The Alternative TEFL jargon dictionary Part 21

Monophthong – only one pair of pants

Note-taking – a way of stopping budding classroom romances

Paragraphing – going beyond graphs

Phoneme – the smallest sound in the language, made by making the opening of your mouth tiny as if you are sucking a very thin straw

Post-reading tasks – “Ask me at least 5 more vocab questions about the text” (Please! We’ve got six minutes left and I’ve run out of material!)

Prefix –

before losing your tackle

Pre-reading tasks – “Open your books” and “Find the text on page 32”

Process writing – spending so much time thinking about how you are going to write something that you get zero down on paper by the due date

Productive skills – ones that make you money

Proof-reading – students deliberately giving their workbook or graded reader rabbit ears so it looks like they have been using it

Question tag – what Surrealists attach to their check in baggage

Reading for gist – not to be confused with reading for gism

Reading for specific information – a euphemism for just looking at the pictures

Receptive skill – the skills of being a receptionist , or being able to tune the radio

Scanning – the first stage of “writing” an article for homework for the average Southern European or East Asian student

Secondary stress – caused by teaching teenagers

Sentence stress – students getting more and more het up as they realise that they don’t know how to finish what they are saying

Skimming – like a stone bouncing on a lake, being able to get through the whole class whilst only having to explain three or four pieces of language, due to “concentrating on skills”

Subskill – being able to survive covering someone’s class but not being so good as to show the usual teacher up, or used to describe a student without any actual skills in English

Synonyms – names your mother calls you when you’ve been naughty

Topic sentence – one about nuts and/ or chocolate

Unstressed – the brief period between finishing your CELTA and being offered your first teaching job

Word stress – anxiety caused by vocabulary in the text that the teacher knows they can’t explain

If that ain’t enough for you, you’ll be wanting to take a look at Part 20.

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7 Responses to The Alternative TEFL jargon dictionary Part 21

  1. David V. says:

    conditionals – a word that apparently collocates with ‘weather’ to describe, er, the weather.

  2. David V. says:

    lexis – posh word for vocabulary.

  3. David V. says:

    lexical development – the act of handing out a word list.

  4. David V. says:

    L1 interference – a term that can be used as a way of blaming students for just about anything that happens in the language classroom.

  5. David V. says:

    thesis statement – usually the final sentence of the essay introduction, the aim of which is to allow the student to utterly confuse the teacher about what they’re actually writing about.

  6. Alex Case says:

    Wow, I was amazed when I saw this post had 5 comments. I was even more impressed when I saw they were all by one man!

  7. David V. says:

    Sorry, should have bun dled them all together. Every time I pressed submit I had another flash of inspiration.

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