300 terms

Delta Module 1 Terms


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The use of grammatical and lexical means to achieve connected text, either spoken or written. These include: reference words e.g. this, the, it; linkers, e.g. However and topic-related lexis.
A grammatical category which is used to indicate the time at which an action happens by changing the form of the finite verb. English has two: past and present, e.g. he walked and he walks.
direct test
A test employing tasks which replicate real-life activities, e.g. role-playing a job interview, writing a letter of complaint, or reading and completing an application form.
minimal pair
Two words which differ from each other in pronunciation by only one phoneme e.g. met, mat; pin, bin.
A term for an 'umbrella' item of lexis which subsumes a range of more specific items, e.g. fruit in relation to apple, orange, pear.
product writing
An approach to developing learners' writing skills that is informed by the belief that creating a written text is purely a matter of imitating elements that are provided in a model.
A noun that is created by adding -ing to the verb-stem (e.g. Parking is not permitted).
A database of real language samples (either spoken or written texts) stored on a computer and which can be used for investigating language use and structure. E.g. British National Corpus
content and language integrated learning, CLIL
Using the medium of English to teach a subject such as geography, natural science or history, to learners whose first language is not English.
A consonant sound in which the air flow is initially stopped, but then is released slowly with friction, e.g. /tʃ/.
The morphological process of adding a bound morpheme to the stem of a word, either at the end or at the beginning. This modifies the word's meaning and/or changes its word class, e.g. adding ful to use or un to tidy.
diagnostic test
A type of test which is designed to show what language skills or knowledge a learner already has. It is often used by a teacher to find out how much a learner knows before beginning a language course.
A feature of connected speech when a sound changes to another sound because of a neighboring sound e.g. in ten boys /n/ followed by /b/ changes to /m/ as in /tembɔɪz/.
A word which is opposite in meaning to another one, for example adjectives such as big-small or verbs such as arrive-leave.
norm-referenced test
A test which compares test takers to each other rather than against external criteria.
process writing
A procedure in which students create a text by planning, drafting, revising, editing and then publishing or sharing it with others.
auxiliary verbs
Verbs which are used to support another verb in a sentence and have a grammatical function such as showing tense, aspect, person, voice and mood e.g. be, do, have, will, may, can.
discourse fillers
Language used by speakers to avoid frequent, long or silent pauses, to hold the floor, gain thinking time etc. e.g. er, um, well, you know.
intransitive verb
A verb which does not take an object (e.g. He runs every day.)
The omission in speaking or writing of individual words, or parts of a sentence, which are not needed to convey the meaning. For example, it can be used to avoid repetition (e.g. 'Got a pen?' 'Yes, I have.').
A word which has the same pronunciation as another word but a different spelling and meaning (e.g. see and sea).
A consonant sound where the flow of air is partially constricted and released slowly (e.g. / ʃ/, /v/, /s/, /z/).
The verbal signals given by the listener to indicate interest, attention, surprise etc. (e.g. 'really', 'uh-huh', 'yeah')
The theory that viewed learning as a matter of habit formation, where habits are formed when the learner's responses to external stimuli are positively reinforced (e.g. in language learning: pattern drills with positive feedback from the teacher to correct answers).
Skinner. Language is acquired behaviour. Imitation, repetition, positive & negative reinforcement.
Refers to theories about the nature of language and language learning which are the source of the way things are done in the classroom and which provide reasons for doing them. Describes how peaceful acquire knowledge of the language and makes statements about the conditions which will promote successful language learning.
A way of approaching or doing a particular activity. A system for the teaching of a language that is based on a particular theory of language or on a particular theory of learning, or both. These theories will underpin choices of syllabus type, materials and classroom activities.
A general word to describe classroom practices, such classroom management, irrespective of the particular method that a teacher is using.
An ordered sequence of techniques
A common technique when using video is called silent viewing. Silent viewing is a single activity rather than a sequence, and such is a technique rather than a whole procedure.
A single task, exercise or game for students to work on, usually set by teacher.
Words which have the same or very similar forms and meaning in two languages. For example, a German verb finden and an English verb find, German noun die Name and English name, German das Land and English land.
deductive learning
When a rule or generalization is first presented to the
learners, and then they go on to apply it in practice activities. E.g. T: The past tense of regular verbs is formed by adding -ed to the base form of the verb, so, walk - walked, start - started, climb - climbed. OK, can you turn these verbs into the past? Clean?
S: cleaned
T: Good. Work? etc.
inductive learning
Where the learners themselves generalize the rule from
examples, before practicing it. E.g. 1. I have been here since six o'clock.
2. Tom and Anna have been married for six years.
3. It hasn't rained since last September.4. I've been waiting for nearly an hour.
At various points, learners can be asked to formulate a rule. Or they can complete further examples in order to test their grasp of the rule.
Fidel charts
Eight-color coded charts that indicate possible spellings of each phoneme. Used to teach English in the Silent Way approach.
Cuisenaire rods
They are small wooden rods of different lengths and colours. They are used as a classroom resource to visually represent various areas of language. They are used in the Silent Way, a teaching methodology associated with humanism.
A piece of information like a word or phrase T gives to Ss to use in a drill.
Repetitive oral practice of a language item, whether a sound, a word, a phrase or a sentence structure.
imitation drill
simply involves repeating the prompt, as in:
Teacher: They have been watching TV.
Student: They have been watching TV.
substitution drill
Requires the students to substitute one element of the pattern with the prompt, making any necessary adjustments:
Teacher: They have been watching TV
Student: They have been watchingTY.
Teacher: She
Student: She has been watching TV
Teacher: I
Student: I have been watching TV.
variable substitution drill
Requires the students to substitute one element of the pattern with the prompt, making any necessary adjustments, but the prompts are not restricted to one
element of the pattern:
Teacher: They have been watching TV
Student: They have been watching TV
Teacher: She
Student: She has been watching TV
Teacher: radio
Student: She has been listening to the radio.
