TEFL Glossary

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false friends

These are cognates whose meaning has diverged, so they no longer mean the same thing. Learners often assume that a word in L2 which looks and sounds similar to one in their L1 would have the same meaning.


First Certificate in English - a Cambridge English examination for students at B2 level.


General term for giving a response or assessment. After a small group discussion, students might 'give feedback' to the whole class, which would be a short report on what they have said.

After students have done a task, the teacher may 'give feedback' - comments and corrections.

At the end of a course, students are often asked to 'give feedback,' which means a judgement on the classes they have had.

final stage

The final stage of a lesson is sometimes called the plenary. Its purpose is to bring together and summarise what has been done in that day's lesson. 

find someone who

A 'find someone who' is an activity which involves students milling round the class speaking to everyone.  They need to complete a worksheet that requires them to 'find someone who' fits a series of statements, such as 'Find someone who....likes eating fish/...comes to school on the bus/...wears jeans every day, etc.

This is often used as a 'getting-to-know-you' activity, but it is also very useful as a way of practising specific language items.

First Certificate in English

See FCE.

first language acquisition

See acquisition.


Fluency in language is the ability to communicate freely and confidently. A fluent speaker is not necessarily accurate.

See accuracy.

fluency-based activities

Classroom (or homework) activities whose main focus is on using the language to communicate effectively and confidently.  Compare with accuracy-based activities.

four skills

In language learning, the 'four skills' are reading, listening, speaking and writing.

Reading and listening are receptive skills.

Speaking and writing are productive skills.

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