TEFL Glossary

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caregiver speech

Caregiver speech is the simple language used to address young children. It is also referred to as child-directed speech, and it is sometimes called 'motherese.'

cataphoric reference

When a word in a text refers to another one which occurs later in the text. E.g., Because he was feeling unwell, James decided to go back to bed. Here he refers forward to James.

See also anaphoric reference and exophoric reference.


Competency-Based Language Teaching. In this approach, learning goals are defined 'in terms of precise measurable descriptions of the knowledge, skills, and behaviors students should possess at the end of a course of study.' (Richards & Rodgers, 2001, p.141).


See concept checking.


Common European Framework of Reference. System used for describing a learner's ability in a second or foreign language.

Certificate of Advanced English

See CAE.


Certificate of Proficiency in English

See CPE.

child-directed speech

See caregiver speech.

choral drilling

Drilling is when students repeat a word or phrase modelled by the teacher to practise pronunciation or help memorise structure. Choral drilling is the whole class or a group repeating together (in chorus).

chunks of language

A large proportion of the language we produce seems to be memorised 'chunks of language', rather than original creations generated through combining our grammatical and lexical knowledge. Examples are the _____er, the _________er (as in the bigger, the better), you must be joking, to cut a long story short.

See the Lexical Approach.

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