual characteristics of cognitive processing which are peculiar to a particular individual or class of individuals.


A theory of learning. The idea of cognitivism is that learning is a conscious, rational process. People learn by making models, maps and frameworks in their mind.

Cognitivism is the opposite of Behaviourism

Collabrative learning

When learners work in groups on the same task simultaneously, thinking together over demands and tackling complexities. Collaboration is here seen as the act of shared creation and/or discovery. Within the context of electronic communication, collaborative learning can take place without members being physically in the same location.

Learning through the exchange and sharing of information and opinions among a peer group. Computers excel in mediating collaborative learning for geographically dispersed groups.

A more radical departure from "cooperative learning". It involves learners working together in small groups to develop their own answer through interaction and reaching consensus, not necessarily a known answer. Monitoring the groups or correcting "wrong" impressions is not the role of the trainer since there is no authority on what the answer should be.

Collaborative learning is an umbrella term for a variety of approaches in education that involve joint intellectual effort by students or students and teachers. Groups of students work together in searching for understanding, meaning or solutions or in creating a product. The approach is closely related to cooperative learning, but is considered to be more radical


The tendency for words to occur regularly with others: sit/chair, house/garage.


The frequency or tendency some words have to combine with each other. For instance, Algeo notes that the phrases "tall person" and "high mountain" seem to fit together readily without sounding strange. A non-native speaker might talk about a "high person" or "tall mountain," and this construction might sound slightly odd to a native English speaker. The difference is in collocation

Communicative strategies

Strategies for using L2 knowledge. These are used when learners do not have the correct language for the concept they wish to express. Thus they use strategies such as paraphrase and mime: See learner strategies and production strategies.

Communicative approaches

Approaches to language teaching which aim to help learners to develop communicative competence (i.e., the ability to use the language effectively for communication). A weak communicative approach includes over teaching of language forms and functions in order to help learners to develop the ability to use them for communication. A strong communicative approach relies on providing learners with experience of using language as the main means of learning to use the language. In such as approach, learners, for example, talk to learn rather than learn to talk

The ability to use the language effectively for communication. Gaining such competence involves acquiring both sociolinguistic and linguistic knowledge (or, in other words, developing the ability to use the language accurately, appropriately, and effectively).

Approaches to language teaching which aim to help learners to develop communicative competence (ie the ability to use the language effectively for communication). A weak communicative approach includes overt teaching of language forms and functions in order to help learners to develop the ability to use them for communication. A strong communicative approach relies on providing learners with experience of using language as the main means of learning to usse the language

A method of teaching that focuses on helping students communicate meaningfully in the target language. With this approach there is a tendency to place more emphasis on speaking and listening tasks.

The communicative approach is designed to give the students meaningful activities. The aim is to teach the students to use "real-world" language.

The communicative approach is the opposite of the grammar / translation method

Communicative competence

The ability to recognize and produce language correctly , idiomatically , fluently, and appropriately in a variety of communicative settings, the term includes grammatical competence , and strategic competence, both orally and in writing

Communicative functions

Purposes for which language is used; includes three broad functions: communicative, integrative, and expressive; where language aids the transmission of information, aids affiliation and belonging to a particular social group, and allows the display of individual feelings, ideas, and personality

Communicative language learning(CLL)

An approach to language learning and teaching that emphasizes the value of real or realistic communication activities in the classroom. Learners focus on the content of the communication and not the grammar; learners carry out goal-based activities such as role-play and simulations, with a variety of structures used, and without teacher intervention. CLL can be contrasted with “grammar explanation and drill” teaching, which focuses on the form of the language, and in which meaningful information is rarely exchanged in the classroom.

Communicative language teaching

An approach concerned with the needs of students to communicate outside the classroom; teaching techniques reflect this in the choice of language content and materials, with emphasis on role play, pair and group work, among others.

An approach concerned with the needs of students to communicate outside the classroom; teaching techniques reflect this in the choice of language content and materials, with emphasis on role play, pair and group work etc

Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is an approach to the teaching of second and foreign languages that emphasizes interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of learning a language

Competence and performance

Competence is the knowledge which a student has of the language. This may be conscious or unconscious knowledge. Native speakers have perfect competence, but in many cases this is unconscious knowledge.

Performance is applying this knowledge when you’re using the language. Often performance is not perfect, even for native speakers!


Ability to function according to the cultural rules of more than one cultural system; ability to respond in culturally sensitive and appropriate ways according to the cultural demands of a given situation


An individual's abilities as they relate to knowledge, understanding, and skills; see also minimal competence

Components of a lesson plan

The main parts of a lesson plan , eg. Aims, procedure, timing, aids, interaction patterns, anticipated problems, assumption


Ability to find and construct meaning from texts

Understanding of spoken, written, or gestural communication

The ability to grasp meaning, explain, restate ideas, means understanding the basic information and translating, interpreting, and extrapolating it.

Comprehension is defined as the ability to grasp the meaning of material. This may be shown by translating material from one form to another (words to numbers), by interpreting material (predicting consequences or effects). These learning outcomes go one step beyond the simple remembering of material and represent the lowest level of understanding

Comprehensible input

When native speakers and teachers speak to L2 learners, they often adjust their speech to make it more comprehensible. Such comprehensible input may be a necessary condition for acquisition to occur.

Language that is presented to a new language learner in a way that is meaningful to that learner. Input may be made more comprehensible through the use of visual and context cues, short sentences, avoidance of idiomatic language, etc

Comprehensible output

The language produced by the learner (the 'output') may be comprehensible or incomprehensible. The efforts learners make to be comprehensible may play a part in acquisition.

Comprehensive adult student assessment system(CASAS)

A list of life-skill competencies

Computer assisted learning

An instructional format where the computer supplements the instructions, exercises, information and/or feedback provided by an instructor

Computer Assisted Instruction refers to a system of educational instruction performed almost entirely by computer.

Computer conferencing

A format for holding discussions by participants in different places by connecting through computer networks to transmit messages that are either text, audio, and or visual. This can be asynchronous using email or a listserver or synchronous using conferencing software.

Computer- facilitated communication among the members of a group, where all messages are seen by all members. Some conferences are open to anyone; membership in class conferences is usually determined by the enrollment in a college course.

Emulates face-to-face conference where many people meet to discuss an issues of common concerns. Participants can generally contribute their comments at their own convenience

A development of electronic mail with features specifically designed to help in the organization, structuring and retrieval of messages. Messages can be linked to each other and organized in different databases accessible to all with access privileges.

Computer marked assignments (CMAs)

Assignments that are evaluated and assessed by use of a computer; typical examples are standardize placement tests

Computer supported learning resources

The parts of a e-learning product other than those that instruct, test, or track progress. These include glossaries, bulletin boards and chats, bibliographies, databases, etc

Concept checking

The technique of asking concept questions or other techniques to check that students have understood a new structure or item or lexis . a concept question is a question asked by the teacher to make sure that a student has understood the meaning of new language structures

Questions you can ask your students to check they understand the meaning of a new structure.


  • You’ve taught your students the simple past with sentences like “He went to the museum on Saturday.”

  • You check they understand the idea of the past with questions like:

  • Is he at the museum now?

  • Is he going to the museum tomorrow?

  • Does he go to the museum every day?

  • Where was he on Saturday?

Concept mapping

A learning strategy used to aid students in organizing information; concept maps take a variety of forms suited to the type of information and activity.

Conceptual development

An important aspect of child psychology is how children’s understanding of the world develops. For example, children develop a conception of themselves as individuals, of other people as members of their family or people outside their family, of physical laws (if you drop a glass, it breaks), and so on.

One of the key stages of conceptual development is developing the idea of object permanence. Very young babies do not attempt to look for an attractive object which is hidden. As they grow older, they understand that the object still exists and they look for it.

Other key ideas in conceptual development are pattern recognition (learning to recognize and eventually to predict patterns) and abstract operations (learning to think in abstract terms, using abstract language)


A list of authentic utterances each containing the same focused word or phrase e.g.: "The bus driver still didn't have any change so he made me wait. I really don't mind which one. Any newspaper will do. I just ...know what they are saying. Any teacher will tell you that it's .........": See authentic.

A concordance of any word is a list of sentences the word appears in, taken from authentic material – newspapers, magazines, radio programs, television programs, books, etc.

Example: A concordance of the word can might include sentences like this:

  • There’s a can of tuna in the cupboard.

  • Can you help me?

  • I’d love to come, but I don’t think I can.

  • It’s a picture of a can-can dancer by Toulouse-Lautrec.

  • I can’t imagine anything more ridiculous.

Concordances are used for compiling the definitions and examples that appear in many ELT dictionaries.

The set of language from which the concordance of a word is taken is called a corpus.

Conditional admission

When applicants do not satisfy one of the necessary requirements for acceptance but are granted permission to enroll under the condition that they fulfill a requirement as decided by the school. Some Universities offer conditional admission to those international students who meet academic requirements for admission but have a low level of English, under the condition that the student improves his/her language abilities by studying at that school's IEP.


To return to something to understand and remember it more completely. For example, students can consolidate a grammar point by doing extra practice

Constructed response

Assessment based on written material constructed by the student

Student -created response to a test item, as an essay response.


A theory learning that claims people learn by constructing knowledge through social interactions with other

A theory of teaching. The basic idea of constructivism is:

“Knowledge cannot be instructed by a teacher, it can only be constructed by a learner”.

This means learning is not just a direct result of listening to a teacher. The students have to organize and develop what they hear and read.

Constructivisim is an example of Cognitivism applied to teaching.

The opposite approach to constructivism is Instructivism

Constructivism has as its foundation the idea that we cannot know an objective reality that is independent of our way of knowing it.

As applied to learning and teaching, constructivism suggests that we learn by actively engaging in making our own meanings. Importantly, when students come into class, they are not blank slates, but have an already existing world-view, consisting of sets of values, ideas, and knowledge shaped by previous experience and learning. New learning will occur when active connections with this pre-existing world-view can occur. For this reason, it is important for the teacher to have a good sense of where the students currently stand in relation to what is being taught. Because of its emphasis on active learning, constructivism forms an underlying principle of student-centred learning.

Content-based ESL

Content- based ESL is a model of language education that integrates language and content instruction in the second language classroom; a second language learning approach where second language teachers use instructional materials, learning tasks, and classroom techniques from academic content areas as the vehicle for developing second language, content, cognitive and study skills

Content based learning

When a subject e.g maths or history , is taught through the second language

Content standards

‘Content standards’ are statements that define what one is expected to know and be able to do in a content area; the knowledge, skills, processes, and other understandings that schools should teach in order for students to attain high levels of competency in challenging subject matter; the subject-specific knowledge, processes, and skills that schools are expected to teach and students are expected to learn

Content words

Words with a full meaning of their own; nouns, main verbs (ie not auxiliary or modal verbs), adjectives and many adverbs. Contrasted with structure words.

Content-based E.S.L.: A model of language education that integrates language and content instruction in the second language classroom; a second language learning approach where second language teachers use instructional materials, learning tasks, and classroom techniques from academic content areas as the vehicle for developing second language, content, cognitive and study skills


The 'context' of an utterance can mean: i) 'situational context' - the situation in which the utterance is produced; ii) 'linguistic context' - the linguistic environment (the surrounding language).


The setting where teaching and learning occur; identifying context involves noting social, geographical, political, and other factors related to the learning environment

The situation in which language is used or presented in the classroom

the words or phrases before or after a word which help student to understand that word

Content-based ”sheltered” ESL instruction

An approach to second language teaching which utilizes content-area subject matter to teach language. With contextualized and understandable concepts attached to content area school subjects, the second language acquisition process is enhanced. Concepts and vocabulary may be set at a lower academic level to target the student’s level of English proficiency. This approach helps the second language learner maintain the cognitive structures that may have already been developed in the native language. The ESL teacher usually pursues this approach

Context Embedded

Natural usage of a language so that meaning of new words is derived through the context of the situation or text.


Placing the target language in a realistic setting, so as to be meaningful to the student.

To put a language into a situation that shows what it means

Continuing professional development (CDP)

Opportunities for individuals to increase their current level of knowledge and skills through coursework or other means in order to improve their employment

Continuous assessment

Ongoing evaluation of work during a course in which the scores earned count toward the final evaluation


A teaching strategy involving the negotiating of learning contracts with the student. The contract making objectives clear and specifying work schedules and assessment responsibilities

Contrastive analysis hypothesis

According to this hypothesis, L2 errors are the result of differences between the learner's first language and the target language, and these differences can be used to identify or predict errors that will occur.

Assessment based on emphasizing the ability of the students to focus upon a clearly defined task; opposed to divergent assessment

Controlled practice

AExercises where the pupils is not free to chose the answer

Controlled practice is when the students use a limited set of new language.

Example: After a presentation of the present simple, students might have controlled practice of the new structure using the model sentences, with days of the week as cues.

  • Teacher: Monday.
  • Student: He goes to the movies on Monday.
  • Teacher: Wednesday.
  • Student: He visits his friends on Wednesday.

In this case, the controlled practice is the Practice stage of the PPP technique.

After the controlled practice, students can then move on to free practice where they invent parallel sentences about another person with other activities.

He plays football on Monday. He swims on Tuesday.

In this case, the free practice stage is the Production stage of the PPP technique

Controlled vocabulary

Standardized terms used in searching a specific database. These terms differ for each database

A set of subject terms, and rules for their use in assigning terms to materials for indexing and retrieval.


A practice or procedure widely observed in a group, especially to facilitate social interaction; a widely-accepted device or technique, as in writing, drama, literature, or painting.


Working together and helping each other. In some group work activities students will cooperate to find the answer or solve a problem.

Cooperative learning

Learning format the requires the cooperation of a small number of students who work towards the completion of a given task; each student is responsible for a part of the task, and the entire task cannot be completed without all the learners finishing their portion of the task.

A teaching technique involving assigning work to groups of students who then carry out required tasks collaboratively.

Learning that takes place when students of various abilities and backgrounds are placed together in pairs and small groups to work on tasks with instructor supervision and support. The instructor assesses the group’s work , not the individuals’

A teaching strategy designed to promote productive and mutual learning among a group of students.

A group setting that is very structured and allows for children to work within a group on a project.

A pedagogical strategy or method in which students work in groups to maximize the learning of all individuals in the group

Cooperative learning was proposed in response to traditional curriculum-driven education. In cooperative learning environments, students interact in purposively structured heterogenous group to support the learning of one self and others in the same group

when classroom students work in small groups toward social and academic learning goals. The small mixed groups allow an ESL student to feel at ease while learning English. Peers in the group support the new language learners as they discuss the lesson material in English. The group atmosphere2 provides a non-threatening environment for the LEP student while self-confidence is being strengthened. Spencer Kagan, author of Cooperative Learning,stresses the implementation of cooperative learning groups in every classroom

Cooperative/Collaborative group

A grouping arrangement in which positive interdependence and shared responsibility for task completion are established among group members; the type of organizational structure encouraging heterogeneous grouping, shared leadership, and social skills development.

Cooperative learning

An instructional approach in which students work in structured, mixed ability groups to accomplish a task or learn information. Participant roles and lesson objectives are clearly defined. Both group success and individual learning are assessed

Cooperative learning was proposed in response to traditional curriculum-driven education. In cooperative learning environments, students interact in purposively structured heterogenous group to support the learning of one self and others in the same group.

A teaching strategy designed to promote productive and mutual learning among a group of students

An approach to teaching and learning involving two or more students working together to gain knowledge, skills, and experiences

It is widely accepted that students learn from each other and that learning is improved if it takes place in groups or social situations. Cooperative learning occurs through the interactions of members of a (generally small) group engaged in the achievement of a shared goal or task.

Cooperative learning can have a number of effects: it requires and therefore fosters unselfish behaviour; it models problem-solving in the real world where the meshing of people with different skills and diverse ideas is required; it involves learning through dialogue and discussion; it promotes exploration through interactive problem-solving

Core series

A text book or text series which makes up the main, or core, curriculum. The text usually integrates the four skills plus grammar , and is used instead of individual skills texts

Core vocabulary

The small number of words that are used for the majority of communication. For most people, about 85% of communication is accomplished using just a few hundred words.

The basic words and meanings needed to understand a special field, textbook, topic, etc

Highly functional, meaningful, high-frequency words and phrases

Cornell notes

A note-taking and study system developed at Cornell University; is a systematic way of recording notes with an effective method of processing information for learning and recall


A database of real spoken or written language, taken from newspaper articles, magazine articles, websites, radio programs, TV programs, etc.

A corpus is used as a basic reference material for analysis of the language, such as producing a concordance. It is also used for writing definitions of words, and examples of how they are used, especially in the compilation of dictionaries.

Correction code

A series of symbols a teacher may use to mark students’ writing so that they can correct mistakes by themselves, eg.

P = punctuation mistake

T = tense mistake

Correspondence courses

Courses taken by mail or via internet. Colleges may give limited credit for correspondence courses


Aid provided by a staff member or peer (student) in relation to an educational, personal, or social problem

Course grading policy

A system designed to evaluate students’ ability

Course book

A textbook which provides the core materials for a course. It aims to provide as much as possible in one book and is designed so that it could serve as the only book which the learners necessarily use during a course. Such a book usually focuses on grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, functions and the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking: See supplementary materials.


Software and other computer-based materials developed for use in a course


Software and other computer-based materials developed for use in a course

Course materials provided by computer

Creative thinking

Thought processes designed to encourage originality in the development and elaboration of original and diverse ideas.

Able to see and make things in a new or different way.

Open-ended, divergent, imaginative thinking; includes fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration


A unit that is awarded to a student upon completion of an academic course at the college/university level. Depending on the school, different courses can be worth different amounts of credits. In order to successfully graduate and attain a certain degree, the student must have attained the necessary number of credits as indicated by the school.

Criterion-referenced tests

These assessments are based on pre-established standards against which student performance is measured.

Define a learner's performance in terms of specific competencies or objectives mastered

Criterion referencing

Assessment based on predefined criteria; opposed to norm referencing

Critical incident

An event that triggers reflective self-examination and critical assessment of the event.

Critical period hypothesis

The theory that there is a critical period in language acquisition, from very early childhood up to adolescence. If a language is not acquired during this stage, the learner will not usually achieve native speaker competence.

The critical period is related to the development of laterality in the brain. Once laterality is fully established (during adolescence) the critical period is over

Critical thinking

Evaluating claims, assumptions, and implications of a particular point of view without simply accepting them as facts

Cross cultural competence

Ability to function according to the cultural rules of more than one culture system; ability to respond in culturally sensitive and appropriate ways according to the cultural demands a given situation

Cross-curricular syllabus

A syllabus which teaches English through the other subjects in the school curriculum. For example, a course which involves elements of geography, history and social studies.

You can find cross-curricular elements in many contemporary ELT textbooks.


Materials taken from a variety, sources as prose, poetry , news papers and technical reports

Cue cards

Cards with words or pictures on them which are used to encourage student response, or pair and group work

Culturally and linguistically diverse students

An increasingly popular reference to students with special needs and whose native language is not English and/or students whose native culture does not originate in the U.S. The reference is sometimes interchanged with English language learner because it is more positive in connotation than limited English proficient and is occasionally used for other LEP students who do not have special needs


The sum total of the ways of life of a people; includes norms, learned behavior patterns, attitudes, and artifacts; also involves traditions, habits or customs; how people behave, feel and interact; the means by which they order and interpret the world; ways of perceiving, relating and interpreting events based on established social norms; a system of standards for perceiving, believing, evaluating


Broadly understood as the subjects and materials to be taught by an educational institution; typically it is listed as a set of subjects, but also may include the learning experiences, skills, and abilities students are expected to learn.

course of study: an integrated course of academic studies; "he was admitted to a new program at the university

In education, a curriculum (plural curricula) is the set of courses and their contents offered by an institution such as a school or university. In some cases, a curriculum may be partially or entirely determined by an external body (such as the National Curriculum for England in English schools). In the US, the basic curriculum is established by each state with the individual school districts adjusting it to their desires

A curriculum is composed of those classes prescribed or outlined by an institution for completion of a program of study leading to a degree or certificate

Planned interaction of pupils with instructional content, materials, resources, and processes for evaluating the attainment of educational objectives

For a particular student, or group of students, the total learning experience provided by a teaching institution, including the content of courses (the syllabus), the methods em2ployed and other aspects, like norms and values, which relate to the way the institution is organized. Note the concept of the Hidden Curriculum as those aspects of this process which are not overt and explicit.

Instructional plan of skills, lessons, and objectives on a particular subject; may be authored by a state, textbook publisher. A teacher typically executes this plan.

The available courses in a program of study

The skills, performances, attitudes, and values pupils are expected to learn from schooling: includes statements of desired pupil outcomes, descriptions of materials, and the planned sequence that will be used to help pupils attain the outcomes

A broad definition includes not just the list and details of subjects taught but all the pupil`s learning experiences at school and the processes of learning as well as the knowledge that is acquired

Curriculum mapping

A process for organizing data reflecting the primary knowledge, skills, and assessments related to a subject area and used to facilitate communication and instruction.


Deadline Debating

Final date for the submission of assignment or other required work.


The practice of researching all sides of an issue and having students argue the various positions. To increase substance in the debate, it is very important to involve students in extensive research of the issue before conducting the debate in class

Deductive learning

An approach to learning in which students are fist taught the rules and given all the information they need about the language , they use these rules in language activities

Deep learning

Learning aimed at having students extract principles and underlying meanings in order to integrate them with previously acquired knowledge, contrast with surface learning.

Deep learning is typified as an intention to understand and seek meaning, leading students to attempt to relate concepts to existing experience, distinguishing between new ideas and existing knowledge, and critically evaluating and determining key themes and concepts


An explanation of the meaning of a new word

A concise explanation of the meaning of a word or phrase or symbol

A statement that describes a concept and permits its differentiation from other concepts

Deep end strategy

In a deep end strategy, new language input is provided within a context that includes other language structures.


You could present the present simple affirmative with a text about a typical day in the life of sports star.

The text would include perhaps ten examples of the present simple affirmative, plus some other grammatical structures.

The students would read the text and underline the verbs in the present simple.

You could then go on to the standard practice and production stages of a PPP presentation.

The idea behind this is that students can recognize much more than they can produce.

This is the opposite approach to the Structural-Situational Approach.

Defining vocabulary

A defining vocabulary is a published, stable, and culturally accepted core glossary specifically used by dictionary publishers to standardize their use of simple words to explain complex words, and culture-specific idioms or metaphors. It can also be published as a defining dictionary, but the most common use of such dictionaries is to assist in creating new dictionaries


Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults (UCLES)


Diploma in English Language Teaching to Young Learners (UCLES)


To make a learner lose motivation

Dependency grammar

A type of grammar which operates essentially in terms of types of dependencies or grammatical relation between heads and dependent elements of a construction rather than in terms of constituent structure

Dependency grammar (DG) is a class of syntactic theories separate from generative grammar. Structure is determined by the relation between a word (a head) and its dependents. One difference from phrase structure grammar is that dependency grammar does not have phrasal categories. Algebraic syntax, Link grammarand Extensible Dependency Grammar are types of dependency grammar.


Descriptors are broad categories of discrete, representative behaviors that students exhibit when they meet a standard

A word or a group of words used as a subject to describe the content in books, articles, and other materials for the purpose of indexing or organizing these items by topic. As an important element of effective research, descriptors are needed to determine the correct headings for a specific database or catalog

Words or phrases assigned to books and articles to index these items by topic.

Terms used in indexes, abstracts, or other databases/periodical indexes to describe the subjects of an article; sometimes called subject headings.

Developmental error

An error in learner language which does no result from transfer from the first language, but which reflects the learner's gradual discovery of the second language system

Diagnostic evaluation

This type of assessment takes place prior to teaching. The purpose of diagnostic assessment is to determine the students' prior knowledge and level of understanding so that the lesson can be designed to meet their needs. Lessons appropriate to the students' level of prior knowledge is important if we want learners to meaningfully understand information and concepts

Diagnostic Evaluation occur before or, more typically, during instruction, concerned with skills and other characteristics that are prerequisite to the current instruction, used to establish underlying causes for a student failing to learn a skill, try to anticipate conditions that will negatively affect learning, measures performance in skills not typically taught in the present classroom setting, based mostly on informal assessments, sometimes formal assessments and standardized tests are used

Diagnostic teaching

An informal assessment strategy in which two or more instructional conditions are compared to determine which is most effective.

