TEFL jargon from this month’s ETP

They do pretty well in English Teaching Professional with cutting down on jargon and explaining what they do use, but I found a few which I thought could do with some clearing up.

Academic word list- A secret list of words that teachers can use while speaking to put a student who thinks they are pretty damn good in their place

Core materials- Also “hard core materials”. Kept on the top shelf of the teachers’ room

Critical analysis- Really bitchy observation feedback

Dipshit- A Diploma qualified teacher who still can’t tell their arse from their TEFL

Discrete-item tests- An exam rewritten with indirect polite language, e.g. “I wonder if you wouldn’t be so kind as to consider which of the following answers most takes your fancy”. Also using euphemisms like “assessment” and “pop quiz” to avoid words like “exam” or “test”

Gate-keeping exams- For example, the Cambridge FCB (First Certificate for Bouncers)

Jagged profile- A euphemistic way of talking about a really crap job reference supplied by a teacher who you later find you have to employ anyway when all the other applicants get better jobs elsewhere

Lexical items- Instruments of torture used by Superman’s arch enemy

Paraphrasing- Sounding like you are a sergeant major from the parachute regiment

PLE- Personal Learning Environment- Making a little castle out of books around you on the table so that you can concentrate on your studies

Relative clauses- Also “Relative Klauses”. Nazis in your family who you pretend don’t exist. Particularly common problem when doing family trees with surprisingly blond Latin American students

Rubrics- Textbook answer keys. The word “rubric” comes from “Rubric’s Cube”, because the aim is to make them as difficult to use as possible, e.g. by adding deliberate mistakes and making sure that the whole key is never on just one page

Sentence transformations- The DNA-replication type process that happens to students’ sentences between their brains and their mouths

Stakeholders- The teachers who have been armed and told to stand by in case the night-loving and incredibly pale teacher who never seems to eat anything really does turn out to be a vampire

In the unlikely effect that you want more of that, follow the ELT Jargon tag below or the first ten (!) or so are all collected together alphabetically here. For the more sensible among you, the next post will be proof that I do actually read the magazine rather than just underline jargon.

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