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IATEFL: International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language

Idiom: An idiom is a multi-word expression, used as a unit of meaning, whose meaning cannot be understood from its elements, for example “It’s raining cats and dogs” or “She washed her hands of the whole affair.”
Inductive Learning: In inductive learning, learners are not taught grammar or other language rules but discover them from their experience of using the language.
Inflection: An inflection is something added to a word, or is some other change to the word, according to the rules of the language.  For example, English plural nouns are inflected often with –s or –es, but sometimes in other ways, eg., man-men or ox-oxen; English verbs are inflected for the past tense by added –d or –ed but also in other ways, e.g., fall-fell, sit-sat, etc.  Inflection includes the use of prefixes (behave-misbehave) and suffixes (behave-behavior) as well.
Inferencing: This is the means by which the learner forms hypotheses, through attending to input, or using the situational context to interpret the input.
Input: This is the language which learners are exposed to. It can be spoken or written. It serves as the data which the learner uses to determine the rules of the target language.
Interactionist Perspective:  Some researchers suggest that conversational interaction is essential for second language acquisition.  The theory is that when learners have an opportunity to interact with speakers, they can influence what the speaker says by getting him/her to slow down, use simpler words, or repeat what s/he said.  This modified input is simpler to understand and is therefore more likely to be comprehensible input.  If, as is believed, comprehensible input promotes second language acquisition, input that is modified through interaction therefore promotes acquisition. 
Interactive Competency: This refers to the ability to use language orally to interact with others in order to create social relations, express needs, understand and address needs of others and to get things accomplished.  Engaging in a discussion is an example of using one’s interactive competence.
Interpretive Competency:  This refers to the ability to understand written language through reading or spoken language through listening and to interpret it appropriately.  Reading is the ability to understand and interpret written texts, listening is the ability to understand and interpret oral language.  


Interference: According to Behaviorist learning theory, the patterns of the learner's mother tongue (L1) get in the way of learning the patterns of the L2. This is referred to as “interference.”
Interlanguage:  Interlanguage is the type of language produced by learners who are in the process of learning a language.  The learner's interlanguage is different from both the L1 and the actual L2.
Intermediate:  At this level, a student will have a working vocabulary of between 1500 and 2000 words and should be able to cope easily in most everyday situations. Students at this level should be an ability to express needs, thoughts and feelings in a reasonably clear way.
Intensive Reading:  Intensive reading refers to reading shorter texts for a high level of understanding.
Intonation:  Intonation is the way that a speaker’s voice goes up or down while they speak.  It is often described as the music of speaking.  Intonation can be used to indicate three things.  First, intonation indicates the speaker’s attitude and emotion.  For example, if someone is bored, their intonation is usually flat.  If someone is surprised or excited, their intonation often rises.  Second, intonation indicates the grammatical function of an utterance.  For example, flat or falling intonation at the end of an utterance often indicates a statement, and rising intonation often indicates a yes/no question or the speaker’s uncertainty.  Third, intonation helps to indicate connections between utterances.  For example, rising intonation at the end of a phrase often indicates that the speaker is going to say more, but falling intonation at the end of a phrase often indicates that the speaker has finished.  English intonation goes up and down more than most other languages and is different to the intonation of many other languages.  For these reasons it is important to help students notice and produce English intonation patterns.