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P

PDP:  PDP is a framework which teachers use to plan and teach reading and listening lessons or parts of lessons which have reading or listening in them.   The letters stand for:  Pre-During-Post.   In the Pre- stage, students talk about the topic or situation in the text they will be working with.  They may contribute what their own experience or knowledge of the topic/situation is, they may speculate and make guesses about what they will hear or read, and they learn key lexis that will help them both understand the text and do activities while and after they listen.  During the listening or reading stage, students do tasks that deepen their understanding of the text. Each activity is given before students engage with the text so that they develop reading and listening abilities rather than test their memory of the text.  Activities generally progress from understanding generally to understanding detail.  During this stage, students can also explicitly work on reading and listening skills rather than only on comprehending the text.   In the Post stage,  students can use the text as a model for writing or speaking (a roleplay, for example) they will do; focus on specific language used in the text; or use and build on the text content in a discussion or project of some kind.  See PDP Framework under Frameworks.

 
PPP: This is an approach to planning for and teaching language items.  It follows a sequence of presentation of the item, practice of the item and the production of the item. This is the approach currently followed by most commercially-produced textbooks and has the advantage of apparent systematicity and economy. However, it is based on the "linear" and "behaviorist" view of language learning, which researchers have shown to be incorrect. This approach ignores the cyclic nature of learning, and treats learning as a series of "knowable facts".  See Language Practice; SLA; Language Use.
 
PPU:  Like PDP and PPP, PPU is a framework which teachers can use to plan and teach.  The focus of a PPU lesson is on speaking and during the lesson, the students learn grammatical structures, lexis, pronunciation and/or functional exponents.  During the Present stage, students become familiar with the context and the meaning, form and use of language items being covered is made clear.  During this stage, students may also focus on speaking skills such as interrupting, asking for clarification, showing interest, etc.    Students then have opportunities to practice the language or speaking skills.  The purpose of these activities is to help students become more accurate with the language and skills, and the activities move along the continuum from controlled to semi-controlled.  In the Use stage, students use the language and/or skills to complete a communicative task – in other words, students participate in an activity similar to one they might do outside class and in an activity that requires real communication.  See PPU Framework under Frameworks.
 
Pair Work: A process in which students work in pairs for practice or discussion.
 
Paralinguistics:  Paralinguistics are the aspects of spoken communication that do not involve words. These may add emphasis or shades of meaning to what people say and include verbal aspects such as stress, intonation, speed of delivery, etc and non-verbal ones such as gesture, facial expression and body language. Some definitions limit this to verbal communication that is not words.
 
Part of Speech:  The words of a language can be divided into types or classes of words according to their function.  We call each of these types of word a ‘part of speech.’  Here are the eight basic parts of speech in English, each with a couple of examples:   

Noun          e.g., egg, work, happiness, girl        Adjective          e.g., big, small, interesting      

Verb           e.g., sit, drink, like                         Conjunction     e.g., and, but, so

Adverb       e.g., slowly, quickly, fast                 Preposition       e.g., to, from, above, below 

Pronoun     e.g., I, me, my, he, him, his            Interjection      e.g., Oh! Ouch! Hi!

 We can divide these basic categories into sub-categories.  For example, in the case of pronouns, there are subject pronouns (e.g., I, you, it, she, we, they), object pronouns (e.g., me, you, him, her, it, us, them), and possessive pronouns (e.g., my, your, his, her, its, our, their).  There are main verbs, auxiliary verbs (have, be and do) and model verbs.  Determiners such as articles (a, an, the) and demonstratives (this, that, etc) are sometimes considered types of adjectives and sometimes categorized separately.  More on parts of speech:  http://www.usingenglish.com/glossary.html.

 

Passive Vocabulary: The vocabulary that students are able to understand but not necessarily able to use.  See Active Vocabulary.
 
Patterns: These are a type of formulaic speech.  Unlike formulaic speech, which consists of phrases and expression learned as wholes and used on particular occasions (e.g., How are you? In my opinion, With best wishes, You must be joking), patterns have open slots.  For example, “Can I have a .......?” is a pattern which can be completed in a number of different ways:  Can I have an orange?  Can I have a pen?  Can I have a break?  See Routines and Formulaic Speech.
 
