TEFL Glossary

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/'ʒɒnrə/ /ˈʒɒ̃rə/ The type and style of discourse (spoken or written), e.g., a letter of complaint, a romantic novel, a business email, newspaper article, promotional material, etc.


A gerund is the -ing form of a verb when it acts as a noun as in 'I love dancing,' and 'Studying grammar is enormously good fun.'

Getting-to-know-you activities

These activities are used at the start of a course to help the students and teacher get to know about each other. They are also called icebreakers.


It is the general meaning of a text.

glottal stop

This sound /ʔ/ is common in spoken English though it is not included in the phonetic chart used in English language teaching. Most obviously it is used when /t/ sounds are 'dropped' in words, such as 'bottle' or 'what,' but also occurs in other locations, e.g., something /'sʌʔmθɪŋ/. 
It is actually a kind of stop (consonant) produced by stopping the airflow with the glottis.
The sound is often regarded as low status and incorrect though it is in fact widely used by most native speakers.


See language grading.


Grammar refers to the rules which govern the way the words in a language change and how they are combined with other words in sentences.


It is a traditional approach to language teaching which focuses on learning grammar rules and applying them in order to translate texts from one language to another.

grammatical categories

Also referred to a parts of speech. 

These are the names for the different classes to which words are assigned depending on their function in a sentence.

The parts of speech in English are the verb, noun, adjective, adverb, determiner, pronoun, preposition, conjunction, and interjection.

grammatical cohesion

The different kinds of referencing, such as using pronouns, possessives and demonstratives, and the use of conjunctions are types of grammatical cohesion.

grammatical competence

Grammatical competence refers to the ability to recognise the syntactical features of a language and to use them to interpret and produce words and sentences. It also incorporates receptive and productive knowledge of the lexical, morphological,  and phonological aspects of the language.

guided discovery

Guided discovery is any inductive teaching approach where rather than the teacher just telling students the rules, the learners are provided with examples and encouraged to work out the rules governing them for themselves.

In language teaching this entails giving examples of a specific language item. The teacher will usually devise some specific tasks for the students to do to guide them in the right direction.

Most of the activities on the tenses in Unit 4, Part 3 of this course are examples of guided discovery.

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