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TBL
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  • Flashcards are pictures or photographs mounted on small cards. They are used as a visual resource in language teaching.ExampleA teacher can use flashcards showing different faces in a lesson on describing how people look.In the classroomIn the above...
  • False friends are words that look or sound the same as words in the learner's first language but in fact are not so, causing the learner to make a mistake. They can be compared with cognates, which are words that are the same in different languages...
  • Facilitation is a term used to describe a possible role of the teacher. Facilitation is providing the necessary resources, information and support in order for learners to complete a task, rather than teaching.ExampleA teacher facilitates a...
  • Gist is the general meaning or purpose of a text, either written or spoken. Reading a text for gist is known as skimming.ExampleBefore answering detailed comprehension questions on a short story, learners read it quickly for gist, and then match the...
  • Glosses are summaries of the meanings of words, usually found as notes in the margin or between the lines of a text. Glosses can be interpretations, explanations or translations.ExampleLearners work together on a project to provide a gloss for a...
  • A gap-fill is a practice exercise in which learners have to replace words missing from a text. These words are chosen and removed in order to practise a specific language point. Gap-fill exercises contrast with cloze texts, where words are removed...
  • Genre is a term used to classify types of spoken or written discourse. These are normally classified by content, language, purpose and form.ExampleLearners analyse an example of a formal letter of complaint, looking at structure, set phrases,...
  • Guided discovery, also known as an inductive approach, is a technique where a teacher provides examples of a language item and helps the learners to find the rules themselves.ExampleThe learners are shown a problem page containing various examples...
  • A holistic approach to language sees it as a whole, which is not divisible in a meaningful way for teaching. This contrasts with an atomistic approach to language, which attempts to analyse language into parts, such as grammatical structures or...
  • Hypotheses are possible ideas about language rules that learners form as they receive information. Learners test their hypotheses by using language and these ideas change as new information is received.ExampleA learner has noticed that English often...
  • Humanistic language teaching is an approach based on the principle that the whole being, emotional and social, needs to be engaged in learning, not just the mind.ExampleA teacher always responds to the content of learners' written work, not just the...
  • Intrinsic motivation is a motivation to learn that comes from an internal force such as interest in language learning or the desire for further personal development in general. It compares with extrinsic motivation, which is motivation from external...
  • An information gap activity is an activity where learners are missing the information they need to complete a task and need to talk to each other to find it.ExampleLearner A has a biography of a famous person with all the place names missing, whilst...
  • Internalisation is the process of learning something so that it can be used as the basis for production. Once language is internalised, it can then be retained and retrieved when needed for communication.ExampleA learner finds that using a...
  • An inductive approach to teaching language starts with examples and asks learners to find rules. It can be compared with a deductive approach that starts by giving learners rules, then examples, then practice.ExampleLearners listen to a conversation...
  • Intrusion is a feature of connected speech. When two words are said together, an extra sound is sometimes placed between them in order to make them easier to say.ExampleWhen a native speaker says 'I am not happy' there is an intrusive /j/ sound...
  • Ice-breakers are speaking activities used with a new class in order to give the learners an opportunity to meet each other. In order to complete an ice-breaker task learners must talk to each other.ExampleThe teacher gives each learner a sheet with...
  • Intonation is the way the pitch of a speaker's voice goes up or down as they speak. Intonation can be rising, falling or flat and is used to communicate how a speaker feels.ExampleAn English language speaker uses a rising intonation in spoken...
  • Interactional language is the language we use to build and maintain relationships. It can be compared to transactional language, which normally carries a message and is the language used to get things done. To maintain interaction, speakers use...
  • Intransitive verbs do not have a direct object. They can be compared to transitive verbs, which need one.For example:'I lied', 'She is crying', 'We left on Tuesday' are all examples of intransitive verbs.In the classroomStudents can explore which...
  • The interlocutor is a person who is actively involved in a conversation.ExampleIn some oral exams, there is an interlocutor, who talks with the candidates, and an assessor, who marks them.In the classroomSuccessful communication in another language...
  • Interlanguage is the learner's current version of the language they are learning. Interlanguage changes all the time but can become fossilised language when the learners do not have the opportunity to improve.ExampleA learner who has lived in an...
  • Idioms are expressions whose meanings are different from the words that make them. Understanding an idiom requires some other knowledge than knowing the words used. Idioms normally cannot be modified or the words within them changed.Example'I lost...
  • Inference is the technique of finding answers from clues and from prior knowledge rather than directly.ExampleLearners listen to a discussion between two unidentified speakers and must infer their relationship from what they hear.In the classroomThe...
  • A jigsaw listening or reading activity is an information gap exercise. Learners hear or read different parts of a text, then exchange information with others in order to complete a task.ExampleLearners in three groups hear different versions of an...
  • A lexical set is a group of words with the same topic, function or form.Example'Cat, dog, tortoise, goldfish, gerbil' is part of the topical lexical set pets, and 'quickly, happily, completely, dramatically, angrily' is part of the syntactic lexical...
  • A lingua franca is a language that is used widely outside the country where it is spoken as a native language.Example:French, Greek, Portuguese and Latin have all been major lingua franca at some point in history. The current lingua franca of...
  • A lexicon is often used to describe the knowledge that a speaker has about the words of a language. This includes meanings, use, form, and relationships with other words. A lexicon can thus be thought of as a mental dictionary.ExampleA successful...
  • Long vowels are vowel sounds that are longer than normal, or short, vowels. In RP English the long vowel sounds are those in 'seat', 'suit', 'sort', 'shirt' and 'start'. Phonemic symbols for long vowel sounds have a /:/ to indicate length.ExampleThe...
  • Learning strategies are tools and techniques that learners develop as they learn. Learning strategies are an important part of developing autonomy.ExampleA learner keeps a small notebook in their pocket and records interesting new language when...

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