The use of the results of student performance on current tasks to plan future learning activities; instruction in which diagnosis and instruction are fused into a single ongoing process.

Diagnostic test

Examination used to determine students current level of knowledge or skill to identify what course level they should be placed in or whether remediation is required.

A type of formative evaluation that attempts to diagnose students' strengths and weaknesses vis a vis the course materials; students receive no grades on diagnostic instruments

A test used to diagnose, analyze or identify specific areas of weakness and strength; to determine the nature of weaknesses or deficiencies; diagnostic achievement tests are used to measure skills

An assessment tool used to define a learner's difficulties, deficiencies of knowledge and skills and specific learning needs.


The regional variety of a language, differing from the standard language, in grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation or idiomatic usage.

A representation of the speech patterns of a particular region or social group. Dialect, naturally, changes from location to location

The usage or vocabulary that is characteristic of a specific group of people

A variety of a language distinguished by variations of accent, grammar, or vocabulary

A form of speech peculiar to a district, class, or person

A variety of a language distinguished by certain features of grammar or vocabulary. For example, there is a Yorkshire dialect of English, which contains words not used in standard English (which is in itself a dialect

Regional form of a language. Over long periods of time, dialects can grow into distinct languages. Languages vary by geographical region, social class, educational level, and even individual speaker. The term dialect designates a definable regional variant: more loosely, it is often used for social and other variations as well. Theoretically, speakers of different dialects of the same language can understand each other

Dialect is a speech pattern typical of a certain regional location, race, or social group that exhibits itself through unique word choice, pronunciation, and/or grammatical usage

A variety of English based on differences in geography, education, or social background. Dialect is usually spoken, but may be written.

The form or variety of a spoken language peculiar to a region, community, social, or occupational group

A particular variety of language spoken in one place by a distinct group of people. A dialect reflects the colloquialisms, grammatical constructions, distinctive vocabulary, and pronunciations that are typical of a region. At times writers use dialect to establish or emphasize settings as well as to develop characters

A variation of some standard language form that includes differences in pronunciation, word usage, and syntax; such differences may be based on ethnicity, religion, geographical region, social class, or age.

Dialogue drill

Dialogue drill is an outgrowth of the audio-lingual method. It is used to develop speaking skills and pronunciation accuracy. The Dialogue places language structures in a context. The Drills emphasize the teacher as a model that students mimic in order to practice grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary.


Diction is the art of enunciating with clarity, of speaking in such a way that each word is clearly heard. It is concerned with pronunciation and enunciation. Diction is also concerned with the choice of words to be used. It is from this definition of diction that we derive the word dictionary.

The degree of clarity and distinctness of pronunciation and articulation in speech or singing

The use and choice of words in a piece of writing. Diction is also enunciation


Sound which cannot be represented by a single symbol, usually between successive phonemes

A vowel sound produced by two adjacent vowels in the same syllable whose sounds blend together (ie, oy, ow)

Two vowel sounds joined in one syllable to make one speech sound

Choice of words especially with regard to correctness, clearness, or effectiveness


Diploma in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Asian Languages (Trinity College London)


Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages(Trinity College London)

Direct method

The most common approach in TEFL, where language is taught through listening and speaking. There may be little or no explicit explanation of grammatical rules, nor translation into the mother tongue of the student - inductive learning rather than deductive.

A teaching technique where the English language is used from the very beginning


Learning that letters in a word, sentence or paragraph flow in the same direction. In English, the direction is always from left to right, with a “reverse sweep” at the end of the line back to the beginning of the line underneath. Other languages have different directionality – Arabic, for example, flows from right to left.

Disadvantaged student

Students who have not had the same opportunities as other students entering a course of study and may need special Arrangements or additional assistance to prepare them for study; disadvantages may be due to physical or emotional problems or deficiencies caused by inequities in social conditions


A unit of language greater than a sentence.

A conversation; the act or result of making a formal written or spoken presentation on a subject; in linguistics, any form of oral or written communication more extensive than a sentence extended verbal ex-pression in speech or writing


A unit of language greater than a sentence.

A conversation; the act or result of making a formal written or spoken presentation on a subject; in linguistics, any form of oral or written communication more extensive than a sentence extended verbal ex-pression in speech or writing

Discourse is a form of two-way communication aimed at understanding each other's position. Arguments are examined for validity, according to set rules and without regard to person or status, with a view to shared decision-making

Discourse is a contiguous stretch of language comprising more than one sentence (text) or utterance (speech).

A spoken or written treatment of a subject at length.

A connected and continued communication of thought by means of spoken or written language

The linking of sentences such that they constitute a narrative

Verbal exchanges between speakers on a shared topic.

Discovery activity

An activity which involves learners in investing energy and attention in order to discover something about the language for themselves. Getting learners to wotk out the rules of direct speech from examples, asking learners to investigate when and why a character uses the modal 'must' in a story and getting learners to notice and explain the use of ellipsis in a recorded conversation would be examples of discovery activities

Discovery learning

A teaching method in which information or evidence is presented to students in a way which enables them to progress to new levels of understanding

Learning without a teacher; usually in a controlled (ie pre-designed) set-up, and under supervision


This is the process of verbally sharing ideas. Effective discussion depends on a number of factors including:

Having a knowledgeable facilitator who sets clear goals and guidelines for the discussion and can conduct the discussion so that all participants are able to contribute

Having informed students who have something to contribute in addition to opinions

Establishing a safe environment for sharing where differences of opinion are respected

Careful phrasing, selection, and sequencing of questions so participants understand what is being asked and so the discussion can maintain focus

A process of talking about a topic in a group in a conversational way. Any contributions to the conversation are accepted from anyone involved in the discussion and ideas can emerge and evolve in ways which have not been predetermined by the teacher.


Extensive essay generally required at the completion of a doctoral program.

Substantial academic paper written on an original topic of research, usually presented as one of the final requirements for the doctorate.

Original research usually required for a Ph.D. degree

A substantive essay or treatise presented by a candidate in partial fulfillment of the requirement for a doctoral degree.

A text written by a candidate for a doctoral degree at a university in completion of requirements for a Ph.D

A dissertation is a substantial work of independent original research, at the doctoral level, which makes a contribution to the current body of knowledge in a scholarly field.

The major research project normally required as part of the work for a doctoral degree. Dissertations are expected to make a new and creative contribution to the field of study, or to demonstrate one's excellence in the field

Distance education

Any format of education provided to students who do not need to be physically present at an institution; previously materials were sent to students but now materials are provided via computer conferencing, video, Internet, and other electronic means.

Teaching and learning in which learning normally occurs in a different place from teaching.

Education that takes place when the instructor and student are separated by space and/or time. The gap between the two can be bridged through the use of technology - such as audio tapes, videoconferencing, satellite broadcasts and online technology - and/or more traditional delivery methods, such as the postal service.

Formal learning in which the student and the instructor are not in the same place at the same time.

Conveying knowledge from a distance, using web sites, discussion groups and message boards

The physical presence of the student is not required at the educational institution. Study is conducted using specially prepared teaching materials which are made available to students by post, radio, television and in some cases video conferencing.

This is the application of videoconferencing technology to teaching students that cannot get to traditional schools. This is a major area of research that tries to use teaching resources more efficiently

Instructional programs or courses in which the instructor and students need not be in the same physical place, particularly those relying on computers, audio, or video technology as the medium for delivery and, sometimes, for two-way interaction

An educational process and system in which all or a significant proportion of the teaching is carried out by someone or something removed in space and time from the learner. Distance education requires structured planning, well-designed courses special instructional techniques and methods of communication by electronic and other technology, as well as specific organizational and administrative arrangements

A planned teaching/learning experience that uses a wide spectrum of technologies to reach learners at a distance and is designed to encourage learner interaction and certification of learning.

A formal learning activity which occurs when students and instructor are separated by geographic distance or by time, often supported by communications technology such as television, videotape, computers, email, mail, or interactive videoconferencing

Distance learning

Term often used as synonymous with distance education, not strictly correctly since distance education includes teaching as well as learning

The process by which technology is used for education in ways where the student does not have to physically be in the place where the teaching is taking place. Access to the instructor is gained through technology such as the Internet, interactive videoconferencing and satellite.

Learning where the instructor and the students are in physically separate locations. Can be either synchronous or asynchronous . Can include correspondence, video or satellite broadcasts, or e-Learning . Usually implies the higher education level.

Some universities/colleges offer courses which students can take off-campus, via a variety of means, such as: Internet, videotapes, or cable television.

Distance education courses

These are courses that are taught to students who are separated by time and/or space from the instructor. Modes of delivery for these classes include: telecourses, online courses, videotaped courses, correspondence courses, or live-interactive courses

Distributed learning

The provision of a learning context by projecting the environment to the student, usually via Information Technology. The student may be on or off campus

Divergent assessment

Assessment based on emphasizing the ability of the student to develop additional skills than those specified in a clearly defined task; opposed to convergent assessment.


Varieties of different backgrounds of a group of individuals that often require using a variety of methods of instruction.


To have a very strong influence over what happens. If a particular student is dominant in class then other students get less chance to participate actively. If a teacher dominates , the lesson is teacher-centred


Writing a first version to be filled out and polished later

Drill and practice

An interactive exercise used to develop basic skills like keyboard operation. Involves the repetition of short sequences of practice, chained together to make up more complex processes.

A computer-assisted instruction technique in which a series of structured problems or exercises with immediate feedback to student responses is provided.

An instructional software function that presents items for students to work (usually one at a time) and gives feedback on correctness; designed to help users remember isolated facts or concepts and recall them quickly


The intensive and repetitive practice of the target language, which may be choral or individual

A drill is a set of sentences containing a new structure for the students to repeat.

Choral drill: the entire class repeats the sentences in unison.

Individual drill: The teacher selects students to repeat a sentence individually.

Substitution drill: The teacher varies the drill with cue words.

Example (during a presentation of object pronouns):

  • Teacher: My brother.
  • Students: I gave the book to him.
  • Teacher: My mother.
  • Students: I gave the book to her.
  • Teacher: Children.
  • Students: I gave the book to them.

Making students practise intensively, they normally aim to practised the form or structure of an item, but often do not attach much importance to what it means. It could be oral, written

Dual mode delivery

Education or training that can be provided either in a face-to-face format or in a distance education format.


Early production

Early production comes from the Natural Approach, which focuses on meaningful communication rather than on the form of the language. Early Production emphasizes comprehensible input and is characterized by activities that require one- or two-word responses from students in the early stages of language learning

Economies of scale

Attempts to reduce costs by increasing the number of items produced and sold or reducing the number of competing institutions

Eco correct

When a student makes a mistake , the teacher repeats the mistake with rising intonation so that students can correct themselves,e.g.

S: He don’t like it

T: Don’t?

S: He doesn’t like it

Eclectic approach

The Eclectic approach combines the techniques of several different approaches. For example, many courses have elements from the Functional approach, the Communicative approach, the structural-situational approach, a skills approach, and so on.

Educational development

The process of improving the effectiveness of educational provision through an ongoing review of relevant factors at all levels from teaching techniques and materials to institutional structures and policies, and the provision of mechanisms for progressive change

Educationally appropriate services

Educationally appropriate services, are services that reflect current knowledge with regard to effective ESL practices. They are provided by districts for all ESL students along a continuum - from reception services for beginners, through transitional services, to services that offer support during full integration

Educational software

Software designed to facilitate teaching and learning

Educational technology

The concept of treating education as a technology i.e. as a systematic process based on objectives with strategies and systems to achieve them. Usually now misunderstood as referring to the use of AV and IT support for teaching


English as a foreign language


English Language Arts


English Language Development


Learning activities based on any electronic format

Any technologically mediated learning using computers whether from a distance or in face to face classroom setting (computer assisted learning).

A wide set of applications and processes such as web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration. It includes the delivery of content via Internet, intranet/extranet, audio and videotape, satellite, and CD-ROM. However, many organizations only consider it as a network-enabled transfer of skills and knowledge

Training or learning that takes place via the web. Training programs can be conducted partially or fully using the Internet

E-learning most often means an approach to facilitate and enhance learning through the use of devices based on computer and communications technology. Such devices would include personal computers, CD ROMs, Digital Television, P.D.A.s and Mobile Phones. Communications technology enables the use of the Internet, email, discussion forums, and collaborative software.

Electronic discussion board

Computer discussion area where individuals can post messages and other individuals will respond at a later time


Students at this level may have a vocabulary of up to 1000 words and will probably be learning or practicing present simple and continuous tenses, past simple and present perfect, will/shall, 'going to' futures. They should be able to hold simple conversations and survive in everyday situation


Stimulation that calls up (draws forth) a particular class of behaviors; "the elicitation of his testimony was not easy"


English Language Development

Elective course

A course that is not required but is chosen by the student. For example, there are Elective Courses that focus on academic improvement (such as, Conversation Course, TOEFL Preparation Course, and Business English) as well as non-academic courses (such as Horse Riding, Skiing, and Sightseeing).


English Language Learner


English Language Learner

English Language Learners are students whose first language is not English and who are in the process of learning English.


English Language Teaching/Training

Emergent literacy

The developing knowledge a child possesses of words and text that is gained prior to the onset of formal instruction

The development of the association of print with meaning that begins early in a child's life and continues until the child reaches the stage of conventional reading and writing; "the reading and writing concepts and behaviors of young children that precede and develop into conventional literacy

Emergent syllabus

Emergent syllabus or emergent course design (ECD), refers to the practice of allowing the learner’s professional needs, learning style, and personal interests to dictate the objectives of the course, which will develop over time. This can be contrasted with a pre-determined syllabus such as one found in a coursebook, which is to be followed.


Skills that are essential and transferable to a variety of situations and are necessary for an individual to function in the 21st century workplace

English language learners

A student who speaks one or more languages other than English and is developing proficiency in English

English language proficiency

A language minority student’s English Language Proficiency is his or her level of attainment of skills in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension in the English language. ELP level is determined by a formal ELP assessment that identifies students with an ELP Level 1 through 5. These levels can then be used as a reference to the ELP standards

English language proficiency assessment

Use of a multiple-criteria assessment device to determine the extent to which a student is fluent in English in the areas of speaking, listening, reading, or writing

Learners who are beginning to learn English as a new language or have already gained some proficiency in English

English language reform

Some people believe there is the need for an English language reform. The English language, like any other natural language, has many inconsistencies, irregularities and dialects

English language teaching

English as an additional language is used to refer to the learning of English by speakers of other languages. The term is commonly abbreviated to EAL. In British usage, this is also simply called English language teaching or ELT. EAL covers both ESL -- English as a second language, and EFL -- English as a foreign language

English Proficient

A student who is not a native speaker, but who can function in English at an acceptable level to achieve in class and on standardized tests

Entry and exit criteria

Standards developed to define when a LEP student begins or has completed a language support program. Policy and procedures are described with practices that support such policy. Students are enrolled or removed from language support based on an evaluation of whether they will benefit from the program to permit them entry in a mainstream program of education with English-only peers

Error analysis

In this procedure, samples of learner language are collected and the errors are identified, described, and classified according to their hypothesized causes. The errors are then evaluated for relative seriousness.

A type of work sample analysis in which the incorrect responses of the student are described and categorized.

Error correction

There are three basic types of error correction:

  1. Teacher correction: The teacher corrects the student.
  2. Self-correction: The teacher indicates the student has made a mistake or error (usually by repeating in a quizzical tone) and gives the student an opportunity to self-correct.
  3. Peer correction: The teacher asks other students to correct the mistake or error.

A decision to correct or not is based on many factors: the most important criteria is whether the activity you are doing is for accuracy or fluency.

Errors and mistakes

Errors are when students produce incorrect language because they don’t know the correct form; Errors of performance, Errors of competence

Mistakes are when students produce incorrect language although they know the correct form.

Students can usually correct their mistakes, but by definition they can’t correct their errors.


English as a Second Language.The field of English as a second language; courses, classes and/or programs designed for students learning English as an additional language

A learner who speaks language(s) other than English at home and who learns English as the dominant language of the media and education in the host culture

English language training for individuals whose first language is not English. Training is designed to help participants learn English reading, writing, listening and speaking skills

Programs that provide intensive instruction in English for students with limited English proficiency a course that teaches English to students who are not proficient in it or who do not speak, read or write English. Such a course should not be confused with instructional methods courses designed for individuals who intend to teach English to students who are not proficient in it or who do not speak, read or write English.

English as a Second Language: Someone whose mother tongue is not English, learns English as a second language if they study English in an English speaking country. For example: A Korean in Canada learns ESL.

The field of study of the acquisition of English as an additional language; includes courses, classes, and/or programs


English to/for Speakers of Other Languages.

The University of Cambridge ESOL examinations are examinations in English language ability for non-native speakers of English. Cambridge ESOL is part of the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES)

ESOL student

English to speakers of other languages; refers to learners who are identified as still in the process of acquiring English as an additional language; students who may not speak English at all or, at least, do not speak, understand, and write English with the same facility as their classmates because they did not grow up speaking English (rather they primarily spoke another language at home)

ESL pullout

The least effective approach short of submersion (which is illegal) services to LEP children are provided in isolation from the regular curriculum and the regular content classroom. Instruction is typically one on one or in very small groups offered for almost 40 minutes daily


English for Special Purposes; eg for business, science and technology, medicine etc.

English for Specific Purposes: the focus of ESP is on terminology used in specific fields such as law, medicine, technology, finance, etc. While knowledge of the subject and its terminology is important, it is important to remember that it is the usage of the English language in a specific context which is being taught

English for Special Purposes; eg for business, science and technology, medicine etc.


A short written work on a topic

A short article on a single subject written from the author's personal viewpoint

A piece of prose writing, usually short, that deals with a subject in a limited way and expresses a particular point of view

A method of examination, or homework, by which a student presents his/her knowledge of the subject by writing a composition.

A relatively brief literary composition, usually in prose, giving the author's views on a particular topic.

A brief work of prose nonfiction. A good essay develops a single controlling idea and is characterized by unity and coherence.

Essay is a relatively short prose composition on a limited topic. Most essays are 500 to 1,000 words long and focus on a clearly definable question to be answered or problem to be solved

A prose composition that presents a personal point of view. An essay may present a viewpoint through formal analysis and argument, or it may be informal in style


To illustrate the meaning of the word and make it clearly so that the students can understand


Tutoring taking place through the use of the Internet. In contrast to "normal" tutoring, the tutor and the student(s) are not in the same location.


Process of assessing work completed by an individual, group, or institution with the aim of determining whether the individual, group, or institution has meet predetermined standards.

The process of determining whether an item or activity meets specified criteria

An assessment plan to determine the degree to which the project has successfully met the objectives; usually includes a formative and summative evaluation.

The process of judging the quality, value or worth of a program or student performance based upon established criteria, using the data gathered in assessment

The process of determining the adequacy, value, outcomes and impact of instruction and learning

The forming of a judgement based on the collection of data with a view to determining the quality of one or more (educational or administrative) tasks and improving the way they are performed


Information offered to support a conclusion or judgment


A short piece taken from a text

Taking out of a literary work in order to cite or copy


Problem, task or other activity aimed at developing or improving a person's skill or knowledge

Refers to any task, problem, or other effort performed to develop or increase a particular skill


Refferring to ways of learning language through experiencing itin use rather than through focusing conscious attention on language items. Reading a novel, listening to a song and taking part in a project are experiential ways of learning a language.

Learning derived from experience. Experiential learning has come to be valued in education alongside the acquisition of knowledge.

Experiential learning

Learning based on experience

Learning through experience, either in a real situation, such as a workplace, or in role play

A learning activity having a behavioral based hierarchy that allows the student to experience and practice job related tasks and functions during a training session. Back to top Face-to-Face (F2F) Students and teachers are in the same location at the same time

Experiential learning involves the student in his/her learning to a much greater degree than in traditional (pedagogical) learning environments. Related terms/concepts include: active learning, hands on learning, deep level processing, higher order thinking

Experiential learning addresses the needs and wants of the learner and is seen to be equivalent to personal change and growth. The role of the educator is to facilitate the learning process with the aid of a positive learning climate, clear objective formulation, learning resources, balancing intellectual and emotional components and sharing the learning experience with the learners

The process of acquiring skills, knowledge and understanding through experience rather than through formal education or training

Experiential education is the process of actively engaging students in an authentic experience that will have benefits and consequences. Students make discoveries and experiment with knowledge themselves instead of hearing or reading about the experiences of others. Students also reflect on their experiences, thus developing new skills, new attitudes, and new theories or ways of thinking

In the broadest sense experiential learning refers to learning that derives from direct experience, and reflection on that experience. Learning takes place where experience causes change in the learner. The idea of an essential relationship between experience and learning has been addressed by a number of educational thinkers (for example, Dewey, Piaget, Lewin and Vygotsky), but it is to the model of experiential learning developed by David Kolb and Roger Fry (1975) that the term now generally refers. Kolb developed the notion of a learning cycle, with four nodes representing stages in the process of learning: concrete experience, (leads to) observation and reflection, (leads to) forming abstract concepts, (leads to) testing in new situations, (leads to) concrete experience, and so on. The process of learning might start at any one of these nodes.


Assigning meanings interpret and make clear the cause, origin or reasons

Relate cause and effect; make the relationships between things evident; provide why and/or how


To exploit a situation is to use the situation to it’s full advantage , to make the most of a situation. A teacher should use every opportunity he can get for meaningful and genuine language practice, e.g if the blackboard is dirty, ask them , 1- if it is clean, 2- why isn’t clean, 3- if they can clean it,4-why they haven’t cleaned it before etc

Expository writing

Writing that tries to explain something in the form of one or more of the rhetorical patterns of fact , process , clarification, comparision /contrast , analysis, illustration, cause and effect, definition and anology


When learners listen to or read language without being consciously aware of it

Expressive vocabulary

Expressive vocabulary is the use of vivid and colorful language to convey feelings or attitudes.

The vocabulary used to communicate in speaking and writing. Cp. receptive vocabulary.

Extension task

An activity which gives students further practice of the target language or the topic of the lesson.

Additional activities that provide practice in applying concepts of the lesson to new material to ensure learning has taken place.

Extensible dependency grammar

Extensible Dependency Grammar (XDG) is a new grammar framework based on dependency grammar

Extensive reading

Reading for general or global understanding, often of longer texts

Extensive reading is reading for the pleasure of reading, not focusing on every single detail in the text

External examiners

Individuals from an outside institution who evaluate and verify that an institution has met predefined standards, often to act as a quality control mechanism.

External Examiners are subject specialist academic and professional people appointed to oversee the conduct of the assessment process and to ensure the achievement of national standards in the award. They also advise the University on good practice and areas for improvement noted during the discharge of their duties.


Choose relevant and/or appropriate details

Part of a text

Extrinsic reward

A reward to provide motivation which is outside the on-going learning activity - gifts, accumulated points etc.


Facilitation (of learning)

The term facilitation is often deliberately used instead of teaching in order to emphasise a less teacher-centred and a more student-centred approach to learning. A facilitator's role has less to do with imparting knowledge to students, than creating the conditions or the environment which enable and encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning.


Individual who assists others in a learning process but does not act as a the primary source of knowledge; the facilitator acts as a guide in during individual or group learning activities.

