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  • Needs analysis involves doing some kind of activity with a learner in order to find out what their learning needs are. A good understanding of learner needs can contribute to successful course planning.For exampleOn the first day with a new group...
  • Naturalistic intelligence is one of the many types of intelligence described in multiple intelligence theory, although not as widely accepted as other types. People with strong naturalistic intelligence are more sensitive to nature and to their role...
  • Musical intelligence is one of the many types of intelligence described in multiple intelligence theory. People with strong musical intelligence are more sensitive to music and often have clear musical ability.For exampleA student with strong...
  • Multiple choice items are questions that require learners to choose the best response from a group of answers.ExampleComplete the sentence with the best answer:My car broke ____- down- away- off- upIn the classroomOne way to make multiple choice...
  • Modal verbs are a small group of verbs which convey the speaker's opinion about or attitude towards what is being expressed. Modal verbs include ‘could', ‘should', ‘might' and ‘may'.
  • Mixed ability as used in ELT usually refers to the differences that exist in a group in terms of different levels of language proficiency. This might be a result of simply the amount of time they have spent learning, their different language...
  • Mistakes are things that are wrong in a learner's English. They can be divided into two types, errors and slips. Slips may not require feedback but errors will, at some point, or at least they tell us important things about the learner's knowledge....
  • Minimal pairs are pairs of words that only have one sound different.Example‘But' and ‘bat' are a minimal pair. Only the vowel sound is different.In the classroomMinimal pairs are a useful way to highlight a sound in a meaningful context and also to...
  • Metacognitive awareness means being aware of how you think. In the ELT classroom, it means being aware of how you learn. Developing metacognitive awareness is an important part of helping learners become more effective and, importantly, more...
  • The medium of instruction is the language used by the teacher to teach. Teaching the language, or educational content, through the target language increases the amount of exposure the learner gets to it, and the opportunities they have to...
  • Mechanical activities are activities learners do which are not meaningful but which may be necessary in order to have the tools to use language. The move away from mechanical to communicative activity has been emphasized and prioritized for many...
  • Logical/mathematical intelligence is one of the many types of intelligence described in multiple intelligence theory. People with significant logical/mathematical intelligence are often good at logical reasoning and scientific investigation.For...
  • Linking is when sounds are joined together or when a sound is inserted between two others to make them easier to say.ExampleWhen we say ‘I did it!' we join together the /d/ and the /it/ to produce ‘I didit'. When we say ‘I am' we insert a /j/ sound...
  • Linguistic intelligence - also known as verbal-linguistic - is one of the many types of intelligence described in multiple intelligence theory. People with significant linguistic intelligence are often good at languages and enjoy reading and writing...
  • A lexical chunk is a group of words that are commonly found together. Lexical chunks include collocations but these usually just involve content words, not grammar.ExampleIn this dialogue there are five possible chunks:- Did you stay long at the...
  • Language use refers to the communicative meaning of language. It can be compared to usage, which refers to the rules for making language and the structures we use to make it.ExampleOne use of the third conditional is to express regret, e.g. ‘If I...
  • Language usage refers to the rules for making language, i.e. the structures used. It can be compared to use, which considers the communicative meaning of language.ExampleThe usage of the third conditional is: If + past perfect + would + present...
  • Kinesics is the study of non-verbal communication achieved by movement of the body.ExampleThis includes gestures such as waving or tapping your fingers, eye movements such as winking and rolling, and body movements such as shrugging your shoulders....
  • Initiation-response-feedback, or IRF, is a pattern of discussion between the teacher and learner. The teacher initiates, the learner responds, the teacher gives feedback. This approach to the exchange of information in the classroom has been...
  • Intrapersonal intelligence is one of the many types of intelligence described in multiple intelligence theory. People with strong intrapersonal intelligence are often introspective, prefer working alone, and are very self-aware.ExampleA student with...
  • A horseshoe layout is a way of organizing learners' seats in a class in the form of a horseshoe.ExampleThe teacher needs to use the board a lot in a class so arranges the seats in a horseshoe shape.In the classroomA horseshoe shape is a very...
  • A homonym is a word that has the same sound or spelling as another but a different meaning. Homonyms can be separated into two groups, homographs (same spelling) and homophones (same sound).
  • Group work is when the learners work together on a task or activity in groups.ExampleLearners in threes, a class separated into two, and an open class, are all examples of groups.In the classroomGroup work increases the opportunities for all...
  • Graded readers are reading books that contain language adjusted to the level of the learner rather than authentic language.ExampleMany ELT publishers produce graded readers for a wide range of levels.In the classroomGraded readers can help learners...
  • Graded language is classroom language that is adapted to the level of the learners in some way. Many course books use graded language. It can be compared with authentic language, which is not changed in any way.ExampleAn intermediate level class are...
  • Gradable adjectives are adjectives which have different degrees and so can be graded. They can be compared with non-gradable adjectives, which do not have degree.Example‘Hot' and ‘cold' are both gradable adjectives. You can say ‘very hot', ‘a bit...
  • The glottal stop is a consonant sound produced when the flow of air is stopped by the glottis closing, and then released. Many languages use glottal stops, often much more than in English.ExampleThe sound /t/ in ‘cat' is often a glottal stop sound....
  • Fossilization refers to the process in which incorrect language becomes a habit and cannot easily be corrected.ExampleMany advanced level learners who have Spanish as an L1 do not distinguish between ‘he' and ‘she'. This could be a fossilized error....
  • A ‘find someone who' activity is a speaking activity which involves learners trying to find someone in the group who matches a description.ExampleThe group are practising using the present perfect for experiences. Amongst the group there are...
  • If a test has face validity then it looks like a valid test to those who use it. Face validity can be compared with content validity, which describes how far the test actually measures what it aims to measure.ExampleMany public English exams have...

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