Teacher: We
Student: We have been listening to the radio.
discrete-point test
Test that tests individual components in isolation
chain drill
Begin by a teacher or learner asking a question, another answers and asks the next questions, in a chain fashion until all learners have practiced the language
cognitive psychology
The scientific study of all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating.
visual aids
Any observable resources used to enhance, explain, or supplement the presenter's message.
A text type distinguished by specific features. E.g. formal letters, anecdotes, emails.
stative verb
A verb which is used to describe a condition/state/belief/emotion/possession/sense. E.g. I know it's true. I have a house.
proficiency test
A test taken to assess candidates' language ability regardless of any course of study. E.g. IELTS, FCE, CAE etc.
The smallest meaningful unit of words/ grammar - analagous to the phoneme in phonology. "disinterested" as a word consists of 3 morphemes. "interest" as the "root": "dis-" as a meaningful prefix and "-ed" as a suffix, giving grammatical information ("part of speech"). ";interest" is a "free morpheme" - it exists on its own; it is "free-standing". "dis-" and "-ed" are "bound morphemes"; they do not function as independent words. They can only serve to give extra, defining information about a "free morpheme".
A permitted variation in a phoneme of the language, usually determined by surroundings. Thus the sound that is normally spelt sh, and which is represented by the phonemic symbol [ ʃ] , is produced differently at the beginning of the word shoe than it is at the beginning of the word she. In shoe the lips are rounded whereas in she they are spread. However, saying she with the rounded lips of shoe, or vice versa, does not alter a listener's perception of the difference in meaning between the two words.
The smallest meaningful unit of sound in a language traditionally identified as consonants or vowels. /p/ and /b/ are phonemes in English, the biggest difference between them is the aspiration after /p/.
Describes any sound made by closing both lips and releasing air, by some means or other. /p/ & /b/ are bilabial plosives - air released from behind the lips. /m/ is a bilabial nasal sound, air passing through the nose.
Describes a sound made by putting the tip of the tongue on or near the alveolar ridge - the bit of the roof of the mouth behind the teeth. /s/ /z/ /t/ /d/ /n/ are all made in this way in English.
Describes a sound made by putting the (lower) lip near or on the top teeth. /f/ and /v/ are made in this way in English.
Describes a sound made by putting the middle part of the tongue on or near the front part of the hard palate - the roof of the mouth. shhh and the zh sound in pleasure are made this way.
Describes a sound made by putting the centre section of the tongue on or near the middle of the hard palate - the roof of the mouth. /j/ as in "year" is the only sound traditionally dealt with in this way in English.
Describes a sound made by putting the back part of the tongue on or near the soft palate towards the back of the mouth. /k/ and /g/ are made in this way as is the final consonant in "sing"
Describes a sound made by putting the tip of the tongue behind or near the top teeth. The consonants at the beginning of "think" and "this" are the only two such sounds in English. Some teachers like to teach them as inter-dental, that is made between the teeth. This is not accurate, but can be helpful for teaching purposes.
Describes a sound made by releasing air through the nose, maintaining a complete closure elsewhere in the mouth. /m/ is a bilabial nasal, /n/ an alveolar nasal and the sound at the end of "sing" is a velar nasal.
Describes a consonant sound made by forming a complete closure of the vocal tract and releasing air (voiced or voiceless) suddenly. /p/ /b/ /t/ /d/ /k/ /g/ are the plosives of English. "Stop" consonant is an alternative term.
A word which is spelt the same way as another, but typically pronounced differently. The different meanings here of "row": "a row of houses" "a row between husband and wife" are examples.
A term seldom used in the literature as there is no clearly established precedent for its meaning. If it is to be used to contrast with homophones and homographs then it should refer to two different words with the same spelling AND the same pronunciation. One example would be "bear" (the animal) and "bear" (the ver.)
A word representing a specific type of something. "Bungalow" is a ______ of "house". There are many other types of house. "House" itself is a _____ of "building". The more general term is referred to as a "superordinate".
The abstract term for one thing being an example of a more general thing. "Car" is a hyponym of "vehicle." "Vehicle" is the superordinate term.
A phenomenon where words "point" to other individual words or phrases - or whole paragraphs even.
A: Where's my towel?
B: I hung it on the line.
The pronoun 'it' refers back to 'my towel'.
anaphoric reference
A device which refers to something which has been mentioned before in the text. E.g. I live in a large flat in Istanbul. It is very beautiful.
cataphoric reference
Referring forwards to a portion of a text which has not previously been mentioned. It's brilliant, this song.
exophoric reference
Direct reference to the non-linguistic context. They refer to other "world knowledge" and are not found in the text. The use of the definite article 'the', in 'I hung it on the line'. The referent is in the shared world of speaker and addressee.(Compare it to 'I hung it on a line', which has no such shared referent).
endophoric reference
A phenomenon where words refer to other items in the same text. E.g. I like your dress. It's beautiful.
The disappearance of an expected sound in (rapid) spoken language. Most commonly /t/ or /d/ when sandwiched between two other consonants Examples: "He must make a lot of money" sounds like "he muss make ..." "my old girlfriends" sounds like "my ole girfriends"
The effect produced by a word-final consonant being more vigorously articulated than usual under the influence of a following vowel, and thus appearing to be at the beginning of the following word. examples: "at all" may sound like "a tall" "in anger" may sound like "Inn Nanger" "last entry" may sound like "Lars Tentry"
When two vowels appear alongside each other in (rapid) spoken English there is often an additional consonant sound created. Typically /j/ or /w/; in some varieties of English an extra /r/. Examples: "high alititude" may sound like "high yalltitude" "low interest" may sound like "lo winterest" "four aces" may sound like "four races".
linking words/devices
Commonly used terms in the classroom to refer to discourse markers - more formally specific types of conjunctions and/ or adverbials used to signpost a writer's intentions and attitude and to establish logical relations and sequences. Words and phrases like "eventually", "such as", "however" are sometimes classified in this manner.
lexical set
A group of words which belong to the same category, such as apple, kiwi, banana, pineapple.
word family
A group of words that share the same root. "Politics", "politician", "(a)political", "politicise/ politicize" all belong to one "family".
compound adjective
An adjective made up of two or more elements. These will typically be adverb + adjective (fully formed, well-rounded) or noun + adjective (weather-beaten, shop-soiled.)
compound noun
A noun made up of one or more words, with the final element ALWAYS being a noun. To be a ____ the idea ("referent") should be a single item. Often the two words will be hyphenated, sometimes they will be written as one word.