An instructor who assists, directs, and stimulates the learning during an online course

The person in an interactive videoconferencing classroom who assists the instructor or students with technical and troubleshooting issues, distribution of handouts, collection of tests and evaluations, etc. Not all distance education classrooms have facilitators

The individual at a remote location responsible for performing assigned tasks designated by the instructor

A person who makes it easier for learners to learn by attempting to discover what a learner is interested in knowing, and then determines the best way to make that information available to the learner by providing the knowledge, systems, or materials which enable the learner to perform a task more effectively. This is done by listening, asking questions, providing ideas, suggesting alternatives, and identifying possible resources

The online course instructor is often referred to as the course facilitator. Online instructors do not retain their traditional "teacher-centered" roles from the onground paradigm. Instead, they become the medium through which discovery learning is facilitated in a student-centered environment

A facilitator is someone who skillfully helps a group reach a consensus without personally taking any side of the argument

A person who helps and encourages individuals in their learning, rather than functioning as a teacher, tutor or mentor. Facilitators are particularly important in situations where students are learning independently. Many educators prefer this mode of learning because they believe that it helps students to develop their own competence

False beginners

False beginners have some understanding of the basics of English, but they can’t use it very well. They may give the impression that they know little or nothing of the language

False friends

False friends are pairs of words in two languages or letters in two alphabets that look or sound similar but differ in meaning. False cognates, by contrast, are words that, due to strange similarities in appearance and/or meaning, are often erroneously believed to share a common root, although the similarities are due to chance and unrelated word evolutions.


First Certificate in English, Cambridge First Certificate: an examination which may be taken by students of a good intermediate level.


The response learners get when they attempt to communicate. This can involve correction, acknowledgement, requests for clarification, back channel cues (e.g. "Mmm"). Feedback plays an important role in helping learners to test their ideas about the target language.

Responses provided to an individual while completing a task that are intended to guide the individual to s desired end

The process in which part of the output of a system is returned to its input in order to regulate its further output

Field dependence/independence

Language learners different in the way in which they perceive, conceptualize, organize and recall information. 'Field dependents' operate holistically (they see the field as a whole), whereas 'field independents' operate analytically (they perceive the field in terms of its componenet parts). This distinction helps in the understanding of how learners acquire a second language (L2).

Field trip

Practical or experimental work taking place away from the school/university. Generally aimed at developing/improving practical skills.

Field work

Learning activities completed in real life settings as opposed to the classroom.

Process of data collection that requires researcher to leave the primary place of work.

Technique for data collection where the researcher leaves his place of work to directly access elements related to her/his study. Field work can range from large scale activities such as widespread interviews or to a single researcher taking part in the observation of work in a class-room.


Learners do not attend to all the unput they receive. They attend to some features, and 'filter' other features out. This often depends on affective factors such as motivation, attitudes, emotions, and anxiety.

Fill-in exercises

A set of sentences or a text which has blanks in it for the students to complete with the correct or appropriate word.


He walked _____ school.

Fill-in exercises are a good way of reinforcing new grammar and vocabulary.

Final assessment

Language which is equivalent to the students' knowledge, which they should readily understand.

Fine motor skills/ Gross motor skills

As babies develop, they learn how to move their arms and legs in increasingly well-controlled movements. The culmination of this process is learning to walk. These movements are gross motor skills.

From this stage on, children begin to learn fine motor skills – for example, drawing lines, then shapes, and eventually learning to write.

Fishbone Graph

A flow chart or diagram much like the framework for diagramming sentences in English grammar


Pieces of paper or cardboard with words or pictures on them. We usually use flash cards in a lesson to teach or reinforce certain ideas.

In a classroom, students usually wait for a sign from the teacher before they speak. It is effective if picture cues or verbal cues are on flash cards that can be held briefly or "flashed" in front of the class to cue an answer or a response

Flexible learning

Format of education where students are allowed to determine their own time for study and the topic(s) they will examine.

Describes an educational regime providing pathway choices and learner control of the learning process.

Provision of study in such a way that students can arrange to study in their own time, or to select topics that are of special relevance to them.

Flow charts

Schematic graphical representation of a sequence of operations, often used to illustrate a particular process


Ability to read text or converse with others accurately and quickly

Skillfulness in speaking or writing

The quality of being facile in speech and writing.

Focused Listening

Focused listening presents listening skills as strategies to bridge the gap between classroom English and the English encountered outside the classroom

Focus on form

To pay attention to language by identifying and practicing

Foreign language

Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

Formal instruction

This occurs in classrooms when teachers try to aid learning by raising the learners' consciousness about the target language rules. Formal instruction can be deductive (the learners are told the rules) or inductive (learners develop a knowledge of the rules through carrying out language tasks).

Formal language

Formal language refers to the most widely accepted variety of English adhering to accepted conventions; it is used in formal settings

Formative assessment

Assessment used to identify an individuals current strengths and weaknesses relative to a knowledge or skill with the intention of improving one's knowledge or skill.

Observations which allow one to determine the degree to which students know or are able to do a given learning task, and which identifies the part of the task that the student does not know or is unable to do. Outcomes suggest future steps for teaching and learning. (See Summative Assessment.)

Assessment occurring during the process of a unit or a course

Student’s and teacher’s ongoing analysis of the process and end result of a task or set of tasks. Decisions are made concerning ways of improving the task(s) as a result of this analysis

Tests and assessments administered during units of instruction that measure progress and guide the content and pace of the lesson. Formative evaluations ask the question, "How are we doing?" Its purpose is to discover how well the students are learning and to supply the teacher with feedback to modify lesson plans and teaching methods

Formed-focused tasks

These tasks have a linguistic focus (grammar, vocabulary, etc.). According to this approach, a linguitic focus, in the form of grammatical consciousness-raising activities, should be incorporated into task design.

Formulaic speech

This consists of phrases and ex-pressions learned as wholes and used on particular occasions.


Most L2 learners fail to reach target language competence. They stop learning when their internalized rule system contains rules difference from those of the target language. This is referred to as 'fossilization'.

A lack of change in inter language patterns, even after extended exposure to or instruction in the target language.

Four skills approach

The four skills are reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Each of these skills is divided into separate skills. For details, see Reading skills, Writing skills, Speaking skills and Listening skills.

The four skills approach gives equal emphasis to developing each of the four skills, and to Integrating skills.

Frame dialogue

A short dialogue (usually about 3 or 4 exchanges) which is used to practice a particular piece of language.


  • A: Do you want to go to the movies this afternoon?
  • B: I can’t. I’m going to play tennis.
  • A: Oh. That’s a pity.
  • B: Yes. Never mind.

Frame dialogues use substitutions so that the students can practice the dialog with other language.

Substitutions for Student A

go to the movies / have coffee with me / go to the mall

Substitutions for Student B

do my homework / visit my grandmother / see my friends

Frame dialogues are the ideal way to practice functions


The input language contains a range of linguistic forms which occur with varying frequency. The learner's output also contains a range of linguistic forms used with varying frequency. There is evidence to show that input frequency matches output frequency.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

A collection of information on the basics of any given subject, often used on the Internet

Function words

Function words are words that have little lexical meaning or have ambiguous meaning, but instead serve to express grammatical relationships with other words within a sentence, or specify the attitude or mood of the speaker. Words which are not function words are called content words or lexical words: these include nouns, verbs, adjectives, and most adverbs, though some adverbs are function words

Functional approach

A course based on a functional approach would take as its starting point for language development, what the learner wants to do through language. Common functions include identifying oneself and giving personal facts about oneself; expressing moods and emotions.

An approach to assessment that focuses on skills needed for current tasks

Functions are the purposes for which you use English.

Examples: suggesting, inviting, disagreeing, expressing interest.

Exponents are the way you express functions. Examples: suggesting: Shall we...? Let’s... Why don’t we...?

A course with a functional approach is a sequence of functions and their exponents. It does not present grammar as a graded sequence, as in the structural-situational approach

Functional English

An approach to assessment that focuses on skills needed for current tasks

Functional language

A language that supports and encourages functional programming. Functional languages are one type of declarative language. Haskell is an example of a functional language.



Games can be implemented to introduce or reinforce learning material in the classroom. Games tend to relax the classroom atmosphere as all students are exposed to a fun way of learning important content-area curriculum. Games allow ESL learners to hear and practice speaking English.

Generic skills

Also referred to as transferable skills, employability or life-skills and generally supposed to contribute to lifelong learning. Can change over time and will vary with different government priorities but generally encompasses the following elements:Reading, Writing and Arithmetic; Listening, Speaking, Thinking; Time and Project management; Information skills; Design and presentation; Problem identification, definition and solving; Personal knowledge


A category of literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content (e.g., an historical novel is one fictional genre)

The class or category of an object when considered as an intellectual work

A category used to define literary works, usually by form, technique, or content (ie, poetry, realistic fiction, historical fiction, play, and folklore

General service

A standard list of 2000 frequently used words as compiled by Michael West. Regarded as a language core by many syllabus designers.

Generative grammar

A type of grammar that describes syntax in terms of a set of logical rules that can generate all and only the infinite number of grammatical sentences in a language and assigns them all the correct structural description

In linguistics, and especially the study of syntax, generative grammar is the study of linguistic syntax using formal grammars that can in some sense "generate" the well-formed ex-pressions of a natural language. The term generative grammar is also used to refer to the school of linguistics in whose theories such formal grammars play a major part.


A gesture is a form of non-verbal communication made with a part of the body, and used instead of verbal communication (or in combination with it).


The central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work

Global coursebook

A coursebook which is not written for learners from a particular culture or country but which is intended for use by any class of learners in the specified level anywhere in the world.


To use language that is the correct level for the students and is not too difficult.

Grade point average (GPA)

A system used for the assessment of a learner`s experience based on continuous evaluation and a final examination at the end of each period of learning. The system is based on an average, calculated by multiplying the numerical grade received in each course/subject by the number of credit hours studied.

Graded language

This is language that has been adapted according to the level of the students.

The standard structural-situational grammar presentation is an example of a presentation using graded language


To arrange or classify by grades; rate according to quality, worth, etc.

Grading language

An old-fashioned teaching technique that involves rote learning of verbs and vocabulary, together with translation of sentences from L1 to L2 and vice versa.

Just because it’s old fashioned doesn’t mean that it’s wrong! In fact, translation (as a way of comparing L1 and L2, and developing learner awareness) is back in favor as an ELT tool.

Grading rubric

Written explanation clarifying how individuals will be assessed on a given task.

Graduate attributes

The knowledge, skills, quali2ties and attitudes a university agrees its students would desirably develop during their program of study. UNS2W has a list of twelve graduate attributes. The means for developing graduate attributes in students should be integrated into the curriculum. No single course can account for all graduate attributes, but during the course of an overall program, students should have the opportunity to develop the whole range.

The term curriculum mapping describes a process that involves staff auditing the objectives, content, learning activities, and assessment of a given course to identify where and how graduate attributes are taught, practiced, and evaluated in a course. Individual disciplines, or faculties, might have their own graduate attributes in addition to those specified by the university. Graduate attributes become meaningful when contextualised in the field of study

Graduate teaching assistant

Supports instructional activities within the department. Responsibilities could include grading problems and quizzes; assisting professors to conduct large lecture and television classes or laboratory courses; or teaching refresher or lower-level undergraduate courses

Graduate checker

A software accessory found in many write - edit programs that checks text for errors in grammatical construction, and highlights them for correction

A grammar checker uses Natural Language Processing, a branch of Artificial Intelligence, in order to check the grammatical correctness or lack of it in a written text.

Grammar translation

A method based upon memorizing the rules and logic of a language and the practice of translation. Traditionally the means by which Latin and Greek have been taught.

Grammar teaching

Classroom activities that focus on the form or structure of the target language, usually with a goal of accuracy, and often consists of drills or other highly artificial constructs. Although learners must acquire grammar, how teachers can best help this acquisition is a subject of fierce debate. It’s safe to say that traditional grammar teaching has severe limitations and is often overused by many teachers.

Grammatical structure

The arrangement of words into meaningful sentence


The written symbols for sounds in language; ie letters of the alphabet or a character in picture writing (as in Japanese kange).

Writ2ten letter or spelling patterns

Letters or groups of letters in an alphabet used to represents the phonemes (basic sounds) in a language

The smallest unit of a writing system. A grapheme may be one letter such as t or combination of letters such as sh. A grapheme represents one phoneme

The smallest unit in the writing A grapheme is the smallest part of written language that represents a phoneme in the spelling of a word. A grapheme may be just one letter, such as b, d, f, p, s; or several letters, such as ch, sh, th, -ck, ea, -igh

Graphic organizers

These types of learning maps enhance understanding and comprehension for ESL students. Graphic organizers illustrate learning material in an easy to read format. ESL students have the opportunity to see the presented information on an organized map. Visual graphics allow an instructor to deliver information in a meaningful manner. Graphic organizers can be developed for all content areas.

Gross motor skills

See Fine motor skills / Gross motor skills

Group assessment

Assessment based on a group as a whole rather than based on each individual's work.

Type of assessment where the group as a whole, rather than each member of the group, is given a common mark.

Group dynamics

The relationship between members of the class

Group formation

Process of organizing learners into group2s.

Putting learners into groups for educational purposes

Group testing

The practice of having students take exams as a team, with each member of the team receiving the grade earned by the group. Team members are encouraged to discuss the questions and come to a consensus in an attempt to arrive at correct answers. In this context, the test becomes both a teaching/learning and assessment tool

Performance evaluation

The use of an evaluation rubric to assess an individual's level of competency in performing of a task or skill.

Group work

Learning activities requiring several students to work together.

A type of activity in which learners work together in groups in order to learn something: Learners can work in groups of 2,3,4 or more to do problem solving or other types of exercises

Guessing meaning

An important reading skill. Students read a passage which contains new words and phrases. They try to guess the meaning of the new words and phrases by their context.

Guessing meaning is an example of a situation where students should be allowed to use their L1 in class as it may be very difficult for them to give the meaning in the target language.


Help given by a teacher with learning, or with doing a task

Guidance booklet

Brief written document encompassing the most important information

Guided discovery

A way of teaching in which teachers provide examples of the target language and then guide the students to work out the language rules for themselves

Guided reading

A practice whereby a teacher or instructor leads small groups of student through short texts to facilitate learning of fluency, comprehension, and problem-solving strategies.

Guided reading is the strategy whereby a teacher "guides" small groups of students through the text for the purpose of predicting, assisting in comprehension, focusing upon specific skills, and/or coaching the use of various reading strategies which will make the reading effort more successful

Reading instruction in which the teacher provides the structure and purpose for reading and for responding to the material read. Note: Most basal reading programs have guided reading lessons. See also directed reading activity

Guided writing

A piece of writing that students produce after a lot of preparation by the teacher,the teacher may give the students a plan to follow , or ideas for the language to use


Statements specifying recommended procedures for completing a specific task.

Statements that indicate how a process should be undertaken. These do not have the status of regulations.

Guiding principles of the learning results

Arguably the foundation or building blocks for successful and fulfilled adulthood in the 21st Century, they are the principles by which each Maine student must leave school with having attained the Learning Results. They are: 1) a clear and effective communicator; 2) a self-directed and life-long learner; 3) a creative and practical problem-solver; 4) a responsible and involved citizen; 5) a collaborative and quality worker; 6) an integrative and informed thinker.


Hand-eye coordination

Most of the hand movements we make require visual input to be carried out effectively. For example, when a child is learning to write, he follows the position of his hands visually as he makes lines on the paper

Heritage language

The student’s native or primary language, See Primary or Home Language other than English

Heuristic learning

Also called discovery learning. A process in which conditions are established which allow students to encounter information and derive their own conclusions

Simple rules which students use when speaking or writing L2.


Spelling and pronunciation rules, such as

i before e except after c

(When i and e come together, i is always first, e.g. pier unless there’s a letter c before them, in which case e comes before i e.g. receive.)

Holistic evaluation

In this assessment technique, the teacher makes an overall judgement about the quality of the student work or response. The rating is either acceptable (a variety of levels can be identified) or unacceptable. There is no analysis of the types of errors or areas of strength and weakness exhibited by the student.

Halo effect

The tendency to judge an person based on a previous formed favorable or unfavorable impression

Rating a person high or low on all items because of one characteristics on a performance appraisal

The halo effect occurs when a person's positive or negative traits seem to "spill over" from one area of their personality to another in others' perceptions of them

The tendency of a favourable (or unfavourable) impression created by an individual in one area to influence one`s judgement of him or her in other areas


Typically a sheet provided to all members of group that contains vital information, a task to be completed, or other guidelines for an assignment.

Supporting information to be used by the learner as reference material in a training program.

Informative or educational material given to the audience at the speaker’s presentation. Handouts often are in flyer form. The term, however, refers to any material that is handed out to the audience.


Hangman is a paper and pencil guessing game for two players.One player thinks of a word and the other tries to guess it by suggesting letters

Heterogeneous grouping

Students in a classroom represent the entire range of ability of the grade level.


To mark words on paper or on a computer screen using a color so that they are easier to notice

To focus on something so that students realize it is important , eg to highlight a mistake by underlining it

Home language

Language(s) spoken in the home by significant others (e.g., family members, caregivers) who reside in the child's home; sometimes used as a synonym for first language, primary language, or native language

First language (native language, mother tongue, or vernacular) is the language a person learns first. Correspondingly, the person is called a native speaker of the language. Usually a child learns the basics of their first language from their family

Homogeneous grouping

Students in a classroom perform at some previously specified level and are very similar in their educational needs.

Hypothesis formation

According to this concept, the learner forms hypotheses about the target-language rules, and then tests them out. These are internalized rules, which are used in L2 communication

According to this concept, the learner forms hypotheses about the target-language rules, and then tests them out. These are internalized rules, which are used in L2 communication


Ice breaker

An introductory activity that a teacher uses at the start of a new course so that students can get to know each other.

Identifying key words

An important reading skill. Students underline the key words in a text, or complete a table with key words from the text.


Students read a description of a house and complete a table with key words. The completed table might look like this:

Location: near the town, on a hill

Size: big

Rooms: kitchen, sitting room, dining room, study, 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms

Special features: large garden, swimming pool

General impression: very comfortable, expensive.

Identifying the source of written material

An important reading skill. It involves using the features of the text – sentence length, choice of vocabulary, layout etc. – to determine where a text is from (an encyclopaedia, an advertisement, a business letter, etc.).

Identifying the topic sentence

A reading skill. The idea is to find the sentence in a paragraph which gives the idea of what the paragraph is about.

However, many authentic reading materials do not contain a single clearly identifiable topic sentence. So topic sentence activities often have to use specially-written paragraphs.

With authentic and semi-authentic materials it’s often more appropriate to use skills such as skimming and reading for gist


An ex-pression in the usage of a language that has a meaning that cannot be derived from the conjoined meanings of its elements (e.g., raining cats and dogs)

An idiom is an ex-pression whose meaning is not compositional—that is, whose meaning does not follow from the meaning of the individual words of which it is composed. For example, the English phrase to kick the bucket means to die. A listener knowing the meaning of kick and bucket will not thereby be able to predict that the ex-pression can mean to die. Idioms are often, though perhaps not universally, classified as figures of speech

An ex-pression of language or dialect of a people that is not understood outside its culture. A special terminology.

Idiom refers to a grammatical construction unique to a certain people, region, or class that cannot be translated literally into another language (eg, "To be on thin ice," "To pull someone's leg").

A phrase or ex-pression that means something different from what the words actually say. An idiom is usually understandable to a particular group of people (eg using over his head for doesn’t understand

An ex-pression whose meaning cannot be derived from its constituent elements. An example might be "to kick the bucket", meaning "to die."

An individual peculiarity of language

Ignore errors

To choose not to pay attention to something such as an error made a student . A teacher may do this if they want to help the students with fluency, not accuracy


The skill of giving examples to describe something

Make clear by citing examples.

Explain or clarify the subject using a diagram or a concrete example.

Illustrate meaning

To show what something means

Immersion method

This approach tries to reproduce the experience of being in the L2 country in class using these techniques:

No textbooks or notebook, only authentic materials.

No grading of the language.

Using several teachers who may have conversations between themselves, or ungraded conversations with the students.

Only using L2.

No grammar or vocabulary explanations


The goal to involve all students equally and fairly in the learning process. This issue is most often raised in relation to equity of opportunity for students regardless of gender, ethnicity, physical disability, or economic background. The need for inclusion often requires modification of teaching strategy, assessment techniques, or resource availability and format in order to meet the individual needs of the student

Independent learning

Learning completed by an individual without the assistance of an instructor.

Self-directed learning independent of any teaching or formal guidance. A term often mistakenly used to mean individual learning

Independent learning is carried out by learners outside the sphere of the classroom and the teacher. While “homework” may be considered independent learning by some, there must be an attitude of active self-direction by the learner. At English360 we work to instill this attitude in all students, and we view our teachers and classroom activities as just one more resource (or channel) among many that is available to learners. Independent learning should not be contrasted with collaborative or community learning.

Independent reading

Activity of students reading material on their own

Students self select books to read. A student's "independent reading level" is the level at which the student can read with 96-100% accuracy.

Students choose texts to read alone. It provides an opportunity for the students to use the strategies they have acquired in guided reading

Independent study

Studying without a teacher present. This can be done at home , in a library etc.

Individual assessment

Type of assessment whereby each learner, even if involved in group work, is assessed separately

Individual differences

Unique characteristics of individuals that have an impact on how they learn.

Individual drill

When a teacher says a word or sentence and one student repeats it alone

Individual learning

A learning process taking place in isolation but not necessarily without teacher direction and structured activities.

Individual learning plan

A process used to define the special language services needs of LEP students. Each student has such a plan developed for him/her. Such a process is analogous to the Individual Education Plan (IEP) developed for handicapped students.

Inductive learning

The inductive approach goes from the example to the rule.


You could present the negative past simple to your students by giving them six model sentences.

After choral and individual drills, you could then elicit the grammatical rule from the students.

Learning to apply the rules of a language by experiencing the language in use, rather than by having the rules explained or by consciously deducing the rules.

Programmes of study developed for a particular learner who wishes to study alone. Often used in association with open learning

Inductive teaching

Allowing the discovery of rules and generalizations through case studies and discovery activities.

Inferential/Interpretive questions

Questions that go beyond the literal meaning and decoding preocess


The change in form of a word, which indicates a grammatical change:eg. behave - behaved - behaviour - misbehave.

Modulation: a manner of speaking in which the loudness or pitch or tone of the voice is modified

Inflection is having more than one form to mean different grammatical roles. English nouns have inflection to mean singular and plural, such as cat and cats. Inflection of verbs is often called conjugation. English verbs have inflection to mean present and past, such as eat and ate.

Variations or changes that words undergo to indicate their relations with other words and changes in meaning

Inflection refers to an alteration in pitch or tone of voice or to a change in the form of a word indicating grammatical features such as number, person, or tense

The rising and falling in the pitch of the voice


This is the means by which the learner forms hypotheses, through attending to input, or using the situational context to interpret the input.

Inferential listening

In an inferential listening exercise, the answers to the question you ask the students are not in the language of the tape. Students must infer the answers from a range of clues.


Students listen to a tape of an argument in an office. They identify the people who are angry and the people who are trying to stop the argument.

Informal language

Informal language used in an informal setting such as at home or with peers

Information gap activity

A classroom activity in which students work in pairs or groups. Students are given a task , but they are given different information and to complete the task , they have to find out the missing information from each other.

Information gap

Information gap instructs the teacher in how to develop activities that encourage students to communicate with each other in order to close a “gap” in the information they possess. The technique emphasizes the importance of real communication in the learning process.

A simple type of communicative activity, usually in pairs.

Student A has half of the information.

Student B has the other half of the information.

They must ask each other questions to complete their information.

Information transfer

One of the reading skills. Information transfer involves using information presented in one way and transforming it to, or comparing it with, information presented in another.


Reading an itinerary and drawing the route on a map.

Getting information from a graph and completing sentences to present the information.

Initiation phase

In a lesson, this is the opening stage where the instructor begins the lesson

The opening of a lesson or lecture or seminar, where the teacher starts the process of learning or discussion.


The act of introducing something new. Complementing the traditional assessment methods with new ones such as self-assessment, peer-assessment, ipsative assessment etc, is an example of innovation in the domain of assessment. Developing new methods of delivery courses by the internet is concerned an important innovation

Instructional support

All the learning resources (materials and persons) that are provided and can be mobilised by a learner in her/his process of learning


Input is the language which students are exposed to in class.

This can be via presentations, reading passages, listenings and so on.

Input can be graded, as in a Structural-Situational presentation, or it can be ungraded, as in a deep end strategy or a listening task using authentic material.

This constitutes the language to which the learner is exposed. It can be spoken or written. It serves as the data which the learner must use to determine the rules of the target language.


