During your online TEFL course, you’ll read and hear a lot of English teaching jargon! Here’s a list of some of the most common EFL (English as a Foreign Language) terms in alphabetical order, along with brief definitions to help you get ahead of the game:
acquisition: a synonym for learning, but is used when which Accuracy: the ability to produce accurate phrases/sentences (compare with fluency – where the aim is more on the speed and fluency of utterances rather than how accurate they are)
Authentic Material: Real-life materials, such as newspapers, magazines, or videos, used for language learning purposes.
CLT (Communicative Language Teaching): An approach to language teaching that emphasizes communication and interaction among learners.
Comprehensible Input: Language input that is understandable to learners, allowing them to acquire new language forms and structures.
EAP (English for Academic Purposes): Instruction and materials designed to develop English language skills required for academic settings.
ELF (English as a Lingua Franca): English is used as a common language of communication among speakers with different native languages.
ELL (English Language Learner): A student who is learning English as a non-native language.
Error Correction: The process of providing feedback on language errors made by learners, aiming to improve accuracy.
Fluency: The ability to speak or write in a language smoothly, accurately, and with ease.
Intensive Reading: Close reading of a text, focusing on comprehension and analysis of its content.
Lexical Chunks: Fixed and frequently used combinations of words, such as collocations and phrasal verbs.
Listening Comprehension: The ability to understand spoken language and extract meaning from audio sources.
Modals: Auxiliary verbs used to express possibility, necessity, permission, or obligation, such as “can,” “may,” “must,” etc.
Phonics: The method of teaching reading and pronunciation by focusing on the relationship between sounds and letters.
Pragmatics: The study of how context influences the interpretation and use of language in social interactions.
Reading Comprehension: The ability to understand written text and extract meaning from it.
TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages): The field of education that focuses on teaching English to non-native speakers.
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): An international standardized test that measures English language proficiency for non-native speakers.
Vocabulary Acquisition: The process of learning and expanding one’s knowledge of words and their meanings in a language.
Writing Skills: The ability to produce written text that is coherent, organized, and appropriate in terms of grammar and vocabulary.
ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development): The difference between what a learner can do independently and what they can achieve with guidance and support from a more knowledgeable person.
Please note that these definitions are simplified for brevity, and each term can have more nuanced explanations and interpretations within the field of EFL.