The attitudinal meaning of a word, which may be culturally determined, such as whether it carries a positive or negative meaning. E.g. kid, bloke.
Dictionary meaning of a word. It's core meaning.
Describes a "wrong" answer in a multiple-choice (M/C) test (or activity). A good M/C test or activity will have ??? which are as plausible as each other and as the correct response.
multiple-choice test
A test in which a response is required purely receptively: by choosing one (or more) item(s) from a list of given possibilities. Although this form of testing has been popular in various places at various times, there are serious problems with it. Reliability and practicality are key issues here.
A concept used in language testing to cover the various forms of relevance of the substance of the test to the person taking the test and/or the people administering the test.
A concept used in language testing, amongst other areas, to refer to the ease (or difficulty) of producing, administering and marking a test.
Refers to the extent to which the same score could be expected from a given candidate taking the same test on different occasions. This might be due to the circumstances in which the test was administered, the relevant qualities of the test (e.g. rubric) and also the subjective or objective nature of the test itself. If subjective marking is involved, scorer _____ is also an issue.
The effect that the format of a test or exam has on the teaching that precedes it. Negative ____/ ___ is associated primarily with "teaching the exam" i.e. doing practice tests instead of useful learning activities.
The study of how speech sounds are produced, used and distinguished in a specific language.
The study of speech sounds and sound production in general.
The greater emphasis of some syllable sor words over others during speech.
A vocal sound made without the audible stopping of breath. E.g. /u/, /a/, /o/, /i/, /e/.
A conventional speech sound made by certain movements of the articulatory muscles that alter, interrupt, or obstruct the expired airstream; defined according to manner of production, place of articulation, and voicing. E.g. /p/, /b/, /v/, /k/.
The regular repetition of stress in time.
sound system
The different phonemes that make up a language's phonology.
The rise and fall of the voice when speaking.
A unit of pronunciation that is typically larger than a sound but smaller than a word. Syllables consist of vowel sounds (V) or combinations of vowels and consonants (C). In English, the different possibilities include V, as
in I; CV, as in go; CVC, as in got, as well as combinations that start or finish with consonant clusters: CCCV (stray) , VCC (eats) , etc. Some consonants - notably /n/ and /l/ - can form syllables on their own, as in the last syllables of
'button' and 'little', and are called syllabic consonants.
A language-teaching method that was developed by James Asher in the early 1970s. Like the natural approach, it is a
comprehension approach, based on the belief that learners need only understand input, and should not be required to speak until they are ready to (-+ silent period). TPR is modelled on the way that young children receive
comprehensible input in their first language. Learners are exposed to input in the form of commands that require a physical response, such as Stand up, turn around, pick up the orange, hand it to me, etc. Hence, teaching sequences consist of a series of such commands that learners first see being demonstrated, and then act out themselves.
tonic syllable
The last prominent syllable in the tone unit where the tone change begins.
The syllable in a tone unit / utterance / sentence which carries the main stress / is the start of the main pitch / intonation movement. E.g. live in /Lon/don.
compound words
Words created by combining two or more words either written as one word, or hyphenated or as separate words. E.g. washing machine, website, mother-in-law.
bound morpheme
A morpheme that can't stand alone. E.g. ing (smoking), ful (beautiful), ex (ex-boyfriend)
Describes the rules for sequencing words so as to show their relationships of meaning within sentences. For example, in English the rules of ____ permit the placing of two nouns together, so that one modifies the other: orange juice, bus stop, table tennis.
The study of of words, their internal structure and the changes they undergo when altered to form new words (word formation - lexical morphology) or when they hav edifferent roles within a sentence (grammatical inflection - inflectional morphology).
The process which involves dividing up sentences into their constituent parts, and identifying each part.
A word sequence (usually a phrase or a clause) whose meaning is not literal, ie, it cannot easily be worked out from its individual words. E.g. in the long run, red herring, as a rule of thumb.
coordinating conjunction
Members of a word class whose function is to join together words, phrases, clauses and sentences of equal rank. E.g. and.
The cat will mew, and dog will have his day.
O, banish me my lord, but kill me not.
And so he goes to heaven, and so am I revenged.
subordinating conjunction
Members of a word class whose function is to join a subordinate clause to a main clause. E.g. if, because and when. Because I love you, I will let you know.
modal auxiliary verb
Auxiliary verb which expresses the mood or the attitude and modifies the meaning of the main verb in the sentence e.g. must, can, could, will, would, may, might, shall, should. There are 9 pure modal verbs, they do not conjugate like normal verbs & they express functions such as possibility, ability, prediction & obligation. They can have extrinsic (likelihood) and intrinsic (obligation, ability) meaning and each modal verb can express both meanings.
Direct Method
A language-teaching method the mains characteristics of which are: only TL must be used in the classroom, no translation is allowed, grammar is taught inductively, form and meaning are established using realia, pictures, demonstrations; T>Ss and S<>S interaction patterns, questions/answers (full answers are important), topic/situation based syllabuses, Ss self-correct themselves, speaking is the most important but all four skills are developed. For example:
T: Stand. I'm standing next to the door. Am I standing next to the door?
S: Yes, you are standing next to the door.
T: Where am I standing?
S: You are standing next to the door.
progress test/formative assessment
A form of assessment administered periodically during a course to monitor the learning process. These are set because they encourage revision.
principled eclecticism
An approach which encourages teachers to pick and choose judiciously from a wide range of methodologies depending on learner needs and styles. E.g. use both deductive and inductive approaches to teaching grammar. Intersperse pattern practice drills with communicative activities.