Sometimes called indirect instruction, this method is when students are most active and the teacher serves primarily as a facilitator. Learning occurs through participation in open exploration. Ideally this exploration is followed by a structured investigation of a question in which data are collected, organized, and analyzed in an attempt to objectively arrive at an answer

Inquiry-based learning

Learning methodology where students are presented a problem to solve using knowledge and skills they have acquired or need to develop.

A process of learning which occurs when students are provided with an environment that stimulates them to ask their own questions about the subject matter presented to them, to devise and carry out procedures for exploring answers to those questions, and to draw conclusions from their investigations. As with the concepts active learning, problem-based learning and experiential learning, inquiry-based learning is oriented towards student-centred learning, and to the principle that learning is more effective when the learner is actively involved in seeking knowledge, skills and understanding

Instant messaging

A form of text communication where an individual types and sends the text to a user on another computer.


Instruction includes the activities dealing with the teaching of pupils. Teaching may be provided for pupils in a school classroom, in another location such as in a home or hospital, and other learning situations such as those involving co-curricular activities; it may also be provided through some other approved medium such as television, radio, telephone, and correspondence.

A planned process that facilitates learning.

Instructional design

A process for systematically creating instructional materials and learning activities based on the goals of the instruction and the needs of the learners.

The design and development of instructional materials and learning activities to meet learning needs

The philosophy, methodology, and approach used to deliver information. Some courseware aspects include question strategy, level of interaction, reinforcement, and branching complexity.

The process by which information is systematically mapped, categorized, and organized to facilitate the transmission of information or skills to people

A system of developing well-structured instructional materials using objectives, related teaching strategies, systematic feedback, and evaluation

Instructional support

Resources provided to learners to facilitate the learning process

All the learning resources (materials and persons) that are provided and can be mobilised by a learner in her/his process of learning


A theory of teaching. The basic idea of instructivism is that teaching is just a matter of giving facts to students.

Instructivist classes work in transmission mode. This means that the flow of information is one way, from the teacher to students. The students are simply passive receivers of knowledge.

The opposite approach to instructivism is Constructivism

Integrated model of language teaching

An instructional model that includes many kinds of instructional integration as well as integration of recent educational reseach, theory, and practice from first and second oral language acquisition literature, and first and second language literacy development literature

Integrated skills

This is when we do a sequence of exercises with our students using different skills, transferring information from one skill to another.


Identifying the key words in a reading text about the climate of North America.

Using the key words to write a summary of the text.

In pairs, asking and answering questions about the climate of North America.

Listening to a tape of a person talking about the climate of North America and identifying the new information in the tape, compared with the reading text.

This sequence of activities integrates all four skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.


The practice of combining two or more disciplines together into one related lesson. The resulting lesson provides an enriched exploration of the issue and requires that the student use a wider variety of skills than would be required in a single Integration

Integration allows students for whom English is a second language to be included in educational settings with their peers, and to be provided with the necessary adaptations to enable them to be successful in those settings.

Intensive activities

Activities in which students are involved in pair or small -group work in a collaborative atmosphere with the teacher

Intensive reading

Reading for specific understanding of information, usually of shorter texts.

In the educational context, interaction can be regarded as taking place at various levels. Ordinal interaction is unidirectional and consists of the ordering or selection of pre-structured elements. Reciprocal interaction (or tutorial interaction) involves the presenting system accepting student input and actively shaping the interaction in response to it.

Interaction analysis

This is a research procedure used to investigate classroom communication. It involves the use of a system of categories to record and analyse the different ways in which teachers and students use language.

Interaction patterns

The way in which students work together in class, such as open class , pair , pair work , group work and individual work

Interactional tasks

Tasks which promote communication and interaction. The idea behind this approach is that he primary purpose of speech is the maintenance of social relationships.

Interactionlist learning theory

This theory emphasizes the joint contributions of the linguistic environment and the learner's internal mechanisms in language development. Learning results from an interaction between the learner's mental abilities and the liguistic input.

Interactive methods

In education, these are methods that have learners communicate with others or interact with some form of technology to receive feedback upon completing a task.

Methods of teaching and learning that include techniques in which learners communicate with each other and the tutor. It is also often used to refer to the way a computer responds to a learner automatically.

Interactive writing

Activity where the instructor assists groups of students compose and write text together

Writing within the context of a group in which the teacher and students compose texts together. This type of writing also involves direct mini-lessons during the composition

Instructional strategy in which the teacher and students collaboratively share the writing responsibility to compose a coherent text

Interdisciplinary learning

The different perspectives, insights and skills of different disciplines are brought to bear on particular topics, or problems. In some cases the intention of an interdisciplinary learning environment might be to demonstrate how the same topic, or problem, can be of interest to different disciplines, which nevertheless take different approaches. The traditional disciplines of mathematics, physics and chemistry, for example, can have common areas of interest and approach common problems from different angles. Students are therefore able to step outside the confines of a single specialisation to appreciate other perspectives.

Another aspect of interdisciplinary learning might be to bring students from different disciplines together to solve problems collaboratively. The intention of this might be to demonstrate how many real-world problems require a range of people with different skills and insights. Two purposes are served in this situation: students learn to work collaboratively with people whose skills are different from their own, in order to achieve a common outcome; students gain an insight into other ways of seeing things.

Interest group

Associations of individuals who share sharing a common goal and work to promote their common interest.

Voluntary associations of individuals sharing a common goal, for example to share information and learning.


According to behviorist learning theory, the patterns of the learner's mother tongue (L1) get in the way of learning the patterns of the L2. This is referred to as 'interference'.

When the learner’s mother tongue influences their performace in the target language, A learner may make a mistake because they use the same the same grammatical pattern in the target language as they use in their mother tongue. The L1 grammatical pattern isn’t appropriate in L2.

Students’ errors are sometimes the result of trying to express themselves using the structures of their native language.


A Spanish-speaking student who says:

The people in Mexico is very friendly.

instead of

The people in Mexico are very friendly.

(Because gente is singular, but people plural.)


The learner's knowledge of the L2 which is independent of both the L1 and the actual L2. This term can refer to: i) the series of interlocking systems which characterize acquisition; ii) the system that is observed at a single stage of development (an 'interlanguage'); and iii) particular L1/L2 combinations.

Intensive reading

Reading for specific understanding of information, usually of shorter texts.


At this level a student will have a working vocabulary of between 1500 and 2000 words and should be able to cope easily in most everyday situations. There should be an ability to express needs, thoughts and feelings in a reasonably clear way.

International student advisor

An Advisor who is specifically assigned to attend to the needs of foreign students.


The ways in which the voice pitch rises and falls in speech.

The aspect of speech made up of changes in stress and pitch in the voice.

The ways in which the voice pitch rises and falls in speech.

The use of pitch in speech to create contrast and variation

Intonation is the variation of tone used when speaking. Intonation and Vocal stress are two main elements of (linguistic) prosody


A network of computers belonging to an organisation (university/school), accessible only by the organization`s members, employees, or others with authorization

Intrinsic reward(or reinforcement)

Motivating events which occur as a natural part of the learning experience

Introductory activity

An activity which takes place at the beginning of a lesson, introductory activities often include warmers and lead-ins

Ipsative assessment

Type of assessment whereby the norm against which assessment is measured is based on prior performance of the person being assessed - the present performance is assessed against performance in the past. In athletics, "personal best" is an example of ipsative assessment.

Ipsative referencing

The interpretation of one`s performance by oneself.


A piece of language , eg . a vocabulary or a grammar item

The part of a test to which a student has to respond

Itinerant ESOL

Conventionally, one or two periods of English language instruction given on a "pull out" basis by a teacher who travels to more than one school per day



Specialized or technical language of a group or discipline.

Derogatory word for terms with strict definitions within a subject discipline.

Language used in a certain profession or by a particular group of people. Jargon is usually technical or abbreviated and difficult for people not in the profession to understand

The language of a specific group or class of people

The specialised or technical language of a trade, profession, or similar group.

A vocabulary common to a particular field of work or group of people. For example, the language used by doctors to discuss their work is different to the language used by lawyers to discuss their work

The specialized vocabulary or set of idioms shared by a particular profession. The various acronyms and idioms used by the US military forces would be considered jargon

Technical terminology of a special activity or group. Also, selection of obscure and often pretentious language, indicated by the use of a large number of unnecessary words to express an idea needing fewer words

Jargon is the special language of a certain group or profession, such as psychological jargon, legal jargon, or medical jargon. When jargon is excerpted from its proper subject area, it generally becomes confusing or meaningless, as in "I have a latency problem with my backhand" or "I hope we can interface tomorrow night after the dance


This technique is a cooperative learning strategy that involves giving each person in a group part of the whole to learn and then having them teach their part to the others in the group

A group activity in which group members each becomes experts in some facet of a subject, then report to another group on what they know.

Jigsaw activity

A language activity in which a pair of students are given two different descriptions, diagrams, or pictures of the same situation and must ask and answer questions in order to resolve questions about the situation

Jigsaw classroom

The Jigsaw Classroom experiment, was conducted by Elliot Aronson in 1971, compared traditional competitive classroom learning with interdependent cooperative learning. The experiment, conducted in the Austin school system following desegregation, was spurred by interracial fighting between students in the schools

Jigsaw listening

A technique for developing listening skills. Students listen to sections of a listening passage in the wrong order. They have to decide on the correct order

Jigsaw puzzle

A puzzle requires you to reassemble a picture that has been mounted on a stiff base and cut into interlocking pieces

Jigsaw reading

A technique for developing reading skills. Students are given sections of a reading text which they have to arrange in the correct order.


Journaling is the practice of reflective writing about the issues, concepts, and experiences encountered as part of a course of study.


The acquisition of knowledge or skills at the times when as they are needed rather than in advance, as at school



In textbooks, the set of answers to an exercise is sometimes called the Key or Answer Key.

Key questions

Questions you can ask your students to check they understand the meaning of a new structure.


You’ve taught your students the simple past with sentences like “He went to the museum on Saturday.”

You check they understand the idea of the past with questions like:

Is he at the museum now?

Is he going to the museum tomorrow?

Does he go to the museum every day?

Where was he on Saturday?

Key skills

Vital skills necessary for a task or to gain employment including literacy, mathematics, and basic computer skills

Key skills are the skills which will be required in the world of work and are important in all aspects of life. These include communication, IT, literacy, numeracy, team work, problem solving and self-management

Key words

The key words in a text are the words which contain the most important information.

Example: A text about a house might begin:

It’s a big house near the town and it has a swimming pool.

The key words would be big, near the town, swimming pool.

Identifying key words in a text is an important reading skill

Kinesthetic ( kinaesthetic)

Kinesthetic (or Kinaesthetic) learners learn best when there is a strong element of physical response in the learning process – gesturing, mime or TPR.

Kinesthetic learning is particularly important at the preschool and primary level.

Learns through moving, doing and touching; these students learn best through a hands-on approach, actively exploring the physical world around them. They may find it hard to sit still for long periods and may become distracted by their need for activity and exploration kinesthetic

Kolb’s learning cycle

Learning model, presented by David Kolb, that identifies 4 stages in the learning cycle: concrete experience, observations and reflections, formation of abstract concepts and generalizations, and testing implications of concepts in new situations

KWL Chart

A graphic organizer for reading and gathering information. K – What do we know? W – What do we want to find out? L – What did we learn?



The mother tongue.


The learner’s second or other language

The learner's native language/mother tongue

It refers to the mother tongue (native language). Many children learn more than one language from birth and may be said to have more than one mother tongue.

A term used to refer to both foreign and second languages.

The target language, the learner's second or other language

L2 competence

receptive A students’ ability to communicate effectively in the target language. This involves use of both and productive language skills.

Language acquisition is the process by which children learn their native language. They can achieve full competence in speaking without any formal instruction.

Laboratory based education

Laboratory based education

Educational format in which learners complete experiments in a laboratory in order to learn experimental methods or test hypotheses they are studying

Type of teaching taking place in experimental sciences whereby the learner is directed to carry out experimental investigations in a laboratory, either in order to practice previously learned theories or in advance of other learning.


Language Acquisition Device; a term coined by Noam Chomsky to explain an innate psychological capacity for language acquisition.

Language awareness

Approaches to teaching language which emphasise the value of helping learners to focus attention on features of language in use. Most such approaches emphasise the importance of learners gradually developing their own awareness of how the language is used through discoveries which they make themselves.


Short phrases learned as a unit (e.g., thank you very much); patterned language acquired through redundant use, such as refrains and repetitive phrases in stories

Language data

Instances of language use which are used to provide information about how the language is used. Thus a corpus can be said to consist of language data.

Language experience

Language Experience is designed for preliterate, non-literate, and semiliterate students to learn to read what they can already say. The technique emphasizes the concept that print represents spoken words. In this technique, students learn to recognize their own words before approaching other kinds of reading

Language laboratory

A room equipped with headphones and booths to enable students to listen to a language teaching programme, while being monitored from a central console. Labs may be Audio-Active (AA), where students listen and respond to a tape, or Audio-Active-Comparative (AAC), where they may record their own responses and compare these with a model on the master tape.

Language learning

Language learning is the process by which we learn a language through formal instruction. Adults taking English classes are learning the language, not acquiring it.

The distinction sometimes becomes blurred, as in the case of children learning a second language at school, or an adult “picking up” a language by living in the country but not taking language classes.

Language minority

Student who comes from a home in which a language other than English is primarily spoken; the student may or may not speak English well

Language practice

Activities which involve repetition of the same language point or skill in an environment which is controlled by the framework of the activity. The purpose for language production and the language to be produced are usually predetermined by the task of the teacher. The intention is not to use the language for communication but to strengthen, through successful repetition, the ability to manipulate a particular language form or function. Thus getting all the students in a class who already know each other repeatedly to ask each other their names would be a practice activity.

Language proficiency

The level of competence at which an individual is able to use language for both basic communicative tasks and academic purposes

The degree to which an individual is skilled in a language; when students speak languages other than English, proficiency is assessed to determine the primary language.

The level of competence at which an individual is able to use language for both basic communicative tasks and academic purposes

The degree to which the student exhibits control over the use of language, including the measurement of expressive and receptive language skills in the areas of phonology, syntax, vocabulary, and semantics and including the areas of pragmatics or language use within various domains or social circumstances. Proficiency in a language is judged independently and does not imply a lack of proficiency in another language

Language proficiency standards

Statements that define the language necessary for English language learners to attain social and academic competencies associated with schooling

Language profile

A description of a student , including their ability and their needs

Language teaching

Teaching people to speak and understand a foreign language

Language teaching has gone through an important evolution in the recent decades and many different principles have been described

Language use

Activities which involve the production of language in order to communicate. The purpose of the activity might be predetermined but the language which is used is determined by the learners. Thus getting a new class of learners to walk round and introduce themselves to each other would be a language use activity; and so would getting them to complete a story.

Language variety

Variations of a language used by particular groups of people, includes regional dialects characterized by distinct vocabularies, speech patterns, grammatical features, and so forth; may also vary by social group (sociolect) or idiosyncratically for a particular individual (idiolect)


The tendency for the left side and the right side of the brain and the body to develop special functions.


Most people use either their right hand or their left hand for writing. Very few people can use both. Most right-handed people have their language abilities concentrated in the left hemisphere of the brain.

Laterality develops throughout childhood. Babies and very young children often use their hands indiscriminately, but by adolescence laterality is usually fully established.

Lateral thinking

Attempting to solve a problem by using non-traditional methods in order to create and identify new concepts and ideas.

An approach which is focused on the solution of a variety of problems according to four critical factors. These are the following: to recognize dominant ideas that polarize the perception of a problem, search for different approaches to the issues, non-rigid control of thinking, and the use of alternative ideas. This approach relates to the concept of creativity.

Lead in

A lead-in introduces the theme of the class to the students, or prepares the students for a new activity during the lesson. Lead-ins can be in English or the students’ native language.

Remember that students can understand much more than they can produce, so you can explain and involve the students using language more complex than they are capable of producing.

Learner accountability

A fundamental aspect to successful corporate language training, refers to the fact that the learner is ultimately responsible for reaching his or her goals, and depends in practice on solid learning management practices. Learners should be accountable to his or her direct supervisor as well as HR (of course the only learner accountability that truly matters is to oneself).

Learner autonomy

Key concept in modern teaching theory. The main idea behind learner autonomy is that students should take responsibility for their own learning, rather than be dependent on the teacher.

Learner autonomy involves ideas such as:

the teacher becoming less of an instructor and more of a facilitator

discouraging students from relying on the teacher as the main source of knowledge

encouraging students’ capacity to learn for themselves

encouraging students to make decisions about what they learn

encouraging students’ awareness of their own learning styles

encouraging students to develop their own learning strategies

Several recent technological developments have helped encourage greater learner autonomy. CD-ROMs are available for complete language courses, or as supplementary material for textbooks. Through the Internet, students can take self-access or distance learning language courses. Many schools and universities have their own intranets to complement traditional courses. These developments will probably never completely replace the classroom and the teacher, but are already dramatically changing our role as teachers.

When a student doesn’t need a teacher to learn , but can set their own aims and organize their own study they are autonomous and independent . many activities in a course book help students to be more independent by developing learning strategies and learner training

Learner characteristics

The typical thing about a learner or learners that influence their learning, eg , age, L1,past learning experience.

The traits, such as reading level, possessed by learners that could affect their ability to learn

Factors in a learner's background that impact the effectiveness of their learning

Learner training

The key phrase in learner training is learning to learn.

Key ideas in learner-training are:

taking responsibility for your own learning

awareness of how you learn

awareness of what is being learned

awareness of what has been learned

awareness of what you still need to learn

organization of notebooks

development of study skills

developing learning strategies

Learner-training is closely related to the idea of Learner autonomy.


The internalization of rules and formulas which can be used to communicate in the L2.

Krashen uses this term for formal learning in the classroom.

The cognitive process of acquiring skill or knowledge; "the child's acquisition of language"

Learning is the process of acquiring knowledge or skill through study, experience or teaching. It is a process that depends on experience and leads to long-term changes in behavior potential.

Learning and teaching

Methods and objectives adopted by an educational institution as related to the delivery of their courses.

Learning centers

Designated classroom areas where students engage in specific activities to facilitate learning skills or knowledge; students typically work in learning centers without direct oversight by the instructor

Learning contracts

Agreement reached between instructor and student regarding the objectives to be reached in a particular learning period or activity

Agreement by which the learner agrees on a number of objectives that s/he must have achieved by the end of the learning period.

Learning cycle

This organizational strategy for teaching, based on the work of Piaget, is composed of three basic phases: exploration, concept building; and concept/knowledge/skill application. This strategy is the basis for many hands-on science curricula.

Learning environment

The characteristics of the setting.

The instructional, interpersonal, and physical characteristics of the classroom which may influence student performance

The complete makeup of the parts of the home or center and outdoors used for caring for children. The learning environment includes the space and how it is arranged and furnished, routines, materials and equipment, planned and unplanned activities, and the people who are present .The place and setting where learning occurs.

All the variables involved in the physical, social and psychological context of learning

Learning groups

Groups of individuals who work together on a specific task

Groups which learn co-operatively

Learning logs

Recordings of the progress made by a learner with regards to acquiring a knowledge or skill.

Records kept of the learner`s progress

Learning objects

Item one is to learn from a learning activity or lesson.

Item learned by a person, for example, a word in a foreign language, or a whole section of a topic.

A self-contained piece of learning material with an associated learning objective, which could be of any size and in a range of media. Learning objects are capable of re-use by being combined together with other objects for different learning purposes

Learning objectivity

What you want students to know and understand after they complete a learning experience, usually a culminating activity, product, or performance that can be measured.

A statement of what the learners will be expected to do when they have completed a specified course of instruction. It prescribes the conditions, behavior (action), and standard of task performance for the training setting. An Enabling Learning Objective measures an element of the Terminal Learning Objective. Sometimes referred to as performance, instructional, or behavioral objectives.

What learners should be able to achieve by the end of a learning experience

Learning outcomes

Statements indicating the end result for a learner following a learning activity; usually stated in what a person can observe the learner do at the end of a learning activity.

The specific information or skills that are the focus of student learning during a given lesson

What a student knows and/or is able to do as a result of an educational experience

Statements indicating the end result for a learner following a learning activity; usually stated in what a person can observe the learner do at the end of a learning activity.

Knowledge, skills, and dispositions that students should be able to demonstrate upon graduating from the program

Learning outcomes are statements which indicate what you know, understand and be able to do by the end of a module/programme.

The specific capabilities the learner should achieve at the end of the module

Learning outcomes are statements about what you want your students to have learned and to be able to do at the end of your learning/teaching session or course. How do you want them to be different by the end of the course? What do you want them to have learned, and what do you want them to be able to do with what they have learned? Learning outcomes help clarify the content of your session or course by briefly, and specifically, giving students a sense of what they will do with the content during the course and what they will be able to do with it by the end of the course.

Learning resources

The materials or tools which help students learn , eg. Books , computers, cassettes etc

Learning resources center

Where one can use the library's collection of videocassettes, laser discs, audio, and multimedia CD-ROMs

These account for how learners accumulate new L2 rules and how they automatize existing ones. They can be conscious or subconscious. These contrast with communication strategies and production strategies, which account for how the learners use their rule systems, rather than how they acquire them. Learning strategies may include metacognitive strategies (e.g., planning for learning, monitoring one's own comprehension and production, evaluating one's performance); cognitive strategies (e.g., mental or physical manipulation of the material), or social/affective strategies (e.g., interacting with another person to assist learning, using self-talk to persist at a difficult task until resolution).

Activities that help people use their own learning style to best approach new learning.

Methods used by individuals in their interactions with learning tasks

The different techniques which students develop as they learn the target language.


writing grammatical rules

working out their own rules (see Heuristics)

organizing vocabulary into lexical sets.

practising the language on chat-lines or face to face with speakers of the language

Learning strategies

Learning strategies are a key part of Learner training, which itself is a concept closely related to Learner autonomy.

Learning styles

Different students learn in different ways.


Some students prefer to see new structures in writing before they try to say it – they are visual learners.

Some students are confused by new written language. They prefer to speak the new language first – they are oral learners.

Some students need to copy the new language in their notebooks before they try to produce it.

Students can also differ in the time they need between new language input and output. Some students like to have a silent period when they can listen to the language without producing it.

Other students need to speak new language immediately.

Learning styles affect all the processes of learning a language: how much is remembered; how much recycling is needed; how quickly material is learned and so on.

The idea of learning styles is a feature of key areas of ELT such as Multiple Intelligences, Learner Training and Constructivism

The way(s) that particular learners prefer to learn a language. Some have a preference for hearing the language (auditory learners), some for seeing it written down (visual learners), some for learning it in discrete bits (analytic learners), some for experiencing it in large chunks (global or holistic or experiential learners) and many prefer to do something physical whilst experiencing the language (kinaesthetic learners).

Learning styles are the preferred ways by which people learn. Common learning styles include visual, auditory, and tactile (hands-on).

The various preferences and methods employed by learners in the process of learning

Refers to an individual's preferred manner of processing material, or characteristic style of acquiring and using information when learning. Learning styles can be loosely grouped into physical and cognitive styles. Related terms/concepts include: multiple intelligences.

Learning styles are different ways that a person can learn. Most people favor some particular method of interacting with, taking in, and processing stimuli or information. Psychologists have proposed several complementary taxonomies of learning styles.

The manner in which a learner perceives, interacts with, and responds to the learning environment. Components of learning style are the cognitive, affective and physiological elements, all of which may be strongly influenced by a person's cultural background.

Learning task analysis

A list of goals that describe what the learners should know or be able to do at the completion of instruction and the prerequisite skills and knowledge that the learners will need in order to achieve those goals.

Learning training

The use of activities to help students understand how they learn and help them to become independent learners.

A theory explaining the learning process by reference to a particular model of human cognition, development etc


Limited-English Proficient is a term used by the federal government, most states, and local school districts to identify those students who have insufficient English to succeed in an English-only classroom (Lessow-Hurley, 1991).

