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  • A particle is a word that has a grammatical function but does not fit into the main parts of speech (i.e. noun, verb, adverb). Particles do not change.ExampleThe infinitive 'to' in 'to fly' is an example of a particle, although it can also act as a...
  • Pitch movement is the way the quality of the voice changes as a speaker communicates. Pitch is produced by the vibration of the vocal folds. When meaning is also considered, this is known as tone. English is an example of an intonational language,...
  • Phonemic script is a transcription of the sounds of a word or phrase, using phonemic symbols from the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).ExampleThe phrase 'please do it' can be transcribed as /pli:zdu:wit/ (without stress marks), showing an...
  • Phonics is a method of teaching young learners how to read which focuses on how letters make sounds, and how these sounds make words. It can be compared with the whole word, or 'Look and say' approach, which focuses on recognising words.ExampleUsing...
  • A plenum in language teaching means the whole group, so an activity in plenum / plenary will involve all learners and the teacher. This can be compared to closed pair and group work.ExampleLearners work in pairs to correct the errors in a text, then...
  • Personalisation happens when activities allow students to use language to express their own ideas, feelings, preferences and opinions. Personalisation is an important part of the communicative approach, since it involves true communication, as...
  • Phonemic symbols are the symbols used to represent individual phoneme sounds in transcription, e.g. in a dictionary.Example:The following are examples in English:/p/ as in pet /k/ as in cat /ei/ as in pay /i:/ as in beatIn the classroomActivities...
  • Parts of speech describe the categories that words are assigned to according to what grammatical or lexical function they have. These categories are examples of classroom meta-language.
  • Phonetics is the study of human speech. Phonetics includes the study of how sounds are physically produced (by positioning the mouth, lips and tongue), and how sounds are perceived by a listener. Phonetics can be compared to phonology, which is the...
  • Participles are a verb form used in passive sentences and to form perfect and progressive aspect. There are two participles in English, the present participle (-ing) and the past participle (-ed).Example'I'm leaving', 'we wanted to go', 'a very...
  • Paradigms are theoretical models used to describe sequences of teaching.ExampleThe following are examples of paradigmsPPP - presentation, production and practice OHE - observation, hypothesis formation, experimentationARC - authentic use, restricted...
  • The productive skills are speaking and writing, because learners doing these need to produce language. They are also known as active skills. They can be compared with the receptive skills of listening and reading.ExampleLearners have already spent...
  • Prompts are stimuli a teacher uses to get learners to give a response using target language. Prompts can be visual, spoken or written.ExampleThe learners are asking each other about their food likes and dislikes. The teacher puts photos of various...
  • Paralinguistics are the aspects of spoken communication that do not involve words. These may add emphasis or shades of meaning to what people say. Some definitions limit this to verbal communication that is not words.ExampleBody language, gestures,...
  • Phonology, also known as phonemics, is the study of the particular sound units (phonemes) in languages. It can be compared to phonetics, which is the study of human speech in general, and includes the articulation and perception of sounds....
  • Prediction is an activity learners carry out before reading or listening to a text, where they predict what they are going to hear or read. This gives them a reason to listen or read, as they confirm or reject their predictions.ExampleLearners are...
  • Retrieval is the action of recalling and using language stored in long-term memory.ExampleStudents will find it easier to retrieve language that they have met and used in a number of different contexts.In the classroomAsking learners to retrieve...
  • Restricted use is a stage where learners do controlled practice of the target language. Restricted use is part of the model Authentic Use, Restricted Use and Clarification and Focus (ARC).ExampleLearners have seen examples of the structure 'If I...
  • Reformulation is an error correction technique. In reformulation, the teacher repeats what the learner has said but correctly, without drawing attention explicitly to the error itself. This technique offers a correct example of relevant language to...
  • Retention is remembering new language rather than forgetting it. Once a word is retained, it can be retrieved and used later.ExampleIf learners have to work to guess or infer the meaning of a new word, and do so themselves, then retention of that...
  • Rapport in language learning refers to the relationship between the teacher and the learners. Teachers try to build good rapport with the learners in order to produce an environment that will help learning.ExampleClassroom management tools such as...
  • Realia are real things that are brought to the class and used as a resource.ExampleThe learners are learning to describe clothes. In turn, they describe someone in the class for others to identify.In the classroomRealia can include the learners...
  • Recycling is practising language that learners have seen previously. The recycled language will be re-introduced in a different context, or through a different skill. This helps the student extend their range of use of the new item.ExampleOn the...
  • Re-duplicatives are one of the many ways new words are made in English. Re-duplicatives are words made by copying the sound of the first word in the second.Example'Honky-tonk', 'wishy-washy', 'mish-mash' and 'ping-pong' are examples of re-...
  • The receptive skills are listening and reading, because learners do not need to produce language to do these, they receive and understand it. These skills are sometimes known as passive skills. They can be contrasted with the productive or active...
  • Register often refers to the degree of formality of language, but in a more general sense it means the language used by a group of people who share similar work or interests, such as doctors or lawyers.ExampleFor formal and informal register; 'Would...
  • To sensitise learners is to make them more sensitive to specific language or ideas before doing an activity. They are then more likely to notice language and respond to ideas.ExampleLearners are going to watch the balcony scene from 'Romeo and...
  • STT

    STT means Student Talking Time. It is the time learners spend talking rather than the teacher. It can be compared with Teacher Talking Time (TTT). It can be a useful category for observation of teaching, or for self-reflection about teaching....
  • Skimming is reading a text quickly to get a general idea of meaning. It can be contrasted with scanning, which is reading in order to find specific information, e.g. figures or names.ExampleA learner taking a reading exam decides to approach text by...
  • Socio-cultural context refers to the idea that language, rather than existing in isolation, is closely linked to the culture and society in which it is used. This means when language is learnt, the socio-cultural context in which it is used needs to...

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