If you notice a feature of the language that you are exposed to, it attracts your attention and you make a mental note of it. For example, a learner might notice (without necessarily understanding) the sign 'Mind the gap', repeated several times on a railway station platform. That same day, the learner hears the teacher say 'would you mind' in the context of making a request in class. A day or two later, the
same learner hears someone else say 'I don't mind'. Each successive 'noticing' both primes the learner to notice new occurrences of mind, and at the same time contributes to a growing understanding of the use and meaning of mind.
The term used to describe the grammatical system that a learner creates in the course of learning another language. It is neither their first language system, nor the target language system, but occupies a transitional point between
the two. Lower level Ss saying 'I want to go to a magazine' instead of a shop.
adjacency pairs
A sequence of two related utterances by different speakers, the second being dependent on the first. E.g. Compliment - thanks/downgrading: This cake is wonderful!/Thanks. But it's really simple to make.
This is part of sentence stress and it shows what the speaker feels important in a sentence by making it longer, higher or louder. It can take into consideration shared knowledge between the speaker and the listener.
construct validity
Do the tests and questions allow you to measure what you seek to measure? i.e. are the instructions simple enough to understand completely. If a St doesn't understand the instructions, then they cannot complete the test to their best abilities. A lot of overlap between content/construct validity.
illocutionary force
The intended, context-defined and culture sensitive meaning of an utterance. (e.g. when a speaker informs us that "there's someone at the door" but really they mean "answer the door please").
The way language "points to" spatial, temporal, and personal features of the context. e.g.: YOU have been HERE for three weeks NOW.
guided discovery
A language teaching approach whereby students work out rules and patterns on the basis of a number of samples given. They may be provided with a set of questions aimed at directing them towards the meaning and form of the
target language
stress-timed language
Stressed syllables tend to recur at different intervals, and the intervening syllables are accommodated. E.g. English
affective filter
Stephen Krashen hypothesized the existence of what he
called the ______ which acts to control the amount and quality of input learners receive. Learners with a low _______are emotionally well-disposed to processing input, but those whose _____ is set high, because of stress, anxiety, or negative attitudes, will not process the input so effectively, and this will slow down or even block their rate of acquisition.
The way that knowledge about a topic or a concept is represented and organized in the mind. It helps us make sense of experience, and hence they are crucial in comprehension. For example, the sentence 'At check-in they told me my flight had boarded' will not make much sense to anyone who does not have an 'air travel schema'.
The term is used metaphorically to describe the temporary
interactional support that is given to learners while their language system is 'under construction'.
Lingua Franca
A language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different. E.g. English as international language.
When other people can understand what you are saying. In the teaching of pronunciation, it is generally accepted that ____________ should be the standard to aim for. This is partly realistic: few adult learners of a second language will achieve native-like pronunciation in that language. One of the factors that affect intelligibility is the speaker's accent.
A system of communication through the use of speech, a collection of sounds understood by a group of people to have the same meaning.
The way that language - either spoken or written - is used for communicative effect in real-world situation.
discourse analysis
The study of how stretches of language (spoken or written) achieve both cohesion and coherence.
A technical term for the vocabulary of a language, as opposed to its grammar.
The way the speaker's 'view' of an event is expressed by the verb phrase, regardless of the time of the event itself. It concerned with the internal nature of the event, eg, whether it has duration or not, whether it is completed or not, whether it is repetitive or not, or whether it is connected to the time of speaking (speech time) or not.
The smallest language item that can occur on its own.
Words that frequently occur together. Can be grammatical (collocate with specific prepositions: "account for") or lexical: "narrow escape."
fixed expression
Chunks of language whose constituent parts never change, e.g. Let's face it, Same again, please or Merry Christmas
semi-fixed expression
Lexical chunks which have at least one slot into which a number of different words or phrases can be inserted.
"Could you please pass the salt?"
"Could you please pass the butter?"
"Could you please pass the bread?"
"Could you please pass the ketchup?"
A usually deliberate choice of a particular way of saying or writing something. There is often more than one way of conveying the same message. The choice is determined by 1) specific contextual factors; 2) a particular effect the person wants to achieve. Ranges from formal to informal. These choices affect both grammar and vocabulary. Can include literary, old-fashioned, humorous and medical. If these are related to particular fields, they're called registers.
The way in which language use varies depending on context. The forms we select differ depending on cultural, social and contextual factors.
communicative competence
First proposed by Dell Hymes, what you know in order to be able to communicate effectively. It is made up of linguistic competence, discourse competence, sociolinguistic competence and strategic competence.
linguistic competence
Grammar, lexis and phonology.
discourse competence
How we organise texts and conversations and make them hang together.
sociolinguistic competence
How we use language in different contexts/its appropriacy.
strategic competence
Communication strategies such as asking for help, paraphrasing, avoidance.
The Lexical Approach
An approach to language teaching that has chosen vocabulary (including collocations and formulaic language/chunks) as the main focus for syllabus design and classroom teaching. Emerged out of development of corpus linguistics, especially with frequency and collocations. Michael Lewis argues that language consists of grammaticalized lexis, not lexicalized grammar. Jane and Dave Willis worked on the assumption that the most frequent words in any language express its most frequent meanings. In their view, words are really 'small grammar' and grammar is 'big words.' Willis' favored TBL; Lewis argues for a more analytic, text-based approach.
The set of instructions (usually written) that tells students what they have to do for a test or an exercise.
prescriptive grammar
States rules for what is considered the best or most correct usage. They are often based not on descriptions of actual usage but rather on the grammarian's view of what is best. E.g. Don't say 'less than 10 items', say 'fewer than 10 items'; Never begin a sentence with 'and'; Don't say 'Hopefully, she passed the exam', say 'I hope she passed the exam'; etc.
descriptive grammar
Describes how a language is actually spoken/written and does not state or prescribe how it ought to be spoken or written. Describes, in a systematic way, the rules that govern how words arc combined and sequenced in order to form semences in a given language. E.g. Love my is like a rose red, red (ill-formed). My love is like a red, red
rose (well-formed).
pedagogic grammar
A kind of descriptive grammar designed for teaching
and learning purposes. It focuses on grammar as a subsystem of overall language proficiency, as distinct from vocabulary, phonology or discourse.