Lesson plan

It helps the teacher to know what to do in a class (prepared by themselves) with quite specific activities

A written guide for trainers plans in order to achieve the intended learning outcomes. It provides specific definition and direction on learning objectives, equipment, instructional media material requirements, and conduct of the training

Lexical approach

The lexical approach rejects the traditional split of language into grammar and vocabulary. Instead, it proposes four types of language:

  1. Words, e.g. ball, chair, car.
  2. Chunks – words that often occur together, e.g. a crime has been committed, get in touch with the police.
  3. Fixed phrases, e.g. Can I help you?
  4. Semi-fixed phrases, e.g. It’s great to see you, It’s lovely to see you, Great to see you again, etc.

A key concept in this approach is collocation, which is closely related to the idea of word chunks.

The lexical approach emphasizes the need for very large amounts of input, and encourages students to recognize and use grammatical structures without explicitly teaching them.

A way of analyzing language that is based on lexical items such as words, multi-words , collocations and fixed ex-pressions rather than grammatical structures. Some books and materials organize their syllabuses around the lexical approach.

Lexical item

An item of vocabulary which has a single element of meaning. It may be a compound or phrase: bookcase, post office, put up with. Some single words may initiate several lexical items; eg letter: a letter of the alphabet / posting a letter.

Lexical set

Words that belong to a particularly group. This group could be a:

  1. Semantic group
    Example: cat, dog, elephant, snake
    belong to the semantic group Animals.

  2. Syntactical group
    Example: pretty, long, unusual, frightening
    belong to the syntactical group Adjectives.

  3. Functional group
    Example: Hello, Hi, Good morning, Hello there
    belong to the functional group Greetings.

Lexical sets are often referred to as Word Families.

A group or family of words related to one another by some semantic principle: eg lamb, pork, chicken, beef are all different types of meat and form a lexical set.


The lexis of a language is the complete set of words used in that language

is the study of words or vocabulary

The verbal "texture" or rhetorical aspect of a work of literature, including the usual meanings of the terms "diction" and "imagery."

Lifelong learning

Idea that learning can and does occur beyond the formal structure of an educational institution and occurs throughout one's lifetime

The ongoing acquisition of knowledge or skills

Defined by the Government as all post-16 learning, but applying specifically to the learning that takes place by adults who are already in the workplace and need special part-time provision, or to the learning that adults may wish to undertake to enrich their own lives. Often linked to just-in-time learning.

Life skills reading

Life Skills Reading provides practice in extracting information that will assist the reader in performing crucial tasks in the workplace or in daily life, using items such as ads, bus schedules, and employee handbooks.

Limited English Proficiency(LEP)

The term (usually used in Elementary and Secondary education) for students identified as needing ESL training

Limited English Speaking Ability (LESA)

Students with a primary language other than English who have difficulty with speaking English.

Limited-Formal Schooling

New arrivals who have been in the U.S for less than five years with limited or interrupted schooling in their native country.


Teacher takes all the responsibility for the process and the result The input-output during a lesson get more and more complex Learners get involved in individual, pair and group activities A lesson is notable for a variety of diverse activities Learners' output is either a monologue or a dialogue learned by heart Communicative message is in focus Learners are positively dependent on each other Lexis and grammar are in focus Listening and reading are in focus Activation of thought processes.

Consisting of or related to language; "linguistic behavior"; "a linguistic atlas"; "lingual diversity"

Of or relating to the scientific study of language; "linguistic theory

Broadly conceived, ling2uistics is the scientific study of human language, and a linguist is someone who engages in this study.

Linguistic audit

Linguistic audit or language audit, is a process by which an organization analyzes the role languages and cross-border communication skills play in organizational vision and goals, defines the current language capability of the organization, and creates a program to manage the development of language capabilities.

Linguistic competence

A broad term used to describe the totality of a given individual's language ability; the underlying language system believed to exist as inferred from an individual's language performance

Linguistically and Culturally Diverse

Used to identify individuals from homes and communities where English is not the primary language of communication

Linking classes

The coordination of the curriculum of two or more classes so as to reinforce the learning and build connections between disciplines. This linking can take the form of joint assignments, simultaneous consideration of the same issue from differing perspectives, or sharing resources

Listening for detaills

An important listening skill. Students listen to a tape and get the most important information from it. To focus the students’ attention, they can be given questions about the tape before they listen to it.


Students listen to a tape about the problems of the world. Before listening, they read questions such as:

  1. What does the speaker think are the five main problems of the world?
  2. Which country does he give as an example of each problem?
  3. What solution does he suggest for each problem?

Students can then try to answer one or more of the questions before listening (a pre-listening activity), or listen to the tape and then answer the questions.

Listening for gist

An important listening skill. Students listen for a short list of specific information on a tape which contains other information as well.

Example: Students listen to a tape of a person asking for information about a flight times. They answer questions such as:

  1. What are the numbers of the flights to France?
  2. What times are the flights to France?
  3. How long does it take to fly to France?

Listening for specific information is similar to Listening for detail. The difference is that in Listening for specific information, students are required to distinguish relevant information from irrelevant information. In Listening for detail, the students are required to extract all the information.

Listening skills

Some of the most important listening skills are:

Listening for gist

Listening for detail

Listening for specific information

Inferential listening

Literal comprehension questions

Information questions, or “ display questions” questions which answer what, when, where , who, how many, etc


A lockstep activity is when all the language produced in the class is directly controlled by the teacher.

A choral drill is an example of a lockstep activity.

Look and say approach

See Whole word approach

Long-Term English Language Learner

Students who have been in the U.S. for seven or more years and are reading and/or writing below grade level.


Language Proficiency Assessment Committee


Main idea

An important reading skill. Students read a text and identify the main idea of the whole text, or each paragraph. To help them, they are usually given three or four options to choose from

Managed learning environments

A system, typically computer-based, for organizing and evaluating information related to an educational endeavor, including the lessons, learning activities, and evaluations


Objects used to demonstrate learning concepts. The use of manipulatives appeal to the ESL student's senses to enhance the meaning of the presented information. Students have the opportunity to hear, see, and touch manipulatives to promote the learning process and language acquisition

Mapping competence

Assessing and reporting a student`s examinations or coursework.

Mastery learning

A system in which all students are expected to achieve specified learning outcomes within a course segment and are engaged, without progression, until they do.


Anything which is used to help to teach language learners. Materials can be in the form of a textbook, a workbook, a cassette, a CD-Rom, a video, a photocopied handout, a newspaper, a paragraph written on a whiteboard: anything which presents of informs about the language being learned.

Materials adaptation

Making changes to materials in order to improve them or to make them more suitable for a particular type of learner. Adaptation can include reducing, adding, omitting, modifing and supplementing. Most teachers adapt materials every time they use a textbook in order to maximise the value of the book for their particular learners.

Materials evaluation

The systematic appraisal of the value of materials in relation to their objectives and to the objectives of the learners using them. Evaluation can be pre-use and therefore focused on predictions of potential value. It can be whilst-use and therefore focused on awareness and description of what the learners are actually doing whilst the materials are being used. And it can also be post-use and therefore focused on analysis of what happened as a result of using the materials.


Ways of understanding how learning occurs, where micro-mathetics deals with what happens in a classroom a home, or an individual learning situation, and macro-mathetics focuses on such questions as the learning environment of a country


Fully grow or developed or . if a learner is mature in attitude , they behave in as adult way , A learner’s maturity ( physical, emotional and mental) influences a teacher’s approaches and/or decisions.

Meaning-focused tasks

These tasks focus on communication of meaning. Meaning-focused tasks do not provide practice activities which focus on individual linguistic components as a preliminary to engagement in communicative tasks. According to the meaning-focused approach, involvement in communicative tasks is all that is necessary to develop competence in a second language.


To learn something so that you can remember it later


Adviser to a learner

Person who acts as an adviser to a learner, especially used in work-place learning environments.


Activity of advising and guiding a person through some task.

The process in which an experienced colleague is assigned to an inexperienced individual and assists in a training or general support role

The process in which an experienced colleague is assigned to an inexperienced individual and assists in a training or general support role.

One to one encouragement/advice/befriending for an individual

Meta analysis

Statistical procedure that integrates the results of several independent studies.


Higher-order ability to acquired and use competencies well in a variety of situations.


Ability to reflect on one's own thinking and learning

Reflective process whereby learners reflect on their own thinking and learning

Metacognition refers to the process of thinking about how one thinks

Objectives that imply awareness, reflection, and interaction, and are used in strategies that are integrated, inter-related, and recursive in manner


Higher-order skill that allows other skills to be used and developed.

A higher-order skill, enabling other skills to occur. For instance, a person who is generally able to organise information well, can study a specific subject more successfully.


The way in which information is found or something is done. The methodology includes the methods, procedures, and techniques used to collect and analyze information

A system of principles, practices, and procedures applied to a specific branch of knowledge

Micro teaching

A technique used on teacher training courses: a part of a lesson is taught to a small number of students. A variation of this is 'peer teaching', where the 'students' are often peers of the trainee teacher attending the same course.


Body movements used to convey meaning without using words


A mingle is an activity which involves students walking round the classroom talking to other students.

Minimal competencies

Lowest level of knowledge or skill necessary for engaging in a task or admittance into a program; see also competencies.

Minimal pair

Minimal pairs are pairs of words which have only one different sound.


  • close clone
  • but bat
  • top tip

Minimal pairs are often used for making students aware of pronunciation differences and for helping students to improve their pronunciation.

For this purpose, minimal pairs which have easily confused vowel or consonant sounds are often selected.


These minimal pairs differ only by the same short or long vowel sound.

  • hit heat
  • rid read
  • fit feet
  • ship sheep

A pair of items differing by one phonological feature; eg sit/set, ship/sheep, pen/pan, fan/pan, pan/pat etc.

In phonetics, minimal pairs are pairs of words or phrases in a particular language, which differ in only one phoneme, toneme or chroneme and have a distinct meaning. They are used to demonstrate that two phones constitute two separate phonemes in the language.

Mission statement

Statement articulation the primary aims of a group or institution.

Main ability class

In a graded or streamed class all the students have approximately the same level of linguistic competence.

In a mixed ability class, the students have different levels of ability – some are perhaps at basic level and others are intermediate.

Mixed level

The different levels of language or ability or students studying in the same class

Model sentence

A sentence which gives students an example of the grammatical structure they are learning.


If students are learning the past simple, model sentences could be:

  • He went to the museum.
  • He visited his friends.
  • He bought a shirt.

Modal verb

Verbs which express the mood of another verb: will/would; shall/should; may/might; can/could; must, ought, need, dare, used to.


A clear example of the target language for students to write down and save as a record . if a teacher is focusing on the target language of the lesson , they usually choose a model sentence, which they write on the board . the teacher often models the language as well , by saying it clearly before drilling the students

The teacher of ESL students demonstrates the learning activity as the students watch. After showing the students what to do, the educator repeats the demonstration as learners follow along. Soon the students are capable of performing the task without hesitation. This type of modeling by the teacher helps the ESL student to be comfortable with the classroom activities and to know what is expected on assignments.

Model answer

Examples of satisfactory or good answers to exam questions, or essays, usually prepared by the tutor.


Teaching process that splits material or courses into modules to allow students flexibility in selecting modules to create a program of study

The process by which courses are divided into separate elements - modules - which are self contained


A separate unit or selection of material that forms a coherent whole, but may be combined with other units

Modular studies

A study programme organised around modules.


Language learners and native speakers typically try to correct any erros in what they have just said. This is referred to as 'monitoring'. The learner can monitor vocabulary, phonology, or discourse. Krashen uses 'Monitoring' to refer the way the learner uses 'learnt' knowledge to improve naturally 'acquired' knowledge.

An on-going process of reviewing a program's activities to determine whether set standards or requirements are being met

The process of checking, observing or keeping track of something for a specific period of time or at specified intervals

Monitoring achievement

Tracking students' progress towards achieving a learning goal.

Activity pursued by a teacher to keep track of students` learning and progress.

Monolingual terminology

The study of specialized concepts and of their designations in a single language


The smallest unit of language that is grammatically significant. Morphemes may be bound, ie t2hey cannot exist on their own; eg -er,un-, -ed, mis- ; or they can be free, as is ball in football.

The smallest unit of meaning in oral and written language

In linguistics, any word or word part that conveys meaning, cannot be divided into smaller elements conveying meaning, and usually occurs in a variety of contexts with relatively stable meaning

In linguistics, a morpheme is the smallest language unit that carries a semantic interpretation. Morphemes are, generally, a distinctive collocation of phonemes (as the free form pin or the bound form -s of pins) having no smaller meaningful members

The smallest unit of meaning. A word may consist of one morpheme (need), two morphemes (need/less, need/ing) or three or more morphemes (un/happi/ness). Suffixes and prefixes are morphemes

A unit of meaning or grammatical function

Minimal meaningful language unit; it cannot be divided into smaller meaningful units


The branch of linguistics which studies how words change their forms when they change grammatical function, ie their inflections swim -swam - swum - swimming - swimmer; cat - cats; mouse - mice; happy - happier - happily etc. See also Syntax.

Grammatical and other variants of words that are derived from the same root or stem.

The study of the use of prefixes, suffixes, and compounding to form words.

the branch of grammar which studies the structure or forms of words. The main branches are inflectional morphology, derivational morphology, and compounding

Mother tongue

First language learned at home during childhood and still understood by the individual at the time of the census

One's native language; the language learned by children and passed from one generation to the next

First language (native language, mother tongue, or vernacular) is the language a person learns first. Correspondingly, the person is called a native speaker of the language. Usually a child learns the basics of their first language from their family


The reasons why students are learning English. Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation2 comes from inside the student:

because she wants to work in an English speaking country

because she can get a better job if she speaks English

because she likes American culture and wants to find out more about it

because she 2enjoys the classes.

Extrinsic motivation comes from pressures on the student:

it’s a requirement of the school

his parents want him to learn English

he’ll lose his job if he doesn’t learn English.

Motivation is an important factor in a student’s learning process. Generally speaking, intrinsically-motivated students learn more effectively than extrinsically-motivated students.

This can be defined in terms of the learner's overall goal or orientation. 'Instrumental' motivation occurs when the learner's goal is functional (e.g. to get a job or pass an examination), and 'integrative' motivation occurs when the learner wishes to identify with the culture of the L2 group. 'Task" motivation is the interest felt by the learner in performing different learning tasks.

What makes a character do what he or she does, whether those influences are goals, incentives, or the nature of the character.

Tendency to expend effort to achieve a goal

The reason(s) behind a particular character's actions which causes them to react or act in the way they do

Motivational context

The attempt to provide a setting where students are motivated to learn; can be achieved in various ways such as encouraging students to take responsibility for their own learning, being involved in selecting the topics for learning, or planning a lesson.


To cut out and stick pictures or photos on the large pieces of card. Pictures from newspapers and magazines are apt to tear and look old and shabby very quickly, because they are on such thin papers , If you cut them out and stick them on to pieces of card they last much longer snd are pleasant to handle.they are also easier to store and select from and you can make lists on the back of the cards of the language items you have practiced with them

Multicultural activities

Planning activities that involve lessons about different cultures and languages. This idea helps to validate the ESL student's first language and culture. These type activities enlighten students and present a fun way to learn about cultural differences. Multicultural literature can be introduced using a globe and brochures about a particular country described in a book. Perhaps students can be taught how to count or speak a few words in the language spoken by the people in the story.

Multidimensional assessment

Utilizing many different methods of assessing students. Teachers need to align instruction with a method of assessment that mirrors classroom learning activities. Types of assessments should vary according to the different learning styles portrayed in the classroom. Students should always be aware of what is expected of them on each assessment. For example, when using a rubric, the educator needs to model the required criteria on the scoring rubric so as to involve students in teacher expectation on the particular assessment. A teacher may use authentic types of assessment such as portfolios, teacher observations, anecdotal records, games, etc. to give ESL students opportunities to succeed.


Ability to speak more than two languages; proficiency in many languages

Multi-media material

Materials which make use of a number of different media. Often they are available on a CD-Rom which makes use of print, graphics, video and sound. Usually such materials are interactive and enable the learner to receive feedback on the written or spoken language which they produce.

Multiple choice questions

Test format where students are provided several possible answers and must identify the best possible answer

Test that offers several answers from which the correct one is to be chosen, and marked by a tick or cross in a given space. It can normally be handled by computer.

Multiple choice tests

A test in which students are presented with a question or an incomplete sentence or idea. The students are expected to choose the correct or best answer/completion from a menu of alternatives

Multiple intelligences

The theory of multiple intelligences was developed by Howard Gardner. He suggested that there are at least eight different types of intelligence:

Linguistic intelligence – the ability to use and understand language.

Logical-mathematical intelligence – the ability to understand mathematical operations, logical reasoning, and scientific thinking.

Intra-personal intelligence – the ability to understand your own thoughts and feelings.

Inter-personal intelligence – the ability to understand other people’s moods and feelings.

Musical intellig2ence – the ability to understand and play music.

Spatial intelligence – the ability to understand the relationships of objects in space – on maps, in the street and so on.

Kinesthetic intelligence – the ability to control your fine motor movements.

Naturalistic intelligence – the ability to classify, understand and use the natural world.

A person’s ability in these different intelligences may vary enormously. For the purposes of ELT, linguistic intelligence is one of the most important – but other intelligences, such as intra-personal intelligence and inter-personal intelligence, can have an effect on the activities in the class and on a student’s ability to learn.

Multisensensory activities

Planned lesson activities that tap into more than one of the bodily senses of ESL students. Learning can be enhanced through hands-on type activities that give ESL learners an opportunity to absorb information through their senses. There is a Chinese saying that helps teachers realize how important multisensory activities are: "Tell me, I forget; show me, I remember; involve me, I understand." ESL students need to be totally involved in their learning


Native language

Primary or first language spoken by an individual

It is the first language a person First language (native language, mother tongue, or vernacular) is the language a person learns first. Correspondingly, the person is called a native speaker of the language. Usually a child learns the basics of their first language from their family learns and usually is known as a person's "mother tongue".

The first language learned and spoken by individuals based on their culture, country, and/or family.

The first language the student acquired and which he/she normally uses; generally, but not always, the language usually used by the parents of the students. This is frequently referred to as the heritage language

Natural approach

This approach studies the stages which children go through when they acquire their native language, and then tries to adapt those same stages to the classroom

Pioneered by Krashen, this approach combines acquisition and learning as a means of facilitating language development in adults.

The Natural Approach of Stephen Krashen is a widely influential and hotly debated approach to language acquisition and language learning. The five hypotheses that underlie the approach are:

Language acquisition (an unconscious process developed through using language meaningfully) is different from language learning (consciously learning or discovering rules about a language) and language acquisition is the only way competence in a second language occurs. (The acquisition/learning hypothesis)

Conscious learning operates only as a monitor or editor that checks or repairs the output of what has been acquired. (The monitor hypothesis)

Grammatical structures are acquired in a predictable order and it does little good to try to learn them in another order.(The natural order hypothesis).

People acquire language best from messages that are just slightly beyond their current competence. (The input hypothesis)

The learner's emotional state can act as a filter that impedes or blocks input necessary to acquisition. (The affective filter hypothesis) (This was copied and pasted from here.)

Natural order

The order in which a learner naturally learn some items in their first or other languages. Some language items are learnt before others and it can be difficult for teachers to influence this order.

Needs analysis

Need analysis is the first step of any language program, whether for an individual student or a company program for thousands of learners. It consists of an assessment of the learner’s professional needs, language level, learning style, and the resources available to the learner.

Negotiation of meaning

When learners interact with native speakers or other learners, they often have problems in communicating. This leads to interactional efforts to make mutual understanding. This is called 'negotiation of meaning'.

Negotiated learning

A process which involves the student in agreeing a program of study at some level. If at the individual course level, it may be described as contracting.


Activity by which professionals in the same area of work interact or engage in informal communication for mutual assistance or support.

Neurolinguistic programmimg(NLP)

Activity by which professionals in the same area of work interact or engage in informal communication for mutual assistance or support.

A concept which is applied to many different areas such as psychology, holistic medicine, and learning in general. In the context of ELT, the basic ideas are:

We construct our own inner model of the world according to our perceptual and learning preferences (mainly auditory, visual, kinaesthetic).

Teaching is most effective when it mirrors the student’s inner virtual world.

A key idea in NLP is the mind map, which helps the student to express in English his inner virtual world.

Newcomer Programs

Used by some districts to describe ESL programs developed for newly-arriving immigrant students.


To choose and name one student to speak or do a particular task

Non-English Proficient (NEP)

The student has virtually no command of English in the communicative skills areas of speaking, listening, reading, or writing.

Nonverbal communication

Communication based on a person's use of voice and body, rather than on the use of words

Paralinguistic and nonlinguistic messages that can be transmitted in conjunction with language or without the aid of language; paralinguistic mechanisms include intonation, stress, rate of speech, and pauses or hesitations; nonlinguistic behaviors include gestures, facial ex-pressions, and body language, among others

Communication that occurs as a result of appearance, posture, gesture, eye contact, facial ex-pressions, and other nonlinguistic factors

Norm-referenced tests

These assessments are relative evaluations.The norm-referenced evaluation shows how the student performs compared to the larger group to which the student belongs. This comparing and ranking students is commonly called "grading on a curve." It encourages competition and discourages cooperative learning. These measures are used to compare students to statewide or national norms of performance

Norm referencing

Assessment based on a comparison of raw scores from a given assignment; opposed to criterion referencing

An assessment strategy in which judgements are made in terms of ranking subjects without reference to a fixed standard

Marking tests or coursework where students` raw scores are compared to each other rather than to some predetermined criterion of performance.

Notional approach

Teaching a language by concentrating on the notions of the language one by one.


You could have a class which concentrates on points in time, and teach ex-pressions such as:

  • My birthday is in December.
  • My birthday is on December 12th.
  • I arrived at 1 o’clock.
  • I arrived on Monday.

A notional syllabus does not grade the language, so it is very different from the Structural-situational approach.


The concepts of a language.


Time: point of time, duration, future time, present time, past time etc.

Size: width, height, weight, bulk, etc.

Quantity: a lot, a few, none, many, not many, hardly any, etc.


National Vocational Qualification; based on national standards, defining skills, knowledge and understanding needed at work. Intended for people aged 16 and over


Objective tests

Test based on answers that require students demonstrate a knowledge or skill exactly with no opportunity for judgment by the evaluator.

Tests that measure both ability to remember facts and figures and understanding of course materials. Multiple choice questions are an example of such tests.


Goals or aims of learning activity or lesson.

Expected achievements/products that are well-defined, specific, measurable and derived from the goal(s)

Objective test

Can be scored based solely on an answer key; it requires no expert judgment on the part of the scorer. back to top

An examination in which questions requiring a very short answer are posed. It can be multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, etc. The questions are related to facts (thus objective) rather than to opinions (or subjective).

A test for which the scoring procedure is completely specified enabling agreement among different scorers. A correct-answer test.

A test with high degree of scoring objectivity, as a multiple- choice test. Cp. essay examination

A test instrument containing only objective items - ie items which have unequivocal answers

Test based on answers that require students demonstrate a knowledge or skill exactly with no opportunity for judgment by the evaluator.

Tests that measure both ability to remember facts and figures and understanding of course materials. Multiple choice questions are an example of such tests.


Ability to remove personal feelings or presuppositions in assessing learning or other areas

Being factual and free from personal feelings or pre-suppositions, especially in assessing student learning.


A teaching situation which involves only one teacher and one student

Online learning

Educational environment that exists in cyberspace using communications tools such as email, chatrooms readings on the Internet, and/or video conferencing.

E-learning specifically over the internet as opposed to other networks.

Type of learning organised through the Internet. The learner is provided with many elements of the course such as email messages, readings on the world wide web, and video conferencing

Open book examinations

Examination format that allows to access resource materials while completing the examination

Type of examination where the students are allowed to use any resource material that they may wish to bring to the examination room

Open class

When the teacher leads the class in an activity and each student is paying attention to what is happening . when students respond , they do so infront of every one in the class

Open days

Days during which the institution invites prospective student to visit its premises and to receive information about the courses it offers

Open-ended questions

A question such as Have you ever been to Mexico? normally only has two possible answers: Yes, I have. or No, I haven’t.

A question such as What do you do on weekends? has a very wide range of possible answers. It is an example of an open-ended question.

