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  • On-the-spot correction is when a teacher corrects a learner's mistake as soon as they make it.ExampleThe learner is telling the teacher about a hobby and says, ‘I am going every weekend'. The teacher immediately elicits or says ‘I go every weekend'....
  • An observation checklist is a list of things that an observer is going to look at when observing a class. This list may have been prepared by the observer or the teacher or both. Observation checklists not only give an observer a structure and...
  • An objective test is a test that has right or wrong answers and so can be marked objectively. It can be compared with a subjective test, which is evaluated by giving an opinion, usually based on agreed criteria. Objective tests are popular because...
  • An open pair is a pair of learners working together with the rest of the group observing. They can be compared to closed pairs, where all the learners work in pairs that do not monitor each other.ExampleThe learners are working on developing...
  • A noun clause is a clause that is used in the same way as a noun or a pronoun.ExampleI know what he was doing there.In the classroomA way for learners to identify a noun clause is for them to change the noun clause for ‘it', ‘he' or ‘she' and see if...
  • When learners "notice" new language, they pay special attention to its form, use and meaning. Noticing is regarded as an important part of the process of learning new language, especially in acquisition-driven accounts of language learning, when...
  • Non-verbal communication is communication that does not involve a verbal element.ExampleNon-verbal communication includes gestures such as waving or tapping your fingers, eye movements such as winking and rolling, and body movements such as...
  • Non-gradable adjectives are adjectives that cannot be expressed in degrees and so cannot be graded. They can be compared with gradable adjectives, which have different degrees and so can be graded.Example‘Enormous', ‘impossible' and ‘ridiculous' are...
  • Neuro-linguistic Programming is based on a model of communication and psychotherapy. In ELT this model has implications for learning, as it says that we all have different learning and perceptual preferences, and in order to learn well we need to...
  • Negotiation of meaning is a process that speakers go through to reach a clear understanding of each other.ExampleAsking for clarification, rephrasing, and confirming what you think you have understood are all strategies for the negotiation of...
  • 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...

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