Questions designed to check learners' understanding of a language item.
The Listening Approach
A listening-based application of the ideas of Krashen to the classroom.
An approach in which learners do a task, using such language as they can naturally, possibly having previously seen or heard the task performed by native speakers. Language can be focussed on, before or after, though this is not always felt to be essential.
The Silent Way
A method of EFL teaching which makes use of gesture, mime, visual aids and in particular Cuisenaire Rods that the teacher uses to help the learners to talk.
It uses techniques developed in group counselling. The method makes use of group learning. Learners say in their native language things they want to talk about, the teacher translates the learner‟s sentences into the foreign language, and the learner then repeats this to other members of the group.
A method of FL teaching developed by the Bulgarian, Lozanov. It makes use of dialogues, situations, and translation to present and practise language, and in particular, makes use of music.
The Communicative Approach
Teaching materials used with this approach teach the language needed to express and understand different kinds of functions, such as requesting, describing etc. Emphasis is on the processes of communication.
The Natural Approach
A term for an approach proposed by Terrell which emphasizes: the informal acquisition of language rules, tolerance of learners' errors, natural communication.
Humanistic Approaches
Methods in which the following principles are considered important: the development of human values, active learner involvement in learning and in the way learning takes place.
Universal Grammar
The theory which claims that every speaker of a language knows a set of principles which apply to
all languages and also a set of parameters that can vary from one language to another, but only
within set limits
innatist theory of LA
Chomsky. Language is innate. Hypothesising, trial and error, creativity.
cognitive-developmentalist theory of LA
Piaget, Vygotsky. Language is innate but not separate from other mental developments. LA grows from language use. Embedded in the experiences of its users.
Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis
Acquisition is rough-tuned and unconscious, and used to communicate messages. It is not consciously attended to. Learning, however, is very fine-tuned and refers to a learner‟s knowledge of rules and their ability to talk abut them. The Natural Approach values the former.
Natural Order Hypothesis
This states that there is an order in which structures are acquired by learners, irrespective of L1, aptitude or age (learners learn -ing as a progressive form, then plurals, then to be and so on) which is at odds with the order of language presented in coursebooks.
Monitor Hypothesis
Sometimes when we communicate spontaneously in L2, we want to get our message across and accuracy is sacrificed. At other times, we may wish to be much more accurate (writing a formal letter, for example). In the latter case, we employ our Monitor ( a kind of accuracy-focus device) to scrutinise our output and make it is accurate as possible.
Input Hypothesis
This does not necessarily mean everything is comprehended, but the learner should be constantly exposed to reading and listening and this is most beneficial if it is a notch or two above the learner‟s „level‟.
Affective Filter Hypothesis
The student will learn better if s/he feels well disposed to the language and to the learning process. In such cases his Affective Filter is low, and so more input can wash over him. If the filter is high (negative attitude to the language, stress, linguistic difficulties), the filter will be high and so little - if any - input will be attended to.
silent period
The lengthy period of time children learning their first language go through when they simply listen before they venture their first words. Some researchers have argued that this is a necessary stage in language acquisition. It provides and opportunity to comprehend input. Methods based on this are TPR and the natural approach. Some evidence suggests that learners use this period to engage in private speech (a kind of silent or sub-vocablized rehearsal phase).
strong CLT
An emphasis on deep-end communication. You learn language by using it. Led to task-based learning.
weak CLT
An emphasis on shallow-end communication. You learn language and then you use it. Learn the language systems first and then put them to communicative use.
This is the communicative purpose or use of an utterance, which may be at odds with its form. For example, the function of Would you mind...? In Would you mind lending me £20? and Would you mind turning the noise down? Is very different; in the first, the function is that of requesting, in the second, commanding, or compelling.
A theory about the way the mind processes experience and language. Concerned with the brain, language and learning. Shares with the theory of multiple intelligences the view that the mind is predisposed to process experience in different ways/modalities. Learners have preferred thinking styles, or metaprograms. Many of its ways of establishing rapport are already well-established in literature on affect and in humanistic approaches.
grammatical cohesion
It is concerned with the ways in which clauses and sentences are linked by grammatical connections such as reference, substitution, and ellipsis.
The replacing of a noun phrase or a clause by a single word in order to avoid repetition or to make
a text more cohesive. E.g. I need a pen. Have you got one?
lexical cohesion
E.g. The audience were very appreciative. The crowd gave the orchestra a standing ovation at the end of the concert.
In the second sentence 'the crowd' is used as a substitute for 'the audience.' They are partial synonyms (people watching an event) and are used to avoid repetition.
E.g. Pasta is one of the most famous Italian foods. In fact, most Italians eat pasta three or four times a week.
Key words may be repeated throughout the text, especially when we want to emphasise something.
consistency of register
E.g. The patient presented with a ruptured spleen.
This is medical register. If the text continued: 'He has a consistent bellyache,' we would find the use of 'bellyache' inconsistent with this register and the result would not be cohesive.
Phrases or sentences of a similar construction/meaning placed side by side, balancing each other, to aid grammatical cohesion. E.g. They are rich. They are famous. They are young. They are Hollywood's new stars.
The first three sentences use the pattern they + are + adjective, a grammatical and rhythmical pattern, to create interest in the reader's mind as to who these people are.
Inaccuracy in speech or writing due to lack of knowledge of the language item needed.
An activity used to measure reading comprehension in which words are removed from a reading passage at regular intervals - eg every 7th word, or every 9th word. The reader then has to replace the words.
topic sentence
A sentence (often the initial sentence) in a text or paragraph which introduces and/or summarises the main idea or argument of the text/paragraph.
learning style
The typical approach (including methods, activities, procedures etc) which an individual tends to favour / find most useful in order to acquire information or skills.
