Learning teaching

Question Answer
Activity A single task, exercise or game for studetss to work on, usually set by the teacher.
Aims Things that you hope will be achieved during the lesson or sequence of lessons. NB Some teachers now use the term "objectives" to refer to lesson goals and reserve the term "aims" for the long-term goals of a language course or programme.
Assimilation When phonemes change their sound in connected speech. For example the sound /d/ in the word "red" often assimilates to /b/ when the word "paint" follows: "red paint /reb/.
Authentic exposure Exposure to language when it is being used fairly naturally.
Authentic output Students speaking or writing using the full range of language at their disposal. The language used has not been restricted in any way (eg not by your instructions, by the coursebook writer, etc)
Backchaining A technique for helping students say a difficult sentence by breaking it down into smaller parts and practising saying those pieces slowly building up again to the complete sentence; for example: "nA?t you?" "ArenA?t you?" "Thirty, arenA?t you?" "You're t
Blended learning A course made up of a combination of both face-to-face and online elemets.
CLIL Content and Language Intergrated Learning. The teaching of subject content through a language that is not the first language of the learners (eg Thai children studying physics at school, with all lessons and materials in English). The hope is that the lan
CLL Community Language Learning. A method that employs the use of L1 and L2 to allow students to communicate real messages to each other.
CLT Communicative Language Teaching. A broad description of current language teaching in which the need to use language in successful communication is seen as more important than having a purely theoretical knowledge of how language works.
Can-do statements Criteria concerning what a learner can successfully do with language in the real world, against which they can be assesed or self-assess themselves, eg "I can ask for information about coach departure times at an equiry desk"
The chain An error correction technique that involves students passing corrections to each other across the classroom.
Chant/ jazz chant A funny or memorable poem-like monologue or dialogue intended for reading aloud or performance, often characterised by strong rhythms and opportunities to use emotional intonation (eg surprise, anger)
Chunk A piece of language containing more than one word that, thanks to familiarity and much-repeated use, seems to behave as if it were a pre-fabricated unit (even though the seperate grammatical and lexical pieces within the chunk can be distinguished) eg "IA
Citation form The way that a word is pronounced if you say it on its own. This is ofte different fro the typical in-sentence pronunciation in fluent connected speech.
Clarification A part of a lesson in which students become clearer about language system items, especially concerning how they are formed, what they mean, how they are pronounced and how they are used.
Classroom management The moment-by-moment decisions and actions concerning organisation of the classroom and activities, eg seating and grouping arrangements, starting and stopping activities, dealing with unexpected problems etc.
Cloze procedure A gap-fill exercise with regularly spaced gaps (eg every seventh word). A modified cloze has gaps for selected items of grammar or lexis.
Collocation The going-together relationships of words with other words, eg "clothes" collocates with "put on", "fashionable" and "well-fitting" but not normally with "put-off", "handsome" or "well-dressed"
Common European Framework of Reference for language The Council of EuropeA?s scheme to set comparable international language standards in order to recognise and describe the achievements and qualifications of learners at different levels. The CEFR includes many can-do criteria statements.
Communicative actvity An activity that has communication as its main aim (as opposed to practice of particular language items). A communication activity will normally involve an "information gap"
Concept questions Questions that focus on the meaning of a language item
Concordance A list of words from a text (or texts), sometimes showing the ways they are used (ie sentences that they appear in).
Connected speech Fluent speech in which words are not pronounced seperately. A number of recognisable pronuciation changes occur, including weak forms and elision.
Consonant A sound made by restriction or closing the flow of air, which may result in friction.
Context Language items do not exist independently. They might be found in a text, a piece of classroom conversation, a tape recording, etc. These are the contexts. To help clarify the meaing or use of an item, we can also create imaginary contexts or example "sit
Corpus An alalysable computer database of real language use, drawn from a range of texts (plural = corpora)
Co-text The language that you can find before and after a language item.
Cuisenaire rods Small coloured rods of wood or plastic often used in language teaching.
Diphthong A phonee containing two vowel sounds, one gliding into the second.
Dogme An approach to teaching that aims to minimise use of technology, teaching aids and other excesses and instead emphasise the importance of the learner-teacher relationship and interaction.
Drill A commomn restricted production activity, involving students in repetition or very controlled oral practice.
