Glossary A to F


Accuracy: Level of precision of a learner – measured in an activity by the correctness in use (of grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, precision of the answer to a question…).
Active Voice: Cf. Lesson on Passive Voice.
Adjective: A word or phrase naming an attribute, added to or grammatically related to a noun to modify or describe it, i.e. pretty, small, green…
Adverb: A word or phrase that modifies or qualifies an adjective, verb, or other adverb or a word-group, expressing a relation of place, time, circumstance, manner, cause, degree, etc. (e.g. gently, quite, then, there…).
Approach: Method or manner of presenting, producing or practising an activity.
Article: An article can be definite (the) or indefinite (a, an) and is generally preceding a noun or word clause.
Auxiliary Verb: English verbs are limited as to what they can indicate alone, i.e. through their own morphology. Common auxiliary verbs are forms of “to be”, “to have” and “to do”. Modal verbs also belong to this verb category: will, shall, must…



Cardinal Number or Cardinals: Numbers that denote a quantity: one, twenty, a thousand…
Case: Role of a word or clause in a sentence: subject, object…
CEFR: Common European Framework of Reference.
Classroom Routine: Stages regularly followed by a teacher to establish a certain pattern for learners – through the repetition of certain tasks or activity type. This can boost student self-confidence and therefore interaction and participation in the classroom.
Clause (Clausal): A group of words that is either a whole sentence or is a part of a sentence. Clauses are built up from individual words or from small clusters of words called phrases. Most clauses are built around a main verb which tells, often, of an action, thought or state.
Cloze: A test in which one is asked to supply words that have been removed from a passage in order to measure one’s ability to comprehend text. This is also known as a “fill in the gaps” exercise. A process called Mutilation whereby words are removed from an initial text creates Clozes.
CLT: Communicative Language Teaching.
Cognate: (Linguistics) (of a word) Having the same linguistic derivation as another; from the same original word or root (e.g. English is, German ist, Latin est, from Indo-European esti).
Collocation: (Linguistics) The habitual juxtaposition of a particular word with another word or words with a frequency greater than chance: the words have a similar range of collocation. I.e. a pair or group of words that are juxtaposed in such a way: “strong coffee” and “heavy drinker” are typical English collocations.
Colloquial: Colloquial means conversational. It is the everyday language or register we adopt when talking to friends, for example. Slang is a particular form of colloquial language used by certain social groups.
Competence: Student ability to carry out a task.
Complement: A word, phrase or clause that follows a verb and which simply adds further information concerning, usually, the verb’s subject.
Conditional: Mode (Cf. Lesson on: Conditional Simple, Conditional Continuous, Conditional Perfect, Conditional Perfect Continuous). A mode can be conditional, indicative, imperative…
Conditional Clauses or If Clauses: cf. Lesson on Conditional zero, Conditional I, Conditional II, Conditional III.
Conjunction: A word to link words, phrases and clauses: but, or, either… There are several types of conjunctions: FANBOYS (cf. Video on Conjunctions):
Connotation / Denotation: The denotation of a word is its direct, literal or specific meaning. If a word also has implied or associated meanings when used in a certain way, these are called the word’s connotations.
Continuous or Progressive Tense: Containing an –ING form also known as Present Participle.
Cues: Can be verbal or non-verbal. They can be used to carry out a communication-based activity, error correction and much more. Non-verbal cues can include a slight raising of the hand, pulling a face…


Declension: The inflection of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives for categories like case and number – in a fixed order.
Definite: Cf. lesson on Articles or Determiners.
Demonstrative (Pronoun or Determiner/Adjective): Cf. Lesson on Demonstratives.
Determiner: A modifying word that determines the kind of reference a noun or noun group has, for example: a, the, every…
Direct Speech (or Quoted Speech): Cf. Video.


EFL: English as a Foreign Language.
ELT: English Language Teaching.
ESOL: English as a Second or Other Language.
Element: A distinct grammatical unit. It is a building block or segment of a sentence. There are three important grammatical elements: word, phrase, and clause.
Elicit (verb): To evoke or draw out (a response, answer, or fact) from someone in reaction to one’s own actions or questions.
Examples: They are used to illustrate a point presented in class.


Feedback: Can be either cognitive – where the teacher displays signs that he or she understands the learner (yes or no), or affective – where signs such as intonation, gestures or facial expressions are used to show interest in what is being said by the learner. Feedback can be positive or negative. When it is negative, the learner should raise his or her affective filter which can have 2 effects: the student is open to input or not. This can have effects on self-esteem, level of motivation and acquisition in general.
Flashcards: Prepared visual aids used in class to present or consolidate vocabulary – generally.
Fossilisation: When a student makes the same mistake over and over – especially when this error does not impede understanding.
Full Form or Complete Form: The opposite of Contracted Form where an apostrophe replaces certain levels in order to shorten the phrase or clause. Don’t is the contracted form of Do not…
Functional English: English elements regrouped more on their use than on their grammatical rule. I.e: We have regrouped the following phrases: In my opinion… If I were you… it is my belief… From where I stand…

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