Eg : Someone with a theorist learning style (Honey and Mumford) like to see clear rules and explanations for what s/he is learning
A continuous piece of spoken or written language, especially one with a recognizable beginning and ending.
The capacity of a text to make sense.
topic/theme of a sentence
The 'launch pad' of of the message and is typically - but not always - realized by a noun phrase. E.g. The genes (topic/given information) carry all information needed to make a new plant or animal.
It is what the writer or speaker considers newsworthy about the topic: what you as reader or listener need to pay attention to. E.g. The genes (carry all information needed to make a new plant or animal).
The tendency to place new information in the latter part of a clause or sentence.
There are the key words, such as way, problem, answer, situation, process that can either encapsulate what has gone before or set up expectations as what is to come. E.g. Each parent passes on certain characteristics to its offspring. This (process) is called heredity.
cleft sentences
A structure used to help us focus on a particular part of the sentence and to emphasise what we want to say by introducing it or building up to it with a kind of relative clause. E.g. The thing that impresses me more than anything else is your generosity.
The ways in which we expect things to happen. E.g. catching a bus in London used to follow this sequence: 1) wait at stop 2) board bus 3) sit down 4) pay conductor when he or she approaches. Nowadays, the London bus script goes like this: 1) wait a stop 2) board bus 3) pay driver 4) sit down.
vague language
The language very common in speaking. We often add words and phrases such as about, kind of, sort of, and that kind of thing to make what we say less factual and direct: it's kind of cold in here. We generally use this language when we don't know the name of something, or to make things sound less factual, or to talk about groups and categories.
1. appraisal language
2. vague language
3. filled pause
4. discourse marker (appealing to shared knowledge)
5. false start
6. linker
7. ellipsis (omission of elements)
8. non-standard form
9. clarification request
10. response (9 and 10 form an adjacency pair)
11. incomplete utterance
12. response (second part of adjacency pair)
13. discourse marker (hedging)
<Speaker 1> That eggplant is gorgeous! (1)
<Speaker 2> I did it sort of (2) um (3) you know (4) you drain it for a long time then you (5) I rinsed it then (6) I dried it then I fried it
<Speaker 1> (7) Must have took (8) forever
<Speaker 2> then I sprinkled lemon juice on it put it in the fridge.
<Speaker 3>The eggplant? (9)
<Speaker 2> Delicious. Yeah. (10)
<Speaker 4> Did you put salt on it first? To draw the (11)
<Speaker 2>No (12) I didn't actually (13) It doesn't seem to have made any difference.
transactional talk
Talk whose purpose is to achieve the exchange of goods or information.
A branch of linguistics concerned with the use of language in social contexts and the ways in which people produce and comprehend meanings through language.
semantic meaning
Literal meaning of the word/utterance.
pragmatic meaning
Meaning of the word/phrase/utterance in context.
phatic language
The language used to share feelings or establish a mood of sociability rather than to communicate information or ideas. E.g. How are you? How ya doin'? Have a nice day!
A term for the manner in which orderly conversation normally takes place.
The WHAT of the situation. What kind of social activity is going on and about what sort of topic.
The WHO of the situation. The participants and their relationships.
The HOW of the situation. The means by which the text is being created. E.g. email, face-to-face talk, broadcast talk.
genre-based approach to writing
An approach that is similar to a product approach. Starts with a model text (authentic) that is subjected to analysis and replication. These are closely associated with their contexts of use, and they are analyzed in functional terms as much as in linguistic ones. Has been particularly influential in the teaching of academic writing.
jigsaw reading
An information gap exercise. Learners hear or read different parts of a text, then exchange information with others in order to complete a task.
a method of rapidly moving your eyes over text with the purpose of getting only the main ideas and general overview of the content.
Reading strategy when you look only for a specific fact or piece of information without reading everything.
A word that imitates the sound it represents. E.g. woof, whack, moo.
discourse markers
In spoken language, language items used to either indicate some kind of change of direction in the discourse (e.g. anyway, actually, well), or to appeal to the listener in some way (e.g. Yukon? Right?).
A roundabout, indirect, or lengthy way of expressing something; periphrasis. The use of more words than necessary to express an idea. E.g. It's the thing you use to connect the video and the TV.
alveolar plosive
A consonant sound made by a sudden release of air from between the tongue and the alveolar / tooth ridge. E.g. /t/, /d/.
Selecting techniques for classroom use from a range of different methods. E.g. pattern practice drills in a TBL lesson.
information gap activity
A classroom activity in which learners have different information and need to exchange the information / communicate in order to complete an activity. E.g. jigsaw reading, describing different pictures to each other.
A class of word used before a noun or noun phrase to indicate quantity, identity or significance (e.g. 'a', 'the', 'some').
top-down processing
Using either pre-existing knowledge of discourse or topic/culture/social norms to understand (reading/listening) texts. E.g. when reading a text about New York, the reader creates a mental picture/brainstorms/thinks of related ideas before reading the text e.g. yellow cabs, The Statue of Liberty, crowds of people /any valid example
bottom-up processing
The reader is decoding the language itself.
de-lexicalised verb
A verb with little or no (dictionary) meaning on its own / must combine with a noun or adjective to have meaning. E.g. Take (your time) / get (married) / make (friends) / go (mad) / have (fun) / do (the housework) /give (money) / keep (a pet) / look (sad) / put (on a coat)
intrusive /w/
A linking sound /w/ that is inserted between a word which ends in a vowel sound and a following one which begins with a vowel sound. E.g. in the phrase go out /gəʊwaʊt/
notional syllabus
A syllabus organised around (abstract) concepts/meanings/ideas AND the exponents used to
express them. E.g. headings in this syllabus would be: duration; location; degree; direction; the past; age; ability;
possibility; permission; degree / any appropriate example
Avoiding directness in communication in an attempt to lessen a negative effect. E.g. The party was somewhat spoiled by the return of the parents. (adverb)
verb phrase
In traditional grammar, the auxiliary and main verbs in a sentence that function together as in have been studying English in "I have been studying English for 10
Groupings of words which function like parts of speech. There are 5 types of in English, one for each of the five word classes: noun, verb, adjective, adverb and preposition. E.g. I('ll have finished) it by five o'clock
progressive aspect
It refers to events 'in progress'. Under this umbrella definition, it can at times refer to actions or situations which are temporary, incomplete or of limited duration.
extrinsic modality
Refers to the speaker's/writer's view of how likely the
situation is.
intrinsic modality
Refers to a range of meanings to do with how necessary
or desirable the speaker/writer views the situation.
the extent to which a learner's use of a second language conforms to the rules of the language. This is usually measured in terms of grammatical accuracy. For example, What means this? or I no understand are inaccurate according to standard usage
The ability to speak the language idiomatically and
accurately, without undue pausing, without an intrusive accent, and in a manner appropriate to the context.
zero conditional
If + present simple, present simple. Often used to describe scientific facts.
