June 29

EFL Glossary

assimilation – when the pronunciation of a word is changed by the word next to it e.g. news /nju:z/ and newspaper /nju:speipə/

board rush – an activity in which students are in teams and must run to the board either to write a word, circle something or rub something off

CAE – Certificate in  Advanced English – a Cambridge exam aimed at Level C1 of the CEF

CCQ – see concept checking

CEF – Common European Framework – a system designed to standardise levels (from A1 to C2) applied to language learners (for more information, please see here)

CEX – Cambridge Exams (for more information, please see here)

CLIL – Content and Language Integrated Learning – this involves teaching subjects (such as history or science) through English

commentating – the bad habit some teachers have of giving a running commentary on their class to their learners

compound noun – a noun made of two parts, e.g. teabag or whiteboard

concept checking – the action of checking learners’ comprehension of either linguistic items or instructions, sometimes also written as CCQ (concept check question)

CPE – Certificate of Proficiency in English – a Cambridge exam aimed at Level C2 of the CEF

deductive – in this approach, grammar rules are explicitly introduced and then practised (see also inductive)

descriptive – a descriptive grammar rule tells us how language is used, which may not be the “proper” usage; compare this with a prescriptive gramar rule

diphthong – phonemes transcribed with two phonetic symbols

dogme – an ideology which believes that coursebooks are not necessary in language learning

drilling – repetition to practise new vocabulary and difficult sounds.  It can either be choral or individual

EAP – English for Academic Purposes – a branch of English taught for non-native university students

EC – error correction

echoing – a bad habit teachers sometimes have of repeating learners’ answers

EFL – English as a Foreign Language – this is English which is taught in non-English speaking countries

elicit – encouraging students to repond or guess a word (i.e. through gestures, synonyms, pictures)

elision – when phonemes are dropped in connected speech, e.g. the t in last week

ELT – English Language Teaching

ESA – Engage, Study, Activate – stages in a lesson (as proposed by J. Harmer, Longman 1998)

ESL – English as a Second Language – this is English taught in English speaking countries

ESOL – English as a Second or Other Language – similar to ESL

ESP – English for Specific Purposes – English taught for a specific group of learners e.g. doctors, lawyers, pilots

false friend – a word which looks similar in L1 but has a different meaning, e.g. sensible in Spanish means sensitive

FCE – First Certificate in English – a Cambridge exam aimed at Level B2 of the CEF

Flyers – The third of three Cambridge Young Learner Exams (with Starters and Movers)

GA – General American – the “standard” American accent

GESE – Graded Examinations in Spoken English a series of speaking exams provided by Trinity College London (for more information see here)

gist – reading or listening for gist means getting a general idea of the text, rather than picking up on specific details

hot potatoes – software to create online exercises for students (for more information, please see here)

icebreaker – an activity done in the first class to get to know students

IELTS – International English Language Testing System – a internationally-recognised, standardised testing system (for more information, please see here)

inductive – in an inductive approach to teaching grammar, students are first shown the language in context and then work out the rules before practising (see also deductive)

Inx – abbreviated form of instructions, sometimes seen in lesson plans

ISE – Integrated Skills in English – a series of exams provided by Trinity College London (for more information, see here)

IWB – Interactive Whiteboard

jigsaw reading – an activity in which learners are given different parts of a text to read, generally followed by an information share for them to learn about the different parts

KET – Key English Test – a Cambridge exam aimed at Level A2 of the CEF

key word transformation – an activity in which students must read a sentence then complete a gapped second sentence using a given word so that it has a similar meaning to the first

L1 – the students’ first language

lead-in – an activity done (generally at the start of the class) to introduce a topic and generate interest (the E of ESA)

liaison – when phonemes are added in connected speech, e.g. law and order /ˈlɔːrənˌdɔːdə/

mingle – an activity in which students stand up, move around and talk to each other to share information

model – demonstrate an activity to your students

monitoring – the action of moving around the class whilst learners are working individually or in pairs to check that everyone is on task and to provide assistance where needed

moodle – Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment – a learning platform where teachers can create online courses

Movers – the second of three Cambridge Young Learner Exams (with Starters and Flyers)

multiple intelligences – the different learning styles which students can have, as proposed by H. Gardner (for more information, please see here)

nominating – the act of selecting learners to respond to questions, generally in WGFB

NS – Native Speaker

NNS – Non-Native Speaker

pelmanism – a matching pairs activity

PET – Preliminary English Test – a Cambridge exam aimed at Level B1 of the CEF

phrasal verb – a verb which has more than one part e.g. get up, put up with

PLN – Professional or Personal Learning Network – a group of people with similar interests to you from whom you can learn more

PPP – Present, Practise, Produce – the stages in a lesson (see also ESA)

prescriptive – a prescriptive grammar rule is one which tells us how language should be used, compared with a descriptive grammar rule

realia – materials which are from the real world, used to make a lesson feel more authentic

rote learning – method of learning where information is repeated, to be learn by heart

RP – Received Pronunciation – the “standard” English accent.  RP is used in Oxford English dictionaries for phonetic spelling

scanning – a key skill in reading, in which you look over a text quickly to find specific information

skimming – a key skill in reading, in which you look over a text quickly to get the general idea of the text

Starters – the first of three Cambridge Young Learner Exams (with Movers and Flyers)

STT – Student Talking Time

TEFL / TESL / TESOL – Teaching English as a Foreign /Second /Second or Other Language

TP – Teaching Practice – the time spent giving and observing classes whilst on a training course

TTT – Teacher Talking Time

VYL – Very Young Learners – applies to students in pre-primary education

WGFB – whole group feedback, a key part of most lesson stages in which we can share ideas or check answers

YL – Young Learners

YLE – Young Learner Exams – A series of Cambridge exams for students in primary education

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