Questions that do not have predetermined answers and allow the responder to develop a unique, personal response.

Questions in interviews and on questionnaires that have no prespecified answers

Questions that allow respondents to answer however they want

A form of question that requires the participant to answer in his or her own words; also known as subjective questions

Open learning

Learning environment that has no formal requirements for admission. See also flexible learning

instructional systems in which many facets of the learning process are under the control of the learner. It attempts to deliver learning opportunities where, when, and how the learner needs them

An approach to learning which gives students flexibility and choice over what, when, at what pace, where, and how they learn, commonly using distance education and the facilities of educational technology. See also flexible delivery and e-Learn

Describes a programme offering access to individuals without the traditional constraints related to location, timetabling, entry qualifications etc.

Open learning materials

Materials prepared for and open learning environment

Materials specially prepared for open learning, perhaps including on-line access.

Open pairs

In open pairs , one does a pair work activity in front of the class. This technique is useful for showing how to do an activity and/or for focusing on accuracy

Open questions

In a questionnaire, questions where the possible answers are not predetermined and thus allow for personal, qualitative answers. Such answers cannot be automatically marked but require judgement.

Operant conditioning

A process for engendering learning based on the reinforcement of desired responses (after Skinner).

Optical mark reader(OMR)

Computer device for reading examinations completed by students who fill in boxes with their responses

A device for marking objective tests, especially multiple choice questionnaires. Students place a mark in a box and the answer sheets can then be automatically marked by a computer.

Oral skills

Skill set related to speech

Order of development

This refers to the order in which specific grammatical features are acquired in SLA. These vary according to factors such as the learner's L1 background and the learning context.


Output is the language which students produce during the class, through speaking or writing.

Over application of the rule

When a student uses a grammatical rule too much , making an incorrect word structure by following a regular pattern.


When students apply a rule to an inappropriate piece of language, they are overgeneralizing.


Students learn that superlative forms of adjectives can be made with –est, such as the nicest, the quickest, etc.

If they start to produce incorrect superlatives like the goodest, the comfortablest and the expensivest, they are overgeneralizing

Language learners often produce errors which are extensions of general rules to items not covered by the rules, e.g. 'I comed home'. this is called 'over-generalization

Overhead projector

Equipment which projects an image on a screen by passing light through a transparent slide or other transparency



The speed of the lesson. Teachers can vary the pace in a lesson by planning different activities in order to keep the students’ attention

Pair work

A process in which students work in pairs for practice or discussion.

Panel discussion

Instructional Technique using a group of people chosen to discuss a topic in the presence of an audience.

A structured conversation on a given topic among several people in front of an audience

Discussion of a subject of public interest by a group of persons forming a panel usually before an audience


In speech, the parts of language other than words that make up specific speech patterns of a person; i.e., pitch, volume, tone, etc.

Paralinguistic feature

Include sounds like "er", "ah", and facial ex-pressions, gestures, all of which can communicate something without actually using words. See non-lexical forms.

Parallel writing

A technique to facilitate writing. Students read a text and then write another text using the structures of the first but with new vocabulary.


Students read a text about the life of a famous person in their country.

They then write a parallel composition using the same format about another famous person in their country


Rewording for the purpose of clarification

To express the same message in different words

A paraphrase is when you take information from a source and put it entirely in your own words (changing one or two words is not paraphrasing). Paraphrases must be cited within the text.

To restate or summarize an author’s ideas in one’s own words

A restatement of a thought, passage, or text that significantly alters both the words and the grammatical structure of the original.

Restating the meaning in own words, retaining all of the ideas without making an interpretation or evaluation

To restate something in your own words.

Parent Involvement

Involving parents of ESL students in the vital connection between home and school. Invite culturally different parents into the classroom to share their culture and promote unity. Explain to the parents what is expected of their child in the classroom and allow them be a part of the homework process. An open line of communication is very important to teachers, parents, and students for educational success.

Parrot fashion

When students repeat parrot fashion , they repeat automatically the sounds they hear without understanding their meaning, like a parrot imitates , with no understanding.

Partner reading

A scaffolding technique where an English Language Learner is paired with a more experienced reader to read through a part of the reading assignment.

Passive control

Students usually have a greater passive control of L2 than active . In other words they can understand understand more than what they can say or write. Passive control refers to their comprehension , or how much they can understand.

Passive vocabulary

The vocabulary that students are able to understand compared to that which they are able to use. Contrasted with Active Vocabulary.


These are a type of formulaic speech. They are unanalysed units which have open slots, e.g. 'Can i have a .......?'

See formulaic speech and routines

Pedagogic task

In pedagogic tasks, learners are required to do things which it is extremely unlikely they would be called upon to do outside of the classroom. Completing one half of a dialogue, filling in the blanks in a story and working out the meaning of ten nonsense words from clues in a text would be examples of pedagogic tasks.


Approach or process of teaching

Theory or process of teaching

Teaching; assisting students through interaction and activity in the ongoing academic and social events of the classroom.

Literally means the art and science of educating children, pedagogy is often used as a synonym for teaching. Pedagogy embodies teacher-focused education

Function, work or art of a teacher; teaching; instruction.

An educational approach characterized by teacher-centredness. The teacher is viewed as an authority figure and students are not generally involved in decisions/actions in regard to learning. Related concepts include: directed learning.

The art, profession, or study of teaching.

The strategies, techniques, and approaches that teachers can use to facilitate learning.

Peer assessment

Assessment undertaken by a fellow (peer) student or fellow professional in the discipline.

Peer feedback

Feed back given to a student by another student in the class

Peer group

Usually refers to people working or studying at the same level or in the same grouping; one's colleagues or fellow students.

Peer learning

Form of learning in which students are engaged in teaching each other material.

Peer tutoring

Non-LEP students who help LEP students in class. This is generally performed by students who can speak the LEP student’s native language but who understand English better.

Peer tutors are sometimes referred to as English language informants

Performance criteria

Written standards used by an evaluator to judge whether an individual can perform a skill or has demonstrated knowledge

The standards by which student performance is evaluated. Performance criteria help assessors maintain objectivity and provide students with important information about expectations, giving them a target or goal to strive for.

Performance evaluation

The use of an evaluation rubric to assess an individual's level of competency in performing of a task or skill.

Performance indicators

Behavioral or quantitative measures of the performance of a skill or knowledge.

Quantitative measures of the performance of, generally, an institution, defined in terms of targets to be achieved.

Performance standards

Statements that refer to how well students are meeting a content standard; specify the quality and effect of student performance at various levels of competency (benchmarks) in the subject matter; specify how students must demonstrate their knowledge and skills and can show student progress toward meeting a standard

Personal development plan

Document that identifies the current status and future plan of individual to achieve a personal or professional goal

Planning document focusing on individual needs as they relate to a person`s present situation and future expectations in terms of careers prospects. Can be used for learners, teachers or any other professionals.

Personal tutor

A teacher who provides personal instruction to an individual student


Tailoring specifically to an individual.

When a teacher helps a student to connect new words, ideas, topics, texts or grammer to their own life

Phatic communion

Phrases used to convey sociability rather than meaning.


Phrases used to convey sociability rather than meaning.

The smallest unit of sound which causes a change of meaning:

cattle - kettle /k怼/font>

A minimal sound unit of speech that, when contrasted with another phoneme, affects the naming of words in a language, such as /b/ in book contrasts with /t/ in took, /k/ in cook, /h/ in hook. Note: The phoneme is an abstract concept manifested in actual speech as a phonetic variant, such as the allophones of the phoneme /t/ in top, stop, pot

The smallest unit of sound that does not alter the meaning of words in which it occurs

The smallest unit of sound; for example, the word "cat" has three phonemes

A phoneme is the smallest part of spoken language that makes a difference in the meaning of words. English has about 41 phonemes. A few words, such as a or oh, have only one phoneme. Most words, however, have more than one phoneme: The word if has two phonemes (/i/ /f/); check has three phonemes (/ch/ /e/ /k/), and stop has four phonemes (/s/ /t/ /o/ /p/). Sometimes one phoneme is represented by more than one letter.

The smallest unit of sound which causes a change of meaning:

A unique individual sound used in a language.

A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound (analogous to a morpheme) which can be identified from an acoustic flow of speech and which is semantically distinct

Sounds of speech

The individual distinguishable sound items in a language whose concatenation, in a particular order, produces morphemes. Phonemes are discrete, not continuously variable. Phonological or Phonemic identity is the sameness of the sound from the linguistic point of view.

Phonics approach/ Whole word approach

Two very different approaches to learning to read.

The phonics approach emphasizes the relationship between letters and sounds: for example, sounding the letters of the word cat as:


The whole word (or look and say) approach teaches children to recognize individual words, not the sounds of the letters in words.

The connection between symbols and sounds that form the basis of speech

A system of teaching reading and spelling that stresses basic symbol-sound relationships and their application in decoding words; a system used especially in beginning instruction

The phonological structure of oral language and its representation in written language.

A method of teaching beginning readers to read and pronounce words by learning the sound of letters, letter groups and syllables

A method of teaching reading that focuses on letter-sound relationships.

Phonics is the understanding that there is a predictable relationship between phonemes (the sounds of spoken language) and graphemes (the letters and spellings that represent those sounds in written language

Used as a term to cover the knowledge and teaching of grapheme-phoneme correspondences

Teaching reading by training beginners to associate letters with their sound values

Phonics is the study of the way in which spellings represent the sounds that make up words. (Phonics is not the study of speech sounds in general -- that is phonetics -- but only of the ways in which they are represented by conventional spellings.) In reading education, children are taught the sounds of letters and how those letters combine to form words


The study of speech sounds (phonemes) and how they are used

the branch of linguistics which studies the sound systems of languages. Phonological rules describe the patterns of sounds used distinctively in a language, and phonologists are interested in the question of what constitutes a possible sound system for a natural language.

The study of sound patterns in language

The sound system of language including speech sounds, speech patterns and rules that apply to those sounds

Study of phonemes or speech sounds, the smallest units of oral language

Set of sounds used in a language, the rules for combining those sounds to make words, and the use of stress and intonation in spoken sentences

The speech sound system of a language and the rules for combining them

Pick up

To get to know or become aware of, usually accidentally


Sound is vibration, as perceived by the sense of hearing

Picture stories

Stories that are in pictures instead of words


Any use of the ideas or writings of another person without providing credit to the original author

Using the ideas or writings of another as if they were one`s own, i.e. without acknowledging the true author. In the UK it is considered a reason for failing students, or in extreme cases, for expelling them from an institution.

Placement test

A test is administered to incoming students in order to place or put them in the correct ability level; content on placement tests is specific to a given curriculum; placement tests are most successfully produced in-house

An examination used to test a student's academic ability in a certain subject so s/he can be placed in a course at an appropriate level. In some cases students may get course credits after scoring high on a placement test

Test used to determine a student's skill levels in math and English. The results are used to help students select courses for which they have the necessary skills for success.

A test that measures a student's aptitude in a particular subject and is used as a prerequisite for enrollment in some courses.

Tests given by certain College departments to determine a student's level of proficiency in a particular subject area. These test results are used to place students in classes at an appropriate level for their knowledge and abilities


Collection of work completed by a person over time to demonstrate abilities and competencies.

Set of school materials kept by pupils. Also a collection of evidence produced by a candidate to prove her/his competence, including examples of work

Portfolio assessment

Assessment of a portfolio intended to judge the students development and current state of knowledge and skills.

Portfolio based learning

Portfolios are structured records of learning and achievement. They may be developed by the individual or in conjunction with an institution (see: Progress Files). Portfolio based learning involves drawing on the information in the portfolio to reflect on learning achievements, identify strengths and weaknesses in knowledge and skills, and to identify future learning requirements. An action plan can then be devised to address these learning requirements. A PARs information Web site is being developed. The URL will be working in the near future

Focus on growth and development over time, implemented through selection, reflection and inspection of classwork, along with goal-setting and self-evaluation

Assessment is based on a collection of student work in a subject

One type of alternative assessment; portfolios are a representative collection of a student's work throughout an extended period of time; the aim is to document the student's progress in language learning via the completion of such tasks as reports, projects, artwork, and essays.

Student prepares a portfolio which is assessed by faculty to determine if credit should be awarded for a specific course or program.

The analysis of student work samples, self-evaluations, and other materials assembled in portfolios to document student progress over time

Position holder/Fillers

These are the short and usually meaningless words which we use when we are pausing to think, and we want to indicate that we haven’t finished talking.

Typical position holders in English are:

er, uh, you know, sort of, like, well, kind of

Positive feedback

Comments intended to highlight positive elements of a person's activities.

Feedback that tends to reinforce a process

feedback in which a portion of the signal from a later amplifier stage is fed back to an earlier stage (or to the same stage) in such a manner as to add to the input signal

Giving comments on a student`s behaviour or work that highlight the achievements rather than the errors or problems.

Action of submitting a message to a virtual or electronic discussion board.

Poster displays

Demonstration of one's work by placing materials and evidence on a large display for easy viewing by others

Showing the work of a group of students by placing pictures, graphs and other evidence around the walls of a room or hallway. Can also refer to the use of such methods to show the work of an institution at a conference


PPP is the standard presentation technique – Presentation, Practice, Production.

This means:

Presenting new language, either with graded language, as in the structural-situational approach, or with a deep-end strategy.

Practicing the language with controlled exercises.

Producing the language with free exercises

An approach to teaching Language items which follows a sequence of presentation of the item, practice of the item and the production of the items. This is the approach currently followed by most commercially produced textbooks and has the advantage of apparent systematicity and economy. However, it is based on the "linear" and "behaviorist" view of language learning, which researchers have shown to be incorrect. This approach ignores the cyclic nature of learning, and treats learning as a series of "knowable facts

Practical work

Activities completed in a course that are intended to show how theories and general knowledge are applied

A technique used to update professional skills of a candidate on a selected topic. It may take different form from conducting a small experiment in physics laboratory to executing a very large program running into number of pages in computer laboratory.

Exercises undertaken in class or in laboratory aimed at applying the theoretical and general knowledge gained during a course

Pre-listening activities

An activity which you give to students before they listen to a tape or video. Typical pre-listening activities are:

Predicting the content of what they are about to listen to.

Eliciting what students know about the subject of the tape or video, what they don’t know, and what they would like to know.

A class discussion about the subject of the tape or video.

Answering questions about the subject of the tape or video.

A script of the tape or video with some of the details replaced by blanks. For example, in an interview, all the answers could be replaced by blanks.

Pre-reading activities

An activity which you give to students before a reading text. Typical pre-reading activities are:

  • Predicting the content of the text.
  • Eliciting what students know about the subject of the text, what they don’t know, and what they would like to know.
  • A class discussion about the subject of the text.
  • Answering questions about the subject of the text.
  • Perspective grammar
  • Grammar that is produced by prescriptive linguistics

In linguistics, prescription is the laying down or prescribing of normative rules for a language. This is in contrast to the description of a language, which simply describes how that language is used in practice.


Introducing the students to new language – grammar, vocabulary or functions. Presentations can be graded, as in the structural-situational approach, or they can use a deep-end strategy.

Pre teach( Vocabulay)

Before introducing a text to students, the teacher teaches vocabulary from the text which they think the students donot already know


To arrange events is the order of importance.

Rank ordering

Probe strategy

A concept or other item used to elicit response from long-term memory

Problem-based learning

See inquiry-based learning.

The essence of problem-based learning (PBL) is that students learn even the fundamentals of a discipline through solving problems which are analogous to the kinds of problems they might face in the real world, or the profession the discipline serves. In true PBL, students do not learn a set of facts and principles in advance and then apply those facts and principles to solving a problem. Instead, the process of finding a solution to a problem is the means of learning the facts and principles

Problem posing approach

Developed by Paolo Freire; instruction that aims for self-understanding at a personal and community level deeper than Valuse Clarification Approaches

Problem solving

Students work in pairs or groups to find the solutions to a problem, problem solving activities usually help to develop fluency


The details of what is going to happen in each stage of a lesson

Process approach

The process approach focuses on the means whereby learning occurs. The process is more important than the product. In terms of writing, the important aspect is the way in which completed text was created. The act of composing evolves through several stages as writers discover, through the process, what it is that they are trying to say.

Process of learning

Stages a learner passes through as they acquire knowledge or skills.

The different stages that a learner goes through. A process approach to learning gives more attention to helping the student through these stages than to the actual final result (the product) of the learning, in the belief that the skills involved in the process of learning are more important than memorising facts etc.

Opposite: Product (of learning)

What has been learned, facts memorised, the outcome of the process of learning.

Opposite: Process (of learning

Product approach

The product approach focuses on the end result of teaching/learning. In terms of writing, there should be something "resulting" from the composition lesson (e.g. letter, essay, story, etc.). This result should be readable, grammatically correct and obeying discourse conventions relating to main points, supporting details and so on.

A traditional way of teaching writing that provides students with examples of good writing that attempt to duplicate. The focus is on the written product


Speaking and writing are production activities - the students are creating language.

Reading and listening are recognition activities. The students are not required to create language, they only have to understand the language that is given to them.

Language learners can usually recognize much more than they can produce.

Production strategies

Speaking and writing are production activities - the students are creating language.

Reading and listening are recognition activities. The students are not required to create language, they only have to understand the language that is given to them.

Language learners can usually recognize much more than they can produce.

Problem posing approach

Developed by Paolo Freire; instruction that aims for self-understanding at a personal and community level deeper than Valuse Clarification Approaches.

Problem solving

Students work in pairs or groups to find the solutions to a problem, problem solving activities usually help to develop fluency


The details of what is going to happen in each stage of a lesson

Process approach

The process approach focuses on the means whereby learning occurs. The process is more important than the product. In terms of writing, the important aspect is the way in which completed text was created. The act of composing evolves through several stages as writers discover, through the process, what it is that they are trying to say.

Process of learning

Stages a learner passes through as they acquire knowledge or skills.

The different stages that a learner goes through. A process approach to learning gives more attention to helping the student through these stages than to the actual final result (the product) of the learning, in the belief that the skills involved in the process of learning are more important than memorising facts etc.

Opposite: Product (of learning)

What has been learned, facts memorised, the outcome of the process of learning.

Opposite: Process (of learning)

Product approach

The product approach focuses on the end result of teaching/learning. In terms of writing, there should be something "resulting" from the composition lesson (e.g. letter, essay, story, etc.). This result should be readable, grammatically correct and obeying discourse conventions relating to main points, supporting details and so on.

A traditional way of teaching writing that provides students with examples of good writing that attempt to duplicate. The focus is on the written product


Speaking and writing are production activities - the students are creating language.

Reading and listening are recognition activities. The students are not required to create language, they only have to understand the language that is given to them.

Language learners can usually recognize much more than they can produce.

Production strategies

These refer to utilization of linguistic knowledge in communication. They do not imply any communcation problem (cf. communication strategies ) and they operate largely unconsciously.

See communication strategies and learning strategies

Productive language

Speaking and writing are the productive language skills - when they speak and write, students have to produce new language.

Reading and listening are the two receptive language skills - students are not required to produce new language

See also Recognition / Production.

Productive skills

The main skills of speaking and writing. See receptive skills

Language skills (speaking and writing) which require language output


The movement from one educational stage or developmental level to another

Going from one educational stage to another through to the completion of a course.

Project work

A piece of work where a candidate alone or in a group prepare a report based on analysis of the topic assigned or chosen

The Partners use this in a variety of ways ranging from individual working to working in groups. It is also applicable to collaborative working.

Pronoun reference

One of the most important reading skills.


Sue gave a book to Tony, but he never read it.

What does it refer to?

What does he refer to?

Pronoun reference ask students to identify the meaning of words such as he, she, they, it, this, that, these, those, one and ones.


The act of reading a work with the intent to identify and correct grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors.

Proofreading is reading a proof copy of text for the purpose of detecting errors. A proof copy is traditionally a version of a manuscript that has been typeset after copy editing has been performed.


To help learners think of ideas or to remember a word or phrase by giving them a part of it or by giving another kind of clue


The kinds or number of courses offered by an institution

Psychological distance

The term used to refer to the learner's overall psychological set with regard to the target language and its community. This is determined by factors such as language shock and motivation


Physical movement or muscular activity rather than simply mental processes

Psychomotor domain

The physical aspect or muscular activity of experience or learning

A type of learning which involves muscles contact and physical activity - eg, learning to hold a pencil correctly

The learning domain that describes actions

Psychomotor skills

The learning of complex sequences of actions that require perceptual information (input from the eyes, for example) and control of the muscles.


Learning to tie shoelaces.

The child needs to process the following information:

from the eyes (where are the shoelaces?)

from the fingers (what shape are the shoelaces under the fingers? How tight is the knot?, etc)

They then need to combine this information with controlling the muscles of the fingers and hands to move the shoelaces in the correct way.


Qualitative assessment

Assessment based on personal views, experience or opinion of the reviewer.

A process of estimating the worth of a particular educational programme based on evidence about its administration in relation to agreed criteria

Quality assurance

Internal and external processes for ensuring the quality of an object or institution maintains a desired level.

The internal and external processes by which the quality of academic provision is maintained

Quality control

Procedures used to ensure the desired level of quality and standards are met.

Set of procedures aimed at achieving high quality and standards. These may consist of detailed record keeping, inspection, and reporting to a specific authority

Question bank

A set of questions on a subject used either for study/review or for drawing questions used on an examination.

Collections of questions prepared for a given subject and useful for students and teachers. They are often made available on the internet


A short test that is taken during class time to determine how clearly students' understand the information being studied. Quizzes are much shorter and cover less information than tests/examinations.


RAFT essay

A writing strategy for increasing student understanding of reading materials, especially in the content areas: Role, Audience, Format, Topic


The difference between the smallest and largest values in a distribution


A good friendly positive relationship between the class and the teacher , Good rapport increases motivation.

A relationship of mutual understanding or trust and agreement between people

(The) Rassias Method

The Rassias Method, developed by Professor John Rassias of Dartmouth College, is a combination of dramatic techniques, rhythmic drills and reinforcement strategies that make learning a second language an energetic and engaging experience.

From the first class, Rassias students are immersed in the target language and begin speaking and understanding almost immediately! Intensive verbal practice, one-on-one drills, drama and individualized tutoring reinforce classroom learning.

The goal of the Rassias Method is to produce students who are competent and comfortable using a new language. To accomplish rapid and effective learning, our teaching puts the student at center stage and seeks to replicate common and relevant life-like situations in the target language. The techniques involved are rapid-paced, theatrical, highly creative, imaginative, and necessitate great quantities of enthusiasm. Positive reinforcement and necessary correction is immediate.

Rate of acquisition

The speed at which the learner develops L2 proficiency. This is different to the 'route of acquisition'.

Reading for gist

An important reading skill. It involves reading a passage to get a general idea of what it’s about, but not worrying about understanding the complete content or every specific idea.

For example, students could read a review of a pop stars’ latest CD and decide if the reviewer’s opinion is generally favourable or unfavourable

Reading skills

Some of the most important reading skills are:

  • Skimming
  • Scanning
  • Identifying key words
  • Pronoun reference
  • Using cognates
  • Guessing meaning
  • Information transfer
  • Identifying the topic sentence
  • Summarizing
  • Identifying the source of written material
  • Reading for gist

Real life experiences

Classroom experiences should include hands-on activities that are relevant to real world life. For example, situations presented in lessons should be related to life outside of school. These meaningful activities will help ESL students to realize the importance and the need for classroom and life long learning

Real-world tasks

These are tasks which use "authentic" materials and situations. Learners are required to approximate, in class, the sorts of behaviors required of them in the world beyond the classroom.


Real objects which are used in the classroom.


To teach your students words for fruit, you could take an apple, a pear, some grapes, etc. into the classroom

Photos, posters, books, souvenirs, postcards,... any kind of material from an English-speaking country that we can bring to class (to make activities, talks,...).

Real-life objects, displays, or materials, such as having young children sort colors using M and Ms rather than picture cards of different colors

In library classification systems, realia are objects such as coins, tools, games, toys, or other physical objects that do not easily fit into the neat categories of books, periodicals, sound recordings, or the like. In education, "realia" are objects from real life used in classroom instruction. The two meanings are closely related because of the support many types of libraries give to educational endeavors.