When we put something on the end of the root of the verb eg third person 's' or 'ed' ending in past simple.
verb function
The actual use of a verb in context eg asking for permission or apologising.
A grammatical term used for the imperative, infinitive and subjective forms of the verb.
It normally follows a verb phrase (often the verb to be, seem or appear) and can be an adjective (eg I'm happy), a noun phrase (eg That was a lovely meal), a pronoun (eg Is this yours?), a number (eg She'll be 50 next month). It can also follow the object of the sentence (eg Walking makes me hungry).
semi modal verb
In addition to the core modals, there are a number of other verbs which combine with other verbs to express modal meaning. They behave in similar ways to core modal verbs but share some characteristics with lexical verbs and are known as _____. Grammarians do not all agree which verbs qualify as semi-modal but some of the main ones are need (to), have (got) to and ought to.
speech act
Each individual "move" in a conversation.
transaction marker
A feature that indicates a shift in topic or conversational focus. E.g. Look,...
conversational repair
It is concerned with a speaker or listener attempting to correct or deal with problems that arise in the course of a conversation eg echoing or asking for clarification to show the listener has not understood something.
A persistent lack of change in interlanguage patterns, even after extended exposure to or instruction in the target language.
language focus
Focus (in the classroom) on particular features of language systems. E.g. the present perfect, the function of advising, the lexis of clothing.
comprehensible input
A term introduced by Stephen Krashen to refer to language which a learner can understand. The language may be comprehensible in this sense through the aid of clues such as gestures, situations, or prior information.
A term coined by the applied linguist Diane Larsen Freeman in order to capture the notion of grammar being more a skill than an inert body of knowledge. The process by which a sequence of words if fine-tuned in order to create a more complex message than mere words can express. Has also been used to describe the way the learner's mental grammar develops, over time, from a mainly lexical mode into a fuller mode (mirrors L1 acquisition).
A form of dictation whose aim is to highlight differences between a student's current linguistic level and that of the target language. It differs from a dictation in a number of respects: (a) it is not intended to test or focus on accuracy of spelling, morphology or syntax; (b) it is spoken at normal speed; (c) students (usually) work collaboratively together to reconstruct the text. The students' versions are then compared against the original and language work,
if desired, can be done.
Lewis. Observe: students observe language.
Hypothesise: students hypothesise, establishing generalisations, clarifying and deepening (their) perceptions. Experiment: students experiment with the language forms themselves.
Lesson design proposed by Jim Scrivener.
Authentic use: I can use all the language I have at my disposal. Activities such as communicative activities, discussions, conversations, or in skills other than speaking, reading newspapers, poems, notices, listening to radio or TV. Authentic stages of the lesson occur when students do things which we would do ourselves as native speakers.
Restricted language use: there is a deliberate limitation on the language that I use. I am using only part of what I know. Indeed I am being directed to use a particular item. Drills, exercises, elicited dialogues etc. Scrivener later revised his description of Restricted Use into R1 and R2, where R1 is more accuracy and form focussed, and R2 is freer, more meaning focussed practice.
Clarification and focus of language item: As if using a magnifying glass, I zoom in and look closely at some specific pieces of language. These pieces may be 'new' to me or they may be language that I already use (note that this is the language focus category). Rules, examples, reference information translation, error analysis etc.
Harmer. Engage: in this stage, the teacher arouses students' interest in the context, and attempts to reduce negative affective factors so that students are emotionally
engaged with what is going on in the classroom. In this way, their learning will be more effective. This may involve using a text which students read for meaning first.
Study: Here, students are focussing on a particular element of the language system. It may be something pre-planned by the teacher, or a reaction to something the teacher notices in class.
Activate: Here, students use all or some of the language at their disposal (which is why it covers both Practice and Production stages of the PPP paradigm), either to focus on the language point in question, or to carry out some
kind of communicative task.
A three-stage model of lesson design. In the first, language rules are provided for / elicited from students, then analysed. In the second stage, students are encouraged to focus on producing the language accurately, through practice exercises, and in the final stage, the students are encouraged to use the language more freely and in more natural settings.
situational presentation
A approach to presenting language which involves creating a natural context (situation) in which the target language naturally arises.
A lesson paradigm (=shape) which starts with the students' using the target language in some kind of exercise or task, while the teacher notices what kind of gaps exist in the students' linguistic knowledge. In the second phase, the teacher fills those gaps by focussing on language, and then finally students carry out another task or do another exercise using the language again, hopefully more accurately and fluently
Words that relate to parts of something - the body is the superordinate, the face is an hyponym, cheek, mouth, nose is a _____.
A phonological term referring to the joining of a consonant sound at the end of a word with a vowel sound at the beginning of the next. There is no noticeable pause between the two sounds. e.g.: "An apple" is pronounced /anapple/.
The smallest unit of human sound which is recognizable but not classified. E.g. [p], [i:], [t] all three of which are found in 'peat'.
consonant cluster
Two or more consonants spoken together without an intervening vowel E.g. spoon (sp), blue (bl), tree (tr).
Sounds which occupy an intermediary position between vowels and all other consonants. E.g. w, r, j.
An L-like consonant, in which the airstream proceeds along the sides of the tongue, but is blocked by the tongue from going through the middle of the mouth.