Echo Repetition of what a student has just say. This may be "aware" echo, with a purpose (eg indicating that an error has been made) or "unaware" echo (eg you are feeling the need to fill silences).
EAP English for Academic Purposes. English for learners who need to read texts, attend lectures, write exams etc.
EIL English as an International Language, ie English as the language of a world community, rather than being owned by just a few native-speaking countries.
ELF English as a Lingua Franca ie English used as a common language of communication between people who speak different first languages.
ELT English Language Teaching.
ESOL English for Speakers of Other Languages (or English as a Second or Other Language).
ESP English for Specific Purposes. English for people who have very clear language requirements (eg English for nurses, English for lawyers).
Eliciting A much-used technique for involving students more in lessons. Eliciting involves drawing language from the students (rather than giving it to them).
Elision The loss of some sounds in connected speech. For example in Good morning" sometimes the /d/ sound is completely lost and the greeting sounds more like "GA?morning".
Exponent An item that is an example of a particular function. For example "Could you make me a cup of tea, please?" Is an exponent of the function of "Making polite requests"
Extesive reading/ listening Reading or listening to longer pieces of text without pausing and worrying too much about details, usually for pleasure.
False beginner Someone who has studied the language before, but appears to have forgotten most of it. Progress can be fast, as the "lost" language may return relatively quickly. A true beginner, by contrast, has none of this deep-stored knowledge, and progress will like
False friend A word that reminds you of one in your own language and misleads you into guessing that it has the same or a similar meaning in the new language (eg ropain Spanish means clothes not rope).
Fluency Speaking naturally without worrying too much about being 100% correct.
Function The purpose for which language is used in particular situations
Getting to know you activities Activities to help students and teacher get to know each other at the beginning of a course (sometimes called ice-breakers).
Groupwork Students working together with a number of other students (rather than in pairs or as a whole class).
Information gap One person knows something that the other doesnA?t. Such gaps of information between people give us a need and desire to communicate with each other.
Intensive reading/ listening Careful and detailed reading of (or listening to) sections of text or speech in order to interpret the full meaning.
Intonation The musical patterns of speech.
Intrusive sounds Extra sounds that appear in fluent, connected speech to help link two words, eg when saying "sea air", speakers might ad a /j/ sound between the words.
Jigsaw reading/ listening A jigsaw activity involves different groups of students (or individuals) reading or listening to different content. When they come back together they can report back and compare what they have learnt.
Keywords The most improtant content-carrying words in a text. From a whole article, we might be able to pick out a small number of key words that represent the main subject matter and message.
Language skills Teachers commonly talk about four language skills: listeing, speaking, readig, writing. Listening and reading are receptive skills; speaking and writing are productive skills.
Language systems Teachers commonly refer to the following as laguage systems: grammar, lexis (vocabulary), phonology, function discourse.
Lexical item A word or a number of words that could be considered to be a single item of vocabulary, eg "house", "first aid kit", "solar system", "put up with"
Lexical set A set of words that are connected in some way (eg items found on a farm; words starting with "head" or words that describe human qualities)
Lexis Vocabulary
Metalanguage The language used to describe language items (eg present simple tense) or used in class to give instructions, get things done or explain things. Metalanguage usually needs to be clear and concise and avoid complexity.
Minimal pairs Two words that contai all the same sounds except for one, eg "pet/ pat", "bun/pun". These can be difficult for learners from language groups to hear, distinguish or produce.
Monitoring When the students are working on an activity where you do not have an active role, you can keep an active eye over what is going on, perhaps with a view to checking that instructions are being followed, being ready to help if needed, collecting a list of
NLP Neuro-linguistic programming. A quasi-scientific set of suppositions and procedures with aims that include understanding people better and relating to them more clearly and accurately.
Needs analysis Ways of finding out (eg using questionnaires or interviews) what students need (or want) to study on a language course.
Observation task A specific task to be done while an observer is watching a teacher in class
PPP Presentation, Practice, Production. An approach to grammar lessons based on the idea of giving (presenting) small items of language to students, providing them with opportunities to use it in controlled ways (practice) and finally intergrating it with oth
Pairwork Students working with one another student. This may be to discuss something, to check answers or to do a communicative activity.
