Glossary from L to P


Language Item: Part of the language such as an isolated word.
Language Skill: There are 4 language skills: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Skills are divided into:

  • Receptive skills (listening and reading) or Passive skills and
  • Communicative skills (speaking and writing) or Active skills.

Learning Strategies: The use of activities or tasks targeted at nurturing independent learning. Some of these strategies can be indirect or direct.
Learning Style: this goes hand in hand with learner type, level, and language learning experience (L2, L3 or more). This is the way each individual learner processes and takes on new information. Often VAK is mentioned here: Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic – which are to do directly with the activity type or memory type of each learner (seeing, hearing, or related to the body – doing, feeling or touching). I.e.: some learners are more visual than others.
Language Systems: Theses include grammar, phonology (incl. pronunciation), lexis (or vocabulary), syntax or language structure.
LEP: Limited English Proficiency. This is generally used to indicate the comprehension level of the bottom end of the CEFR. Assessments and tests determine this.
Lexeme (Lexical Item, Lexemic, Lexicon): A lexeme is a word or occasionally phrase in its most basic form. From this lexical item, there can be several derivations or inflected forms. A dictionary is a kind of lexicon.
Learner: A language student. Cf. Lesson on CEFR or Language and Levels.
Level: Cf. Lesson on CEFR or Language and Levels.
Lexis (Lexical): Lexis means the vocabulary of a language. Lexis and semantics are very close and often used interchangeably.
Linguistics: Study of the language through its systems: structure, semantics, phonetics…
Linking Word: A connector or connecting word, used to show the relation between clauses or entire paragraphs: however, therefore, notwithstanding
L.T.T.T.: Limit Teacher Talking Time.
L1: Mother Tongue or First Language.
L2: Second Language or Other Language that is not Mother Tongue.


Meta-language: A form of language or set of terms used for the description or analysis of another language.
Method: Manner in which EFL is taught – in this case.
Methodology: System of methods.
Mnemonics: Plural noun [usu. treated as sing.]: the study and development of systems for improving and assisting the memory.
Modal Verbs: Auxiliary verbs used in expressing necessity, possibility, obligation, permission… English modal verbs include: must, shall, will, should, can, could, may, and might.
Morphology: (Linguistics) The study of the forms of words.


Noun: A word (other than a pronoun) used to identify any of a class of people, places, or things (common noun), or to name a particular one of these (proper noun).
Number: A noun, a pronoun and a verb can either be in singular or plural. Singular: a chapter. Plural: chapters.


Observation: Peer observation or Teacher observation is used either in CPD – Continuous Professional Development – or in the context of an inspection for quality control. A peer observation can enable a peer to observe other approaches or a newcomer to observe first hand what to do or not to do in the classroom. A teacher observation serves in CPD to ensure all teachers are varying their strategies or simply adapting to new technologies or materials.
Ordinal Numbers or Ordinals: Numbers that show a position in a series: first, thirtieth…


Paraphrase: Express the meaning of (the writer or speaker or something written or spoken) using different words, esp. to achieve greater clarity: you can either quote or paraphrase literary texts.
Participle: A participle can be:

  • a present participle (also known as –ING form): watching, running…
  • a past participle: watched, shown

Passive Voice: This is when a sentence contains a subject which is receiving the action. This is the opposite of Active Voice. Passive Voice also means that you use the auxiliary “to be” followed by the past participle of the action verb of the Active Voice. The active subject (or subject of the Active Voice sentence) then becomes the agent in the passive voice. I.e.: I was told to leave by the manager. (Passive Voice).
Peer Tutoring: This is when a student is assigned as a “buddy” to tutor another student – occasionally. Generally this “buddy” is an English-speaker. This helps with certain classroom routines.
Phrasal Verb: A verb + preposition (or + adverb) collocation where the verb’s initial meaning is altered, giving this collocation a whole new meaning – or several meanings.
Preposition: A word governing, and usually preceding, a noun or pronoun and expressing a relation to another word or element in the clause, as in “the man on the platform,” “she arrived after dinner,” “what did you do it for?”
Prepositional Verb: A verb + preposition (or + adverb) collocation where the verb requires a preposition whether followed by an Object or not.
Pronoun: A word that can function by itself as a noun phrase and that refers either to the participants in the discourse (e.g., I, you) or to someone or something mentioned elsewhere in the discourse (e.g. she, it, this).

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