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  • Applied linguistics is a field of study that looks at how linguistics can help understand real-life problems in areas such as psychology, sociology and education. It can be compared with theoretical linguistics, which looks at areas such as...
  • Intensifiers are words that make the meaning of other words stronger.Example‘She's very good at maths' and ‘You are much taller than your brother'.In the classroomOne high level function of intensifiers is in sarcasm, for example:‘Oh, yeah, that was...
  • Hyponyms are words that are the specific examples of a general word, a ‘superordinate'. They can be compared with synonyms, which mean the same things, and antonyms, which mean opposite things.ExampleRed, white and blue are all colours.In the...
  • In immersion programmes learners are fully immersed in the target language for a certain period of time, both in and outside the class. It is sometimes compared to submersion, where individual learners are placed in classes where everybody else...
  • A maze is a task where learners have to make decisions about what to do at certain points, in order to continue towards a final goal.ExampleThe aim of the maze activity is for learners to successfully get the job they want. They have to make...
  • Content words are words that have meaning. They can be compared to grammatical words, which are structural. Nouns, main verbs, adjectives and adverbs are usually content words. Auxiliary verbs, pronouns, articles, and prepositions are usually...
  • Content and Language Integrated Learning, or CLIL, is where a subject is taught in the target language rather than the first language of the learners. In CLIL classes, tasks are designed to allow students to focus on and learn to use the new...
  • Word classes are categories of word. The categories are defined by what the word does. Some word classes are open, which means that new words can be added to them, and others are closed, which means no new words can be added. Nouns and verbs are...
  • The Language Acquisition Device, or LAD, is part of Chomsky's acquisition hypothesis. The LAD is a system of principles that children are born with that helps them learn language, and accounts for the order in which children learn structures, and...
  • EFL

    English as a Foreign Language, or EFL, refers to learning and using English as an additional language in a non-English speaking country. It can be compared with ESL and ESOL, which refer mainly to learning English as a new resident in an English-...
  • Categorisation is a task where learners have to put language into different categories.ExampleLearners categorise conjunctions according to their function.In the classroomExamples of activities include categorising words according to type, e.g. verb...
  • Informal assessment involves observing the learners as they learn and evaluating them from the data gathered. It can be compared to formal assessment, which involves evaluating a learner's level of language in a formal way, such as through an exam...
  • ELT

    English Language Teaching, or ELT, refers to the activity and industry of teaching English to non-native speakers.ExampleMany large editorial companies have ELT sections which publish books for English teachers and learners to use.Further links:...
  • A prescriptive grammar is a set of rules about language based on how people think language should be used. In a prescriptive grammar there is right and wrong language. It can be compared with a descriptive grammar, which is a set of rules based on...
  • Wh- questions ask for information and start with question words beginning wh-, although how is also included in this group. Wh- questions can be compared with ‘yes/no' questions, which ask for confirmation.ExampleQuestions starting which, what, who...
  • In a jumble activity learners need to put sentences or paragraphs from a text, or pictures illustrating a text, into the correct order.ExampleThe learners put jumbled pictures into a possible order and then read the text to see if their ideas are...
  • English for Academic Purposes, or EAP, refers to learning English in order to use it to study another subject.ExampleMany universities have pre-sessional EAP courses. Courses concentrate on specific skills the learners will need to benefit from...
  • Goals are the targets that learners and teachers have in language learning. These may be short- and long-term. Goals can be compared to aims, which usually refer to the targets of one lesson or unit of work.ExampleOne learner includes among her...
  • A labial consonant is produced by using your lips. Bilabial consonants are made by using both lips, labiodental consonants by using your top lip and your teeth. Some learners have problems recognizing the difference between labial and labiodental...
  • Word formation refers to the creation of new words.ExampleBlending (smog), loan words from other languages (parasol), and acronyms (scuba) are all examples of ways new words are formed.In the classroomAs a way of raising awareness of the processes...

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