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  • Extensive reading involves learners reading texts for enjoyment and to develop general reading skills. It can be compared with intensive reading, which means reading in detail with specific learning aims and tasks.ExampleA teacher reads a short...
  • Errors are mistakes caused by a learner not knowing something. They can be compared with slips, which are caused by a learner being tired, nervous, excited or another temporary factor.ExampleThe learner says ‘I buyed a new book' because she does not...
  • Display questions are questions you ask to see if the person you are speaking to knows the answer. In an ELT classroom, this normally means questions teachers ask learners to see if they understand or remember something. Display questions can be...
  • A determiner is a word that goes before a noun and describes how we are referring to it in the sentence. Determiners can be compared to adjectives, which express how something is. Determiners can include demonstratives such as that, articles such as...
  • Working in closed pairs means that the learners are all working in pairs simultaneously and therefore privately. Closed pairs are the opposite of open pairs, where one pair works while the rest of the learners watch.ExampleThe learners are...
  • A cline is a scale of language items that goes from one extreme to another, for example, from positive to negative, or from weak to strong.ExampleThe teacher asks learners to map modal verbs of probability such as ‘must', ‘might not' and ‘may' on a...
  • A class survey is an activity where all the learners in the group need to ask each other questions to find information, which they then need to analyze and report back to the class.ExampleThe class have been reading about things that are bad for...
  • A class contract is an agreement made between learners and the teacher to follow certain rules and standards. It applies to both the learners and the teacher, and is drawn up at the beginning of the course.Example‘We will hand in our homework on...
  • Choral repetition is when the teacher or a learner models language and the group of learners repeat it together.ExampleThe class are practising the pronunciation of the schwa sound. The teacher models words from a list and the learners repeat them...
  • Bodily/kinaesthetic intelligence is one of the many types of intelligence described in multiple intelligence theory. People with significant bodily/kinaesthetic intelligence may enjoy doing things rather than reading or hearing about them, and are...
  • An antonym is a word which means the opposite to another word.Example'Sad' is an antonym of ‘happy'.In the classroomAntonyms are an interesting way for learners to explore the meaning of words, for example when there are various antonyms for a word...
  • Alveolar consonants are consonant sounds that are produced with the tongue close to or touching the ridge behind the teeth on the roof of the mouth. The name comes from alveoli - the sockets of the teeth.ExampleThe consonant sounds /t/, /n/ and /d/...
  • Allophones are phonetic variations - different pronunciations - of the same phoneme. Using a different allophone does not change meaning.ExampleThe /l/ sound is pronounced differently in ‘love' and in ‘wool'. These two words contain allophones of...
  • Allomorphs are different forms of the same morpheme, or basic unit of meaning. These can be different pronunciations or different spellings.ExampleThere are three allomorphs of the morpheme -s in English. Compare the sound of the -s in ‘cats', ‘dogs...
  • Affricatives are consonant sounds made up of a stop, like /t/, immediately followed by a fricative, like /s/.ExampleThe /tʃ/and /dʒ/ consonant sounds are affricatives.In the classroomThe affricative sounds in English are common in other languages...
  • An achievement test evaluates a learner's understanding of a specific course or study programme. It can be compared with proficiency tests, which measure a learner's level of language, diagnostic tests, which identify areas learners need to work on...
  • An adverbial clause tells us more about a main clause, in the same way as an adverb tells us more about a verb. Example He went there because he wanted revenge. In the classroom The conjunctions that link adverbial clauses and other parts of...
  • A homophone is a word that has the same sound as another word but different meaning and spelling. This can be compared with a homonym, which has the same spelling and sounds the same but has a different meaning.ExampleThe words 'rain', 'reign' and '...
  • Learner training involves helping learners find out how they learn most effectively. It means encouraging learners to take responsibility for learning and helping them to develop learning strategies and study skills. Most importantly, it asks...
  • A webquest is an activity that requires learners to use the Internet in order to complete a task. Webquests can extend over an entire course, several classes or be integrated into a single lesson.ExampleThe learners are discussing the topic of UFOs...
  • A clause is a phrase that contains a verb and normally a subject. It can be a full sentence by itself or be part of a sentence.Example'The rain fell heavily' is an example of a clause that is a full sentence. 'It fell on the land, which quickly...
  • Dictogloss is a classroom dictation activity where learners are required to reconstruct a short text by listening and noting down key words, which are then used as a base for reconstruction.ExampleLearners discuss the sea. The teacher then explains...
  • Ellipsis is the omission of one or more words from a sentence, where they are unnecessary because they have already been mentioned. Meaning can be understood without these words. Ellipsis is one of the aspects of language that gives text cohesion....
  • Accuracy refers to how correct learners' use of the language system is, including their use of grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary. Accuracy is often compared to fluency when we talk about a learner's level of speaking or writing. Example A...
  • Aspect is information described by a verb that is not related just to tense and time. For example, aspect shows whether an action is unfinished or not. It can be compared to tense, which refers to the verb's past or present form, and time, which is...
  • Aims are what teachers (and learners) want to achieve in a lesson or a course. Activity in a class is planned in order to achieve these aims.ExampleA lesson aim could be for the learners to demonstrate that they understand the form or use of the...
  • Written or spoken communication has an audience - the people the message is for. In order for the message to be effective it must be written or said with the audience in mind. The audience will particularly affect the choice of register; the level...

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