Consonants articulated with the glottis. E.g. h.
Single vowel sound.
A phoneme formed of two monophthong sounds joining together in a glide, e.g. /au/.
Description of the allowed combinations of phonemes in a particular language.
The name for the most common sound in English. It is a weak, unstressed sound and it occurs in many words.
Refers to properties of language such as pitch, loudness, tempo and rhythm.
syllable-timed language
More or less equal distribution of stress across all syllables of a word, that is they have no apparent stress pattern. E.g. French.
contrastive stress
Grammar words (also known as function words) such as auxiliary verbs, prepositions, pronouns etc are usually unstressed. However, any word can be stressed where the meaning requires it i.e. contrasting or correcting something a person has said or is likely to think. e.g. I got a taxi from the airport. Not to
the airport. He did it. Not she
Multiple meanings for the same word. E.g. bank (of the river), bank (institution).
A complete unit of talk, bounded by the speaker's silence.
The process by which a word gathers particular associations through repeated encounters.
dogme ELT
The name of a loose collective of teachers who challenge what they consider to be an over-reliance on materials, including published coursebooks, in current language teaching. Based on DOGME 95, a group of Danish filmmakers who vowed to make films using minimal means for maximum effect. Proponents say they are not so much anti-materials as they are pro-learner, and thus align themselves with other forms of learner-centered instruction and critical pedagogy.
The process of "squeezing together" the syllables that occur between stressed syllables, so that each segment of an utterance takes the same time to produce.
A word consisting of a single syllable.
authentic exposure
Exposure to language when it is being used fairly naturally.
authentic output
Ss speaking or writing using the full range of language at their disposal. Language used has not been restricted in any way.
A technique for helping students say a difficult sentence by breaking it into smaller parts and practising saying those pieces, slowly building up again to the complete sentence. E.g. 'n't you?' 'aren't you?' 'thirty, aren't you?' 'you're thirty, aren't you?'
blended learning
A course made up of both face-to-face and online contents.
Things that you hope will be achieved during a lesson or sequence of lessons.
can-do statement
Criteria concerning what a learner can successfully do with language in the real world, against which they can be assessed or self-assess themselves. E.g. I can ask for information about coach departure times at an enquiry desk.
communicative activity
A classroom activity in which learners need to talk or write to one another to complete the activity.
connected speech
Spoken language in which the words run together to form a continuous stream of sound.
Repetition of what student just said. This may be 'aware' echo, with a purpose (e.g.indicating that an error had been made), or 'unaware' echo (e.g. you are feeling the need to fill silences).
An item that is an example of a particular function. E.g. Could you make me a cup of tea, please? is an exponent of the function of 'making polite requests'.
extensive reading
Reading longer pieces of text without pausing and worrying too much about details, usually for pleasure.
false friend
Words that may look or sound the same in the target language and in the student's first language, but that have two different meanings.
Language used to describe language items (e.g.: present simple) or used in class to give instructions. It should always be as clear and concise as possible.
Recieved Pronunciation
Refers to an accent in English regarded by many people as a 'standard' accent. It has also been called 'the Queen's English' or 'BBC English'. In the past, RP had high status in the UK, indicating an educated speaker, and this transferred into EFL where it has been used as a model for pronunciation. With the emergence of international English, the recognition of the equality of a variety of accents, and the emphasis on authentic communication, learners now become aware of a wider range of accents.
world Englishes
Varieties of English spoken and written in many different countries around the world.
structural syllabus
A syllabus in which grammatical structures form the central organizing feature. A structural syllabus proceeds from simple grammatical structure to more complex grammatical structure. An example might be something like: Present progressive -> Comparatives -> Simple past -> Past progressive. The main faults of structural syllabuses is that they tend to ignore meaning and a lot of really useful language is neglected at the beginning because it is viewed as structurally too complex (If I were you, I would).
functional syllabus
Language programs with functions being the primary organizing feature. The course content is based on functions not grammatical structures. A typical unit might be Giving Advice. The content of the unit would include: I think you should...Why don't you...If I were you, I would...You'd better .
error analysis
This is the field of applied linguistics which collects and assesses learners' errors in order to analyse what learners get wrong, why, and what we need to do in classroom in order to minimise those errors.
global error
An error which interferes with the comprehensibility of an
pre-systemic error
errors which occur prior to the learner's being exposed to the language item in questions.
An erroneous form produced by a learner when tired, or not concentrating fully. They occur when students do know the rule they should apply, but fail to do so.
post-systemic error
An error which occurs after the student has been explicitly exposed to the rule.
Single morphemes that cannot be further subdivided (e.g. rain).
derived words
Roots with bound morphemes attached at the beginning or the end (e.g. deformed, de-form-ed).
multi-word units
Recurring fixed forms that consist of more than one word. It may look like a clause with a verb and object but the
meaning cannot be worked out by cutting it up and the form is fossilised to varying degrees.
lexical field
Items which belong to one topic area. They may be different parts of speech. For example, cut, saucepan, flour, onion and washing-up are all part of a __________ of "cooking".
passive knowledge
Language which students understand but are not able to produce.
incidental teaching
Learning which occurs inside the classroom but which was not planned by the teacher. In terms of lexis, this may occur, for example, when learners are reading a text and notice (and correctly hypothesise) about the meaning / use
and form of an item in the text which the teacher does not deal with formally.
TALO-text as a linguistic object
Involves using text for language input. E.g. Find and underline all the words related to crime.
TAVI-text as vehicle for information.
Focus on reading as skill. Aim to find information.
One part to represent whole. E.g. Head count.
The process or result of grouping a set of words on the basis of their similarity in entering into syntagmatic grammatical relations
Placing clauses one after another without words indicating coordination or subordination. Typical of spoken discourse. E.g. Tell me, how are you?
The subordination of one clause over another.
Unsure response. E.g. Maybe, will it take long?
Follow up to a negative response. E.g. Oh, I see.
Krashen and Terrell
The natural approach
The silent way
The callan method
Direct method