TEFL Glossary

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anticipated problems

The problems that the teacher predicts (anticipates) might arise in a lesson. The teacher should decide how to deal with these problems when planning the lesson.


 A word which carries the opposite meaning to another (e.g., black/white, fat/thin).


A way of teaching which is informed by certain beliefs about how languages operate and how they are learned. An approach is not as prescriptive as a method, which demands teachers to use particular procedures and techniques in the classroom.


It is a sound usually classed as a consonant (in English), but not a true consonant because there is no complete closure or restriction stopping the flow of air (/r/, /l/, /w/ and /j/). It is also called a semi-vowel. 


Articles are a type of determiners. They are placed before nouns. Broadly speaking, articles help the reader or listener understand which one(s) of a set of things we are talking about. There are three choices of articles: definite: the (Look at the horse), indefinite:a/an (We saw a horse), and no article: (I like horses).


See organs of speech.


A  method of foreign language teaching. See Unit 8.

authentic materials

These are listening or reading texts/materials that were produced for native speakers; they were not originally intended to be used for language teaching.

authentic practice

See freer and free practice.


An auxiliary verb is a verb used in conjunction with a main verb to form tenses, questions and negatives. In English, the primary auxiliary verbs are do, be, and have: Do you like coffee? You are working hard. I haven't been there.

These three verbs can also act as main verbs.

The full name for modal verbs is 'modal auxiliary verbs.' They operate in the same way though the meanings they convey are different.

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