Phoneme The basic unnit of sound from which we build up words and sentences. For example, the word "caught" has six letters but only three phonemes.
Phonology The study of phonemes, intonation, word stress, setence stress, rhythm and aspects of connected speech.
Practice Giving the students chances to use the language being studied.
Pre-teaching (of lexis) Teaching about the form, meaning or use of some key items of vocabulary that the teacher feels they are likely to need in subsequent reading or listening work.
Presentation The "giving" or "input" of (probably ew) language to students
Productive skills Writing and speaking
Prominence The main syllables emphasised in a tone group.
RP Received Pronunciation. A UK pronunciation variety, originally from south-east England, once seen as a kind of standard educated pronunciation.
Ranking task A task in which students must put things into an order, usually by discussing, eg "List in order the five most important things to consider when choosing a new flat"
Rapport The quality of relationship within the classroom
Reading for detail See "Intensive reading"
Real play A variety of role play in which students play themselves in familiar contexts, perhaps to help study and resolve problems they have had in these situations.
Receptive skills Reading and listening.
Restricted exposure Students read or listen to texts specifically designed to draw attention to language points. The language available for the students to hear or read has in some way been restricted (eg a coursebook text containing multiple examples of "used to")
Restricted output Speaking or writing when students use less than the full quantity of language they know. Practice that uses language in ways that are controlled or deliberately simplified (maybe by an instruction or by the nature of a particular task) in a way that makes
Role play An activity in which students take on a character or make use of given information or ideas in order to get speaking practice.
STT Student Talking Time. The amount of time that students get to talk within a lesson.
Scanning A fast reading technique that involves moving the eyes quickly over a whole text in order to locate certain information, eg finding where someoneA?s telephone number is on the page.
Schwa A phoneme (the only one with a name)
Sentence stress A common shorthand way of referring to prominence. Not strictly accurate as the stress applies to tone units rather than to sentences.
Skimming Reading, usually done quickly, with the aim of understanding the general meaning or "gist" of a piece of text.
Stage One distinct part of a lesson, usually a single activity. Stages may link together to help make a complete lesson.
Stress See word stress, prominence
Structure = form
Substitution tables A way of writing out grammar information as patters that can be used for generation of further sentences.
Syllabus A list of course contents
TBL Task-Based Learning. Classroom work centred around the doing of tasks more than, say, the presentation ad practice of selected items of language.
TTT Teacher Talking Time. The amount of time you talk within a lesson.
Task Something students are asked to do. Many tasks are in the form of questions requiring answers, but a task may require students to do things like draw a picture, choose an object from the table, etc. A stricter definition of task would restrict the term to
Test-teach-test A shorthand description of one way of sequencing stages in a systems-based lesson. First you find out what the learners know or donA?t know, perhaps by use of a practice activity (test). You then offer some input on some things that they need to know (tea
Tone unit The basic unit of spoken language, similar to a clause or sentence for written language. A sentence could have one or more than one tone units. A tone unit can be one or more syllables long and must contain a nucleus at which there is a movement of pitch.
Tonic syllable (=nucleus) The most prominent (ie strong-sounding) syllable in a tone iunit. The main stress of that tone unit.
VLE Virtual Learning Environment. A computer-based system for managing lessons and courses. Typically a VLE will allow teachers and students to upload and download documents, to set and use exercises, to share files, to interact (eg using forums) and to set,
VAK Visual Auditory Kinaesthetic. The three main channels via which we receive input from the outside world. NLP suggests that we have a "sensory preference" for one channel over others. Some educators argue that our lessons sould match the sensory preference
Vowel A voiced sound made without any closure, friction or restriction to hte flow of air from the lungs.
Weak form Vowel sounds in unstressed syllables tend to have a weak pronunciation. Compare "for" when you say it on its own (strong form) and when it comes in the middle of a sentence, eg "I came back for my books". The vowel sound has changed.
Word stress The emphasised syllable(s) in a word.
Work plan Also timetable. The plan of work showing lessons as units and identifyig what goes on in each one.
World Englishes The many varieties of English used in different places around the world.
Restricted output Drills
Written gap-fill exercises
Grammar practice activities
a?˜Repeat what I saya??
Simple games based on saying very similar sentences (a?˜Simon saysa??)