Real-life objects that enable students to make connections to their own lives; for example, a bank deposit slip and a check register for a unit on banking.

Receptive skills

Language skills (listening and reading) who require the reader/listener to make sense of what he/she reads or hears

Receptive vocabulary

The comprehension vocabulary actually used by a person in silent reading and learning. Cp. expressive vocabulary

The words a child can understand, even if he or she does not use them

Records of achievement

Written records, either qualitative or quantitative, of a learner's achievement during a period of learning

Written records of learners` achievement during a period of learning, maintained either by the learner or the teacher, or both. Generally held in a portfolio format and can be quantitative (grades obtained in each course) or qualitative.


Reading and listening are recognition activities. The students are not required to create language, they only have to understand the language that is given to them

Speaking and writing are production activities - the students are creating language.

Language learners can usually recognize much more than they can produce


To teach words or structures that have been taught before for revision and more practice

Redeemable failure

Situation in which a student does not meet the necessary level but is still allowed to move to the next level.

The situation where a student does not reach the mark needed to pass a course but where s/he is nonetheless allowed to progress further.


Reinterpret; interpret from a different viewpoint


Notes in a written document (essay, dissertation, thesis) that refer the reader to another book or other source of information. Can also refer to a document generally used as a source of information for a particular topic.


Activity of a person to consider a past experience or event and the impact it has had.

The process whereby a learner takes time to consider an experience s/he has been involved in, or any new learning experience and reflect on how it has been done. It may likewise refer to teachers` consideration of their own work.

Reflective learning

This is an approach to learning involving the analysis of past activities and experiences in order to identify learning achievements and decide how these may influence future actions and objectives. For example, following a course an individual (or group) might reflect on what the learning objectives were, which skills were acquired and which skills need further development. A serious reflective approach implies the allocation of time and resources for reflection and recording

Reflective practice

Practice of engaging in reflection to identify important elements of past events.

Reflective practice involves the continuing interaction between actual practice, and thinking about that practice and how you might change and develop. Thinking or reflection might involve a number of things: getting feedback from colleagues and students; keeping a journal about your teaching; participating in learning and teaching staff development; and reading education theory. It also involves thinking about your own beliefs and assumptions and how those beliefs and assumptions might influence your practice.

Reflective practitioner

Applies to a person, especially a teacher, who frequently engages in the process of reflecting on her/his own practice and experience, and who is expected to learn from such reflection

Reflect on teaching

To think about a lesson after teaching it


when a teacher corrects what a student has said by repeating the sentence correctly, but without drawing the students’ attention to their mistake. This is usually the way parents correct their young children ‘s language mistake

Regional networks

Groups of individuals involved in common area of interest or research who will within a limited geographical area.


The formality or informality of the language used in a particular situation

The different ways of using the language according to the situation.


Asking someone to open the door for you.

I wonder if I could ask you to open the door?

Could I ask you to open the door?

Would you mind opening the door?

Could you open the door?

Open the door!

1 and 2 are really only appropriate for formal situations – with people you don’t know and who are in positions of respect or authority.

3 is appropriate for semi-formal or informal situations where politeness is important.

4 is only appropriate for informal situations.

5 is only appropriate if you want to show that you’re angry, or in a hurry!


Rules, principles, codes, statutes, or laws formulated to control actions or individuals within a designated group.

The principles, rules or laws formulated to control actions. All universities have their own regulations.


Process of practicing an action or activity in order to perfect it.

The process of repeating the same action or exercise several times in order to memorise it.


To mark students’ understanding of the target language more complete by going over it again


Reinforcement is the practice which you give your students after the main presentation and practice


The characteristic that same or similar results can be obtained through repeated experiments or tests.

In relation to an examination or test instrument, a measure of the degree to which it gives consistent results when applied in different contexts

Education activities aimed at removing deficiencies in knowledge or skills.

Remedial teaching

Type of teaching aimed at correcting errors.


To say some thing again, often for practice. This is often in drills.


Formal account of a current state of affairs.

Formal account of a learner`s progress, normally given to parents at the end of a term or school year. Not normally used in universities

Research skills

Set of abilities related to undertaking research, including strategies and tools for accessing and evaluating information.

This feature is a thorough instruction manual to assist students in developing the skills of good writing, effective speaking, individualized study, and independent investigation. It includes practical advice on preparing short reports, book reveiws, and term papers; preparing, rehearsing, and delivering a speech; using a library's resources; and tapping other sources of information.


Material, either object, person, or location, that can be used to provide information.

Response noun, Response verb

A reply or reaction to communication such a laugh, a smile, saying something. Teachers and students may respond to each other in writing , speech or in the form of a facial ex-pression


An activity where students summarize and retell a story or conversation: one of the best ways to test comprehension


A short essay providing a critical commentary of a work.

Review is when the students practice the language again at the end of the unit or set of units. Sometimes this is referred to as consolidation

Revision techniques

Methods that can be used by students to review their understanding of the subject when preparing for an examination.

Role play

It’s a way of presenting dialogues. In role play, the pupils are pretending to be someone else

Learning process in which participants act out the roles of other individuals in order to develop particular skills and to meet particular learning objectives

The learning process where the participants take on the role of other individuals in order to develop particular skills and to meet particular learning objectives. For instance, a mock viva can be the opportunity for a candidate to familiarise her/himself with the situation that will take place during an oral examination

An important fluency activity. Students act out conversations in which they have a certain role.

Role plays can be guided or free

Guided role plays

Students follow instructions for simple dialogues


Student A: Invite Student B to a movie tonight.

Student B: Say you can’t go and give a reason.

Student A: Suggest another time.

Student B: Accept and thank Student A.

Free role plays:

Students have instructions for the situation, but they develop the dialogue in their own way.


Student A: You are Ricky. You’re fourteen. You really want to go to a rock concert with your friends on Saturday evening. The concert finishes at 11 o’clock. Ask your mother or father for permission.

Student B: You are Ricky’s mother or father. You don’t want Ricky to go to the concert because:

you don’t approve of rock concerts

the concert finishes late

Ricky has a lot of homework

you don’t approve of Ricky’s friends

Role playing

In role-playing, participants adopt characters, or parts, that have personalities, motivations, and backgrounds different from their own. Role-playing is like being in an improvisational drama or free-form theatre, in which the participants are the actors who are playing parts.

A teaching strategy in which students are assigned parts in a scenario. These parts can either be scripted (dialog written out) or unscripted. In unscripted versions, students are provided with background information and perhaps the "attitude" that the role player would take. The scenario is then played out with the students ad-libbing their lines based on the constraints of the background information. These role playing activities include debates, theatrical plays, and mock town

Role Reversal

Role Reversal In this situation, the student and teacher reverse roles. The teacher becomes the student while the student serves as the teacher

Rote learning

In ELT, this involves learning memorization without any situation to make the meaning of the language clear.


Learning declensions of verbs:

I go, You go, He goes, etc.

I don’t go, You don’t go, He doesn’t go, etc.

Do I go...?, Do you go...?, Does he go...? etc.

Learning vocabulary groups with translation:

table mesa

chair silla

desk escritorio


These are a type of formulaic speech. They are units that are totally unanalysed and are learnt as wholes, e.g. "I don't know'.

Establishing classroom routines that allow ESL students to become familiar with what happens in the classroom everyday. The repetitive tasks help second language learners to become comfortable in a safe classroom environment. Self-confidence will be gained if these students know the order in which activities occur daily

Route of development

L2 learners go through a number of trnsitional states en route to acquiring the target language rules. This is referred to as the 'route of development'.


Received pronunciation


Written instructions or explanation clarifying how individuals should act or respond; see also grading rubric

The text in a manuscript written in red ink and containing often in abbreviated form indications of the content of the manuscript that follows.

The set of qualitative and/or quantitative criteria against which student work is measured. Ideally, the student should be aware of these measures before beginning an activity or assignment so that they are clearly aware of the teacher's expectations

A tool used to assess a student’s progress in accomplishing a given task. The rubric should reflect the objectives and learning outcomes of the lesson or unit.

The, short, written instructions or commentary or explanation in a textbook or on a set of examination questions to tell the students or teachers what should be done.

A title, chapter heading, or instruction that is not strictly part of the text but which helps to identify its components. Red ink was often used to distinguish such elements, hence the term, which derives from the Latin word for red, 'rubrica'

A rubric is a set of criteria used to assess student learning. Rubrics contain areas to be assessed (eg on the English language arts Long composition students are assessed in the areas of topic development and standard English conventions). There are three types of rubrics: checklist, holistic, and analytic

A checklist of requirements used for assessment of written work

A rubric is a scoring guide used in subjective assessments. A Rubric shows how learners will be assessed and/or graded. In other words, a rubric provides a clear guide as to how ‘what learners do’ in a course will be assessed


Scaffolded Instruction

Teaching methodology where teachers assist and guide students so that they can complete learning activities they could not do without support.


To read a text quickly to pick out specific information

One of the most important reading skills - learners search a text quickly for specific information.

An example of scanning in real life is looking quickly through the headlines of newspaper for articles of interest.


A typical scanning exercise in class:

  1. Students are given a story about a celebrity.
  2. First they read ten questions such as:
    • What is the name of the celebrity?
    • Where was he?
    • Who did he talk to?
  3. Then they look quickly at the text to find the answers.

Always give a time limit for scanning activities to ensure that the students don’t try to read the text word by word.


The context(s) in which learning takes place


A diagrammatic outline or representation (graphic organizer, fishbone graph, Venn diagram); a person’s understanding/perception of the world

Schema theory

Readers interact with what they are reading, bringing their experiences to bear on it .The more students’ personal experience or knowledge ( extant linguistic knowledge) can be used, the more easily they will read. Calling on this knowledge is referred to as activating the students’ schema

Scheme of work

A scheme of work defines the structure and content for teachers in their subject. The document includes teaching and learning objectives and, depending upon the level of detail, may contain a full time-plan for each lesson.


These can be considered a type of formulaic speech. They are are memorized sequences of utterances which are more or less fixed and predictable, e.g. 'How do you do?


Sheltered English: Specifically Designed Academic Instruction in English

Second marking

The process by which a written examination is marked by a second teacher

Seating arrangment

The way the students sit in the classroom, e.g.in rows, in a circle around the teacher, in groups around different tables

Seating plan

A plan where the students should sit in the classroom

Second language

The term is used to refer to a language which is not a mother tongue but which is used for certain communicative functions in a society. Thus English is a second language in Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Singapore. French is a second language in Senegal, Cameroon and Tahiti.

Semi-authentic material

This is authentic material which has been:

  1. Adapted for use in the classroom.
  2. Specially written for classroom use, but which has the style and format of authentic material.

Typical adaptations include:

making the sentences shorter

simplifying the vocabulary

removing complex grammar.

Semi-authentic material should still keep the basic “look” and format of authentic material.

Set the scene, the context

To explain or present the context of something students will read ,hear, talk or write about , to make the situation clear for them

Self-access materials

Materials designed for learners to use indepently (i.e. on their own without access to a teacher or a classroom). They are normally used by the learner at home, in a library or in a self-study centre.

Self assessment

Allowing ESL students to assess their own work and observe their progress. The teacher can conduct portfolio conferences with the student for assessment purposes. The students should be allowed to observe and comment on their collection of assignments. A self-assessment form may be used to record students' thoughts and feelings about the presented work. Students are given the responsibility to assess themselves and actively be a part of their academic success

Assessment completed by the learner him/herself to evaluate his/her own performance, strengths and weaknesses

Process in which the learner determines his or her level of knowledge and skills

The type of assessment undertaken by the learner in order to evaluate her/his performance, strengths and weaknesses

To ask students to judge their own ability level in a language; one type of alternative assessment

Self correction

When students are able to correct language mistakes they have made when asked without help from the teacher or other students


Period of study often called a `term` in the UK, in a modular study programme during which a number of modules are taught. Academic years are generally divided into two or three terms or semesters.


Teaching in small groups of about 20 students led by a tutor. Generally undertaken on the basis of an oral presentation by a student, followed by discussion.

Shared reading

An activity in which the teacher reads a story while the students look at the text being read and follow along. During this time the teacher may introduce print conventions, teach vocabulary, introduce a reading skill, encourage predictions, and more. The shared reading model was developed by Don Holdaway in 1979

An early childhood instructional strategy in which the teacher involves a group of young children in the reading of a particular big book in order to help them learn aspects of beginning literacy, as print conventions and the concept of word, and develop reading strategies, as in decoding or the use of prediction.

All reading that is not individual; this can include paired reading, read-alouds, literacy circles, small groups, and choral reading.

Sheltered Instruction

An approach to teaching that extends the time students have for receiving English language support while they learn content subjects. Sheltered instruction classrooms, which may include a mix of native English speakers and English language learners (ELLs) or only ELLs, integrate language and content while infusing sociocultural awareness. Teachers scaffold instruction to aid student comprehension of content topics and objectives by adjusting their speech and instructional tasks, and by providing appropriate background information and experiences. The ultimate goal is accessibility for ELLs to grade-level content standards and concepts while they continue to improve their English language proficiency.

Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol

An explicit model of sheltered instruction that can be implemented by teachers of students with limited English proficiency in order to improve academic success.

Sight vocabulary

Words an individual can identify immediately without decoding

Silent period

The time when students who are beginning to learn a first or second language prefer to listen (or read) for some time before producing the language

With a silent period, students are exposed to the new language but they don’t have to produce it immediately.


Students may see the new language in a reading text and answer comprehension questions about it.

They may listen to tapes containing the new language and talk about the content of the tapes.

When a silent period is rigidly applied, the students don’t have to produce the new language until they want to.

A silent period gives the students a chance to get familiar with the new structure and understand it before producing it.


This refers to the way in which learners try to make L2 learning easier by limiting the number of hypotheses they form at any one stage of development, or by omitting grammar and/or prepositional elements in production.

Simplified texts

These are texts which have been made simpler so as to make it easier for learners to read them. The usual principles of simplification involve reduction in length of the text, shortening of sentences, omission or replacement of difficult words or structures, omission of qualifying clauses and omission of non-essential detail. It is arguable, however, that such simplification might make the words easier to understand but could make it more difficult for the learners to achieve global understanding of a text which is now dense with important information. It might be more profitable to cimplify texts by adding examples, by using repetition and paraphrase and by increasing redundant information. In other words, by lengthening rather than shortening the text.


Simulations provide the opportunity for students to have active participation in situations that model real-life experiences. These pretend experiences allow the student to explore real-life issues while remaining in the classroom. Simulations can take the form of role playing activities, games, situational analysis, or computer assisted instruction.They provide the basic information necessary for the student to solve the problem or complete the assigned task. This technique helps students relate theory and knowledge to practice.

Situated cognition or learning

The principle of situated learning is that learning is more effective, and more capable of being applied, if it occurs in a context that is closer to that in which it is ultimately to be used. It is a question of transferability - how well does the learning transfer from the context in which it is learned, to the world in which it is to be applied? Some situations may produce what is called inert knowledge - that is, knowledge which can only be activated to pass an exam, but which cannot be used in real life problem-solving. The idea of situated cognition/learning is that the more the context in which learning takes place resembles real life situations, the more transferable the learning. Learning is influenced by the physical and social environment in which it occurs. It is easier to learn a foreign language, for example, by using it in real life situations, rather than by memorising vocabulary from books.

Situational presentation

A way of presenting new language through a simple story or situation. The teacher may use pictures or other aids to help them create the situation.


An important reading skill - learners read for the general content of a text. An example of skimming in real life is when we look through an article to get a general idea of what it’s about, before reading in detail.

Example in class:

  1. Students are given a newspaper article to read.
  2. They have to answer these questions:

Is it a story about a) a crime, b) a rescue, c) an accident?

Is it a story about a) a lot of people, b) a lot of animals, c) one person?

Always give a time limit for skimming exercises, to ensure that the students don’t try to read the passage word by word.

glancing quickly through a selection to get a sense of the topics and important ideas

to read a text quickly to get a general idea of what it is about

SLA( Second Language Acquistion)

This is an abbreviatoin for Second Language Acquisition and is normally used to refer to research and theory related to the learning of second and foreign languages.

Second Language Acquisition – the general term for learning a second language, used mostly in theoretical and academic articles and books.

When ESL students are capable of internalizing the new language and communicating effectively. A process that involves early accommodations by the classroom teacher. The educator needs to implement modifications in classroom instruction until the second language learner has mastered English. Speaking English for simple communication will happen in the early acquisition stages however; complete language acquisition takes five to seven years.

SLANT Strategy

Sit up – Lean forward – Activate your thinking – Name key information – Track the talker is a listening strategy based on the ideal that if students participate in positive ways, they enhance their relationship with the teacher that leads to a higher quality of education.


When a student makes a language mistake that they are able to correct themselves without help from the teacher.

Social distance

This refers to the position of the learner with respect to the target language community.

Social communicative competence

Social communicative competence is the ability to use natural speech to communicate in social situations for a variety of purposes, and to function effectively in a variety of social contexts, including in the classroom.


A variety of songs can be implemented in classroom activities to introduce or reinforce content-area material. The rhythms and the repetitive words sung in tunes enhance the comprehension of the presented learning concepts for ESL students. ESL students tend to remember information through classroom song activities.

Speaking skills

Some speaking skills which are useful for our students are:

use of position holders

appropriate use of register

making a speech.

The field of speaking skills is not so clearly defined as the other three skills

Speaking vocabulary

Words we understand or know the meanings of and use as we speak.

Number of different words ordinarily used by a person for meaningful oral communication; oral vocabulary. Cp. listening vocabulary; reading vocabulary; writing vocabulary.

Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE)

An approach designed for LEP students at the intermediate or advanced level in English acquisition, that may utilize some simplification of the English language for subject area content at a higher academic level than occurs for less fluent students. It is used at the middle to secondary levels. Actual content is the same as that taught to non-LEP students. Instruction is provided by the content area teacher in collaboration with the ESL teacher


A message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence

Spiral curriculum

A strategy in which a subject is taught by visiting the same issues or concepts a number of times, initially with a simple treatment but then in progressively more depth

Standard English

Variety of English used in public communication, particularly in writing.

Words and grammatical forms that native speakers of the language use in formal writing.

Standard English is a general term for a form of written and spoken English that is considered the model for educated people. There are no set rules or vocabulary for "standard English" because, unlike languages such as French or Dutch, English does not have a governing body (see Académie française, Dutch Language Union) to establish usage. As a result, the concept of "standard English" tends to be fluid. Various regional and national "standards" exist.

A dialect representing English speech and writing comprehensible to most users


Specified ends of learning all students are expected to attain

Students` attainment in terms of expected and actual levels of attainment

Step, Stage

A section of a lesson, lessons work through different stages such as lead –in, presentation. Controlled practice , etc

Simulate (discussion)

To encourage students to talk about something. This can be done in different ways such as through a text or a picture

Strategic learning

Learning methodology in which learners adapt their learning style to fit the needs of the assigned task.

The strategy through which learners adapt their learning style in order to fit with the needs of the task.

See also: Deep learning

Opposite: Surface learning

Structural approach

A way of teaching which uses a syllabus based on grammatical structures. The order that the language is presented is usually based on how difficult it is thought to be

Structural-situational approach

This approach has two basic elements:

A graded sequence of grammatical structures, usually starting with the verb to be and progressing through present simple, past simple, etc.

A situation or context for each new structure that makes the meaning clear.


Future use of going to could be presented with a character drawn on the board and a set of picture cues to show his plans for the weekend.

Structured Immersion

Comparable but dissimilar to English "sink or swim" submersion, structured immersion instruction is also instruction conducted in English but with significant differences. The immersion teacher understands the non-English home language, and students can address the teacher in the non-English language; the submersion teacher, however, generally replies only in English. Furthermore, curriculum is structured so that prior knowledge of English is not assumed as subjects are taught. Content is introduced in a way that can be understood by the student. The student, in effect, learns the second language and content simultaneously. Most immersion programs also teach the non-English language arts for 30-60 minutes a day. Submersion as an approach for teaching LEP students English is illegal. Structured immersion differs from the transitional bilingual instruction in that the non-English home language is rarely used by the teacher (except where it is a subject) and subject area instruction is given in the second language from the beginning of the program. Emphasis is on contextual clues and with syntax and vocabulary adjusted to a student’s level of proficiency


In a teacher-centered class, the focus is on what the teacher is doing and saying.

In a student-centered class, the focus is on what the students are doing and saying.

Students need student-centered activities to practice and use the language.

But a class must also have some teacher-centered activities to provide structure, discipline and input.

Student-centered learning

Educational approach emphasizes the student's responsibility for learning, interacting with teachers and other students, researching, and assessment by focusing on the student's role in these activities.

The model of student-centred learning is generally contrasted with teacher-centred learning and emphasises learning from the point of view of the student and student engagement. Students are not seen as empty vessels to be filled with knowledge by the experienced teacher, but as coming already equipped with their own frameworks and existing knowledge, and capable of taking responsibility for their own learning (see constructivism). There are, however, different degrees of student-centred learning appropriate in courses

Student Self assessment

An assessment technique in which the student is asked to evaluate his/her own work according to a rubric provided by the instructor. This involves both a reporting of the work and activities that have been accomplished and an assessment of their quality.

Study groups

Groups assembled to work together to facilitate learning.

Students learning together in a group to exchange information and knowledge

Study skills

Sets of skills associated with an individual's ability to learn, including note taking, time management, and study planning.

A computer-based learning program which covers all common learning skills. Books and reading skills - Lectures, seminars, tutorials - Computers and Information Technology - Essay-writing skills - Revision and examination skills - Grammar - Layout - Study materials - Taking notes - Presentations Punctuation - Analysing questions - Research - Thinking skills - Time management - Writing skills

The different abilities that can be developed in order to improve a learner`s capacity to learn. Can include the preparation of written notes, the draft of a personal plan to be followed, etc

Subjective test

knowledge of the content area being tested; a subjective test frequently depends on impression and opinion at the time of the scoring

A test in which the impression or opinion of the assessor determines the score or evaluation of performance. A test in which the answers cannot be known or prescribed in advance

Substitution drill

An audiolingual teaching technique in which learners practise sentences, changing one element at a time

Success of acquisition

This has to do with the level of proficiency that the learner finally achieves.

See fossilization


Summarizing is an example of integrating skills. Students read a text and identify the main points, then use those main points to write a summary (a much shorter version of the text) containing only the essential information.


Students read a text of about 250 words about the contemporary music scene and summarize the information in 100 words.

Summarizing is a complex activity for use with higher level classes in the Young adult/Adult age group.


A condensed presentation of the main elements of some material intended to highlight the main points.

The presentation of the main elements of a body of material in a condensed form or by reducing it to its main points.

Summative assessment

Assessment typically completed at the end of a learning period with the aim of providing a final evaluation of individual's mastery of a knowledge or skill.

Assessment generally taking place at the end of a course and leading to the attribution of a grade or a mark to the learner, which will allow the learner to move to the next part of the course, or which completes the course.

Summative assessment provides measures of what students have learned, judging the quality of students knowledge and skills as an end product of the learning process. The traditional examination is one form of summative assessment

Evaluation at the conclusion of a unit or units of instruction or an activity or plan to determine or judge student skills and knowledge or effectiveness of a plan or activity. Outcomes are the culmination of a teaching/learning process for a unit, subject, or year’s study.

The gathering of information about the results of learning (concerning language, strategies, and attitudinal change) at the end of the project.

Periodic analyses of student performance designed to measure student progress in specific areas

This is used for the recording of the overall achievement of a pupil in a systematic way. It occurs at the end of a scheme of work or phase of education, and a norm-referenced assessment is often used for this final summing up of performance


The role of a lecturer or tutor in helping a student to prepare coursework, essays, or a doctoral thesis. It contrasts with tutoring which refers to teaching of formal or informal kinds.

Supplementary materials

Materials designed to be used in addition to the core materials of a course. They are usually related to the development of skills of reading, writing, listening or speaking rather than to the learning of language items

Supporting students

The work done by tutors and administrators while a student is taking a course, e.g. supervision of coursework, responding to questions about regulations, payment of fees, etc.

See also: Counselling.

Surface learning

Type of learning where the emphasis is put on the memorisation of details without attempting to give deeper meaning to them.

Opposite: Deep learning


Sessions held by teachers inviting students to come to see them and discuss a particular matter. The period during which a professional (teacher for instance) advises pupils or students in her/his own office.


To find out information from others by asking questions or using questionnaire in order to practise

Survival writing

Non academic, everyday writing, such as filling out forms and writing memos and notes

SWOT analysis

Stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The SWOT analysis is associated with creating strategies and might be used in a particular institution and/or with an individual to improve performance.


An outline of topics covered in an academic course.

A course syllabus is summary of the course. It usually contains specific information about the course; information on how to contact the instructor, including the instructors office location and office hours; an outline of what will be covered in the course, with a schedule of test dates and the due dates for assignments; the grading policy for the course; and specific classroom rules. It is usually given to each student during the first class session.

A document provided by the instructor of a course that explains the course material, what students are expected to do, and how students will be graded/evaluated. A syllabus may be printed or Web-based

A course outline that delineates course requirements, grading criteria, course content, faculty expectations, deadlines, examination dates, grading policies, and other relevant course information

A document students usually receive on the first day of a class, offering an overview of the course. Often included in a syllabus is an outline of topics, assignments, grading requirements, and related course details

One or more written pages that the professor provides as a course outline; it will usually include due dates, assignments, grading and attendance policies

A syllabus is a document given to each student by their instructor at the beginning of the semester. The syllabus contains important dates, requirements, and guidelines pertaining to your class

A document that outlines the important information about a course. Written by the professor or instructor, it usually includes important dates, assignments, expectations and policies specific to that course. Some are quite lengthy

An outline of an academic class often including course objectives and goals, list of assignments, description of assignments, due dates, meeting schedule, expectations, and professor contact information

Course of study: an integrated course of academic studies; "he was admitted to a new program at the university

Synchronous communication

Communication (for instance during a course) that takes place in real time but in different locations, and frequently used in relation to learning by the internet in a virtual classroom.


Refers to an association of people or organizations formed to engage in an enterprise or promote a common interest.


The grammatical arrangement of words in sentences

A systematic orderly arrangement

Studies of the rules for forming admissible sentences

The rules for the construction of a command or statement

The rules governing the construction of search ex-pressions in search engines and directories

Defines the word classes of language, ie, nouns, verbs, etc..and the rules for their combination, ie, which words can combine and in what order

the ordering of words in a sentence

The structural or grammatical rules that define how symbols in a language are to be combined to form words, phrases, ex-pressions, and other allowable constructs

The order and relationship of phrases in a sentence; the grammatical rules that describe their order

Syntax analysis

The process of checking that something conforms to the rules of a given syntax and analysing its structure according to those rules

Syntax analysis is a process on compilers that recognizes the structure of programming languages. It is also known as parsing.

Syntax checker

A program to check natural language syntax

Syntax error

A violation of the structural rules defined for a language


Target language

This is the language that the learner is attempting to learn. It comprises the native speaker's grammar.

When translating, the language one is translating into; in French to English translation, English is the target language

The language which is being learned, whether it is the first language or a second (or third or fourth) language.

Target language culture

The traditions and culture of the country whose language is being studied

Target Translation

Translation is an activity comprising the interpretation of the meaning of a text in one language—the source text—and the production of a new, equivalent text in another language—called the target text, or the translation


A performance assessment task allows students to effectively create a sample product or performance that can be observed and judged. Tasks contain information about the administration procedures (eg, task time, materials, safety concerns), written instructions to help students demonstrate mastery of the skills that will be assessed, and questions to assess student learning.

Tasked based approach

This refers to materials or courses which are designed around a series of authentic tasks which give learners experience of using the language in ways in which it is used in the 'real world' outside the classroom. They have no pre-determined language syllabus and the aim is for learners to learn from the tasks the language they need to participate successfully in them. Examples of such tasks would be working out the itinerary of a journey from a timetable, completing a passport application form, ordering a product from a catalogue and giving directions to the post office.

This refers to materials or courses which are designed around a series of authentic tasks which give learners experience of using the language in ways in which it is used in the 'real world' outside the classroom. They have no pre-determined language syllabus and the aim is for learners to learn from the tasks the language they need to participate successfully in them

Tasked-based learning (TBL)

TBLis an approach which concentrates more on carrying out tasks (solving puzzles, writing projects, investigating topics and so on) than on graded structures and vocabulary

Tasked-based language teaching

Teaching approaches based on the use of communicative and interactive tasks as the central units for the planning and delivery of instruction. Such tasks are said to provide an effective basis for language learning since they involve

Task chain

An integrated sequence of tasks in which the successful completion of one task is dependent on the successful completion of the task before

Task cards

Task Cards A teaching strategy that employs the use of cards that assign hands-on tasks to cooperative groups of students. Several related tasks are assigned to groups in the class. Each group must carry out the task, determine its significance, and explain their observations and conclusion to the rest of the class.

Task type

A set of questions that are all of one kind which are used to assess students.


A classification or ordering into groups

Classification, Division into ordered groups or categories

Teacher-centred learning

Contrasting with student-centred learning, teacher-centred learning places the teacher at the centre of the learning process, or as the expert in the subject area who transmits or conveys knowledge and understanding to students. In this model, students assume a more passive role in relation to learning.

Teacher observation

A very important aspect of authentic assessment involves teacher observations. The instructor has the chance to observe the progress or lack of progress of second language learners during cooperative learning activities. A teacher has the opportunity to observe first hand if the language acquisition process is happening in the classroom. Notes should be taken during observations to discuss what was seen and heard during classroom activities by the teacher. This pertinent data can be presented during student or parent conferences

Teacher role

The way a teacher choose to manage the classroom, e.g. a teacher can choose to take a controlling role, giving directions or instructions at the front of the class or to take a less controlling role, monitoring students as they work

Teacher talk

Teachers make adjustments to both language form and language function in order to help communication in the classroom. These adjustments are called 'teacher talk'.


An extended session (as on a college campus) for lectures and discussion on an important and usually controversial issue


In education, teachers are those who teach students or pupils, often a course of study or a practical skill, including learning and thinking skills. There are many different ways to teach and help students learn. This is often refered to as the teacher's pedagogy. When deciding what teaching method to use, a teacher will need to consider students' background knowledge, environment, and their learning goals.

Teaching aid

Any materials that can be used to help learners learn. Examples of teaching aids include wall charts, flash cards, and puppets.

Materials and equipment used in teaching

Teaching Method

The principles and methods of instruction

Teaching & Research

Staff are those whose contracts of employment state that they are employed to undertake both teaching and research

Both a Teaching function and a Research function are undertaken, or the work requires the management and leadership of teaching staff and research staff and of persons who support such staff

Teaching space

The areas in the class room that can be used for teaching , e.g. the board, the walls, the desks, the open floor

Teaching strategy

The procedure or approach used by a teacher in the class room, eg a teacher may choose to give thinking time to students before they speak

Teaching talking time, TTT

Abbreviation of Teaching Talking Time.


Teaching English as an additional language

Team assessment

See group assessment

Team teaching

The practice of having two or more teachers in the classroom simultaneously. The advantage to students include hearing a dialog between knowledgeable participants with perhaps differing views.

A system involving the assignment of a group of staff to be responsible for course teaching so that individual staff receive peer support and particular strengths can be exploited.

An instructional approach in which two or more instructors are jointly responsible for course content, presentations, and grading; they may interact in front of the class, discussing specific topics from divergent perspectives, and take turns presenting material appropriate to their individual areas of specialization

The coordinated efforts of two or more instructors working together in an instructional situation

A method of coordinated classroom teaching involving a team of teachers working together with a single group of students


Process where individuals engage in a cooperative effort to achieve a common objective

The process of learning where learners develop a cooperative effort to achieve a common objective.


Teaching English as a Foreign Language

TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language – is often used to refer to an industry catering for students studying English in non-English speaking countries (see EFL), as well as a parallel industry in anglophone countries for short-term educational tourists (see EAL). It also refers to the growing number of elementary school programs in U.S schools attempting to provide education for children who have immigrated from other countries


Teaching English As an Internatioanl Language

Students require the language mainly for international communication. Needs are wide,

Ranging from commerce and tourism to industry and tetecommunications


Teaching English for Specific Purposes


A set of philosophies and approaches for teaching English to those with another first language.

A department in a college or university devoted to research and teaching within the framework of such philosophies and approaches. Also teaching of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).

Teaching English as a second language: The profession of teaching ESL.

Language education is the teaching and learning of a language or languages, usually as foreign languages

These are terms given to Teaching English as a Second Language and Teaching English as a Foreign Language. You are inquiring about taking a TESL course, a term commonly used in Canada. In Europe, the term TEFL is more frequently used, perhaps because there is more movement of teachers throughout non-English speaking countries in Europe


Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages “Its mission is to ensure excellence in English language teaching to speakers of other languages. TESOL values professionalism in language education; individual language rights; accessible, high quality education; collaboration in a global community; interaction of research and reflective practice for educational improvement; and respect for diversity and multiculturalism

Teaching English to Speakers of Second or Other Languages TEFL: Teaching English as a Foreign Language TESL: Teaching English as a Second Language TEAL: Teaching English as an Additional Language EFL: English as a foreign language ESL: English as a second language

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (more or less the same as TEFL, but can include TESL as well

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages - is an acronym of a professional association in the USA and is also used to refer to the field itself. This term is more commonly used in the US while in Canada we use the acronym TESL. In essence, the terms are used interchangeably

Language education is the teaching and learning of a language or languages, usually as foreign languages

TESOL standards

Developed in 1998 by national leaders in the ESL profession, these are nine developmental foci defined under three broader goals that address the following linguistic, social, and cultural needs for students of limited English proficiency as they acquire fluency in English: 1) the development of basic interpersonal communication skills; 2) the development of cognitive academic language proficiency; 3) social and cultural development in the new English language environment. The TESOL Standards are designed to support state standards such as Maine’s Learning Results and, as such, are easily aligned with them to support students for whom English is a new language


A way of teaching new language. The teacher asks students to do a task without giving them any help, to see how well they know a certain a certain piece of language (this is the first test). The teacher then presents the new language to the students( teach), then asks the students to do another task using the new language correctly( this is the second test)


A text is a resource whose content is primarily words for reading. Note that facsimiles or images of texts are still of the genre text.

In language, text is a broad term for something that contains words to express something.

Any piece of writing or object being studied


Grouping according to common themes


Written essay of variable length typically completed at the end of a baccalaureate or masters degree program.

Written report of variable length submitted at the end of doctoral programme. The examination generally includes an oral assessment called a viva voce.

Time-constrained assessment

Assessment based on an assignment that must be completed in a specified and limited amount of time, e.g. a timed examination.

Assessment limited in time, as in a traditional examination. A coursework essay is not normally so time-constrained, though it does normally have a deadline for submission

Time management

Methods and techniques to ensure one makes the most effect appropriate use of his/her time

The various methods and techniques that can help the learner to make the most appropriate use of her/his time during a course, a class or a study programme


The likely time which different activities or stages in a lesson plan should take, when teachers plan lessons , they think about think about how long each activity will take and they usually write this on their plan


Teaching knowledge test(UCLES)

Tongue twister

An ex-pression that is difficult to articulate clearly; "`rubber baby buggy bumper' is a tongue twister

A tongue-twister is a phrase in any language that is designed to be difficult to articulate properly. Tongue-twisters rely on similar but distinct phonemes (e.g., s and sh). Listen to for an example of a tongue twister.

Top-down approach to language comprehension and production

The top-down view of language learning starts from use of the language. Study of grammar, vocabulary, etc. come later, once the learner has started using the language for communication. This utilizes knowledge of the larger picture, as it were, to assist in comprehending or using smaller elements.

Top down Mode( of Language Processing)

The process of language information comes from prior knowledge that allows learners to predict on the basis of context what the incoming message can be expected to be, and how the” pieces” fit into the whole. Top down processing involves prediction and inference on the basis of hierarchies of facts, propositions and expectations, and it enables the listener or reader to bypass some aspects of bottom-up processing.

Topic sentence

A sentence intended to express the main idea in a paragraph or passage.

A sentence that states the topic of its paragraph

Topic sentence is the central idea around which a paragraph develops. A topic sentence controls a paragraph in the same way a thesis statement unifies and governs an entire essay.

A statement of the direction for the development of a paragraph

Topics of general interest

Stories or topics taken from a wide spectrum of issues

Total physical response (TPR)

A way of teaching in which the teacher presents language items as instructions and the students have to do exactly what the teacher tells them, eg, “open the window, stand up”

This method is very meaningful and good for beginners when they start to learn a new language , as they have a silent period and can make fast progress.

A teaching method that focuses on listening comprehension , utilizing direct commands, and physical responses to such commands

It demonstrates how to conduct a lesson based on the principle that listening naturally precedes speaking. During TPR activities, students listen silently to commands and respond non-verbally

TPR is an ELT method that involves getting students (usually children) to respond physically to the language before they produce the language orally.


Students acting out the words of a song.

Students physically responding to commands like "Give me a book".

Total Physical Response is a language learning approach based on the relationship between language and its physical representation or execution. Emphasizes the use of physical activity for increasing meaningful learning opportunities and language retention. A TPR lesson involves a detailed series of consecutive actions accompanied by a series of commands or instructions given by the teacher. Students respond by listening and performing the appropriate actions (Asher, 1981).


Teaching practice

Traditional assessment systems

Refer to the assessment methods used traditionally in schools such as essay-writing or examinations. In some countries multiple choice questions are also traditional.


Record of a student's courses and grades earned in those courses

Generally, an oral work that has been written down or printed. In a university it is the official record kept by the institution of a student`s grades in the courses completed

Transactional tasks

These tasks are primarily concerned with the transfer of information.


Knowledge of the L1 is used to help in learning the L2. Transfer can be positive, when the two language have similar structures, or it can be negative, when the two languages are different, and L1-induced errors occur.

Transfer of learning

Ability to apply knowledge and skills learned in one area to another context or problem

The ability to apply what has been learned in one context to another context or problem

Transferable skills

The ability of a learner to transfer skills to new contexts

Transferable of learning

The use of principles or concepts learned in one context to another context in which they remain applicable.

Transformational- generative grammar

Transformational grammar is a broad term describing grammars (almost exclusively those of natural languages) that have been developed in a Chomskyan tradition. The term is usually synonymous with the slightly more specific transformational-generative grammar (TGG)

Transitional Bilingual Education(TBE)

Instruction is provided in both the non-English home language until the students’ second language (English) is fluent enough for them to participate successfully in an English-only classroom. ESL is often used to help minimize the time needed to master English, particularly in the area of reading. Use of the non-English home language for instruction is phased out as English instruction is gradually phased in. TBE is differentiated from ESL by the use of the non-English home language for instruction in subject areas that are less English intensive, and by teaching literacy in the non-English language as a school subject.

Transmission mode

Classes work are said to be in transmission mode when the flow of information is one way only - from the teacher to students, with the students are passive receivers of knowledge. This is the basic dynamic for instructivism, an approach in which teaching is principally a matter of giving facts to students.

The opposite approach to instructivism is constructivism.


Groups of three

TTT=Teacher Talking Time

Students need input from the teacher for:



exposure to the language.

These are examples of effective TTT. However, it’s very easy to talk too much in class, particularly if you’re nervous. This means that you are depriving your students of opportunities to practice the language, and can lead to confusion and passiveness among the students.

Make sure that all your TTT is effective TTT!

See also STT (Student Talking Time).


Instructor who provides instruction to one or more students outside of traditional classroom instruction

A teacher who provides private instruction to one or more students.

See also: E-tutoring, Tutorials


A session during which a tutor teachers or assists one or more student(s). It is more informal than a lecture or seminar.

See also: Tutor

Tutorial program

Students receive one-on-one and small group instruction in English and regular subject, usually by a paraprofessional. A tutorial program may also be done bilingually. If conducted by unqualified staff, by student peers, or not done as part of an organized system of instruction, it may not pass legally sufficiency by the U.S. Office for Civil Rights

Tutor-less group

The method whereby students are asked to discuss a matter without the presence of a formal tutor. The objective is to foster co-operative strategies among the students

Two-way bilingual education

Also called developmental bilingual education, this additive bilingual approach is a maintenance model in which speakers of two languages are placed together in a bilingual classroom to learn each other’s language and work academically in both languages.


Unconditioned response

In classical conditioning, an innate response

Universal grammar

A set of general principles that apply to all languages, rather than a set of particular rules.

Chomsky's hypothesis of a single grammatical system which is transmitted genetically and accounts for the ability of all normal humans to learn and speak their native language

Children’s innate knowledge which, it is hypothesized, consists of a set of principles common to all languages. This term has replaced the earlier term language acquisition device in work based on Chomsky’s theory of language acquisition

Universal grammar is a theory of linguistics postulating principles of grammar shared by all languages, thought to be innate to humans. It attempts to explain language acquisition in general, not describe specific languages

Universal hypothesis

This states that certain universal linguistic properties determine the order in which the rules of a specific language are acquired. Thus, linguistic rather than cognitive factors determine acquisition.

User groups

Groups of individuals who meet to share information about technology and computer-related activities, often to aid each other solve problems


Validation of first language

The second language learners will have a positive experience acquiring the new language if their first language is acknowledged and affirmed by teachers and other students. The willingness for the instructor and classmates to learn about the culture and language of the ESL students will help validate and will show approval of the students' native language and culture


The degree to which an investigation accurately assesses the specific idea a researcher is investigating.

The appropriateness, meaningfulness, and usefulness of the specific inferences made from test scores. In research, if findings are to be appropriate, meaningful and useful, they need to be valid.


Fundament beliefs and principles about what is important to a person, professional, or discipline.

Core beliefs and principles. Values in education refer to the underlying principles that guide the development of the curriculum. Many educationists contrast traditional values such as `learning for the love of learning`, or `learning for its own sake`, with practical values such as gaining skills for future employment.


Language learners vary in the use they make of their linguistic knowledge. This can be systematic or unsystematic.

Vernacular style

When language users attend to what they wish to say rather than how they want to say it, and when they are performing spontaneously, they use their vernacular style. This is usually seen in everyday conversations.

Video conference

Discussion held between two or more people who are not physically in the same location but who can see and hear each other by means of images projected across telephone lines or on the internet.

Video files

Video and audio images stored in computer files.

Video streaming

Technical process of accessing and viewing a video file directly by a user from a network computer without the need to download the entire file prior to viewing.

Refers to the technical process whereby a video file can be accessed directly by a user from the server-computer and be seen immediately. This avoids the need for the user to download the video file onto his/her own computer.

Virtual classroom

In a distance learning course or any online course where the students interact with the teacher and each other via the internet, there isn’t a true classroom.

However, the students may be interacting together and interacting with a tutor by e-mail or bulletin boards, etc. Therefore they are working in a virtual classroom

Virtual discussion forums

Areas for discussion located on the Internet and often also called computer conferencing

Virtual field trip

Simulated field trip completed by visiting sites on the Internet.

Type of simulated field trip undertaken through the Internet

Virtual laboratory

Computer-based learning experience where individuals are able to simulate experiments completed in a traditional laboratory.

Technological instrument that allows the simulation of engineering and science laboratory projects on a computer.

Virtual learning environments

Computer- and Internet-based learning environments created using websites.

Any creation of web pages on the internet designed for learning purposes

Virtual universities

Institutions of higher education that do not have a physical location but offer courses via online learning.

Higher education institutions that do not have a physical location but are accessible through the Internet.

Visual aids

Any graphical representation of data used to communicate the contents or meaning (including spatial and temporal location) of the data

Aids such as charts, slides, etc used at a presention

Visual learner

Learns through seeing; these students need to see the instructor's body language and facial ex-pression to fully understand the content of a lesson. They tend to prefer sitting at the front of the classroom to avoid visual obstructions (eg people's heads). They may think in pictures and learn best from visual displays including: diagrams, illustrated text books, overhead transparencies, videos, flipcharts and hand-outs.


To form a mental picture of som thing . visualization can help students to remember new words or can be used for creative story telling


Abbreviation for Viva voce examination. Oral examination taking place at the end of a doctoral programme. Generally used to test the ability of the candidate to present orally her/his knowledge of the matter being examined in the thesis

See also: Thesis.

Vocational English as a Second Language

Similar to English for Specific Purposes, VESL targets workforce communication skills.

Vocational courses

Classes focusing on the development of trade or business skills.

Courses of study related to professional practice and labour market needs

Voice projection

To speak out clearly and distintly( Not necessarily slowly or very loudly)


Warm up

A low challenge, enjoyable and relaxing activity designed to get the students responding well at the beginning of a class.

It sets the context of the lesson or recycles what was taught in previous lessons and helps the students better understand the new structure or vocabulary

An activity you do at the very beginning of the class

An activity that a teacher uses at the beginning of a lesson to give the class more energy


Statistical process of determining a factor for an item to reflect the importance of the item as it relates to other items, e.g. one test item may be "weighted" to count twice as much as any other problem.

Whole language

Whole language refers to literacy training, It is based on the following eight principles:

  1. Learning in the classroom and out of the classroom are not different
  2. Language learning is a social event; classrooms have a workshop atmosphere in where learners interact and share
  3. The emphasis is on process; classrooms are organized to support individual growth
  4. Language is a means of creating and communicating new knowledge
  5. The four language process(listening,speaking,reading, writing)are interrelated interdependent
  6. Authentic reading materials provide the best models for language
  7. The purpose of language is to create meaning
  8. learners must be involved in real language activities

Widening access

Attempts to provide disadvantaged students maximum opportunities to participate in courses; attempts may include modifications of entry requirements or alternative teaching formats.

When an institution takes steps to offer students with disadvantages the maximum opportunity to participate in its courses, and changes its entry requirements or teaching arrangements, for instance by offering them by distance education, or by special arrangements for disabled students.

See also: Disadvantaged students

Word grammar

Word grammar is a grammar model developed by Richard Hudson. It is based on the systemic functional grammar and includes ideas of other grammar models as well. Word grammar is in the tradition of cognitive linguistics, modeling language as part of general knowledge and not as a specialised mental faculty. This is in contrast to transformational grammar, introduced by Noam Chomsky

Word length

Total number of words required for an essay, thesis or written report.

Word map

A strategy that uses a visual organizer to develop depth and dimension of word knowledge. This can be used to handle new vocabulary as either a pre reading or post reading activity. Maps can be used in large or small groups, although it should be modeled a number of times before students use the maps without teacher direction

Work load

The amount of work assigned to or expected from a person (learner or teacher) in a specified time period.

Work placement

The activity where students are placed outside their institution for part of their study period in order to acquire work-related skills, for instance to do teaching practice in a school, or to work in a factory.

Word prompt

When a teacher suggests a word that the student hasn’t remembered, eg.

S: I want to... In an office

T: Work?

S: Yes, I want to work in an office

A teacher can also use a word prompt to correct a student, eg.

S: He don’t like that

T: Grammar

S: Sorry-he doesn’t like that

Word wall

A selected collection of words posted on a wall that is arranged in lists or groups to facilitate students familiarity with common sight words.

A study technique using paper or poster or wall chart where words relevant to the content of the lesson being delivered are written so that students may refer to the words or use them in writing or speaking assignments

Work-based learning

Learning that occurs in work place and is usually completed under the supervision an employee of the company and a instructor connected to an educational institution; examples include co-op programs, student teaching and internships.

Learning acquired in the work place, normally under the supervision of a person from the same company as well as a professional teacher from outside the company.

Work book

A book which contains extra practic activities for learners to work on in their own time. Usually the book is designed so that learners can write in it and often there is an answer jey procided in the back of the book to give feedback to the learners

Work experience

Skills and knowledge gained from having been employed or during occupation-related assignments.

Work load

The amount of work assigned to a person during a specific time period.

Work placement

Placing students in specific jobs or employment settings to gain work-related knowledge and skills outside of traditional educational institutions.

Writhing access Curriculum

An instructional strategy that uses writing as a learning tool in all subject areas

Writing skills

Some of the most important writing skills are:

taking notes

writing a passage from notes

writing formal letters

writing informal letters

writing e-mails

writing a resume