Pedagogic Task: In pedagogic tasks, learners are required to do things which it is extremely unlikely they would be called upon to do outside of the classroom. Completing one half of a dialogue, filling in the blanks in a story and working out the meaning of ten nonsense words from clues in a text are examples of pedagogic tasks.  See Real-world Tasks.
 
Peer Assessment:  Students may be asked to listen to a peer or read through a peer’s written work and give that person feedback.  It is essential to limit what students give feedback to peers on and it is important to give them language with which to give and receive the feedback.  In teacher training, peers may be asked to give feedback to each other on lessons they teach, presentations they give, materials they produce, etc.  Again, it is helpful to help training teachers with language they can use to give and receive feedback.
 
Peer Correction: Peer correction is a classroom technique where learners correct each other, rather than the teacher giving the correction.
 
Peer Reading:  Peer-reading involves asking students to read each other’s writing.  It is a useful teaching technique because students can get ideas about content, lexis, or grammar from reading each other’s work, and can often see mistakes that the writer has missed. 

Performance-based Assessment: Performance-based assessment focuses on achievement. This type of assessment is based on free-form responses to standard questions scored by human markers on a standards-based scale. A well-defined task is identified and students are asked to create, produce, or do something, often in settings that involve real-world application of knowledge and skills. Proficiency is demonstrated by providing an extended response and responses can be in the form of a painting, portfolio, paper, or exhibition, or it may consist of a performance, such as a speech, athletic skill, musical recital, or reading.

Performance Standards: These are statements that refer to how well students are meeting a content standard.  The standards specify the quality and effect of student performance at various levels of competency (benchmarks) in the subject matter.  In addition, they specify how students must demonstrate their knowledge and skills and can be used to show student progress toward meeting a standard.

 
Personalized:  ‘Personalized’ activities are activities in which students talk about themselves, things or people they know or care about, or ask questions that they personally want to know the answer to. 
 
Personalization: Personalization happens when activities allow students to use language to express their own ideas, feelings, preferences and opinions. Personalization is an important part of the communicative approach since it involves true communication, as learners communicate real information about themselves.

Phoneme:  A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound which causes a change of meaning and the basic units with which spoken language is produced. For example, if the ‘u’ sound in ‘cut’ is changed to an ‘a’ sound, the word changes to ‘cat’ – a word with completely different meaning.    Phonemes are not the same as letters; they are sounds.  For example, the letter ‘e’ can represent different phonemes.  Compare the pronunciation of ‘e’ in these words: ‘bed’, ‘river’, ‘be’.   

Plosive:  A plosive is a kind of consonant that is produced by stopping the flow of air at some point and suddenly releasing it.  In English, the /d/ in ‘dinner’ is a plosive.  Plosives can be voiced or unvoiced.  The /d/ in ‘dinner’ is a voiced plosive and the /t/ in ‘tea’ is an unvoiced plosive.  Plosives are sometimes called ‘stops’ because the air stops at some point and then is released.

 
Post Observation Feedback:  This is feedback which inspectors, peers and teacher trainers give on lessons they have observed.  The feedback is usually both oral and written.
 
Poster:  Posters in language classrooms are usually big pieces of paper that are used to illustrate important concepts, display students’ thinking or ideas, or to decorate the room.  Posters can be professionally printed or created by the teacher or students.   Posters are good for reminding students of new vocabulary with labeled pictures, and can also be used to remind students of useful expressions, grammar or classroom rules, or homework assignments. 

 

Pre-listening: Pre-listening activities are things learners do before a listening activity in order to prepare for listening. These activities have various purposes, including pre-teaching or activating vocabulary, predicting content, generating interest and checking understanding of task.

 

Pre-teaching: Pre-teaching involves teaching the language learners will need to do an activity before they are asked to do it.

 

Prediction: In a prediction activity, learners use their knowledge and experience of a topic or situation, or they use ‘clues’ such as a group of words or a picture, to guess what a listening or reading text will be about.  The guesses they generate provide them with a reason to listen or read, as they confirm or reject their predictions.

 

Prescriptive Grammar: A prescriptive grammar is a set of rules about language based on how people think language should be used. In a prescriptive grammar there is right and wrong language. It can be compared with a descriptive grammar, which is a set of rules based on how language is actually used.

 
Prior Knowledge: Prior knowledge is the knowledge learners already have before they meet new information. A learner's understanding of a text can be improved by activating their prior knowledge before they read the text, and developing this habit is good learner training.
 
Process Approach: The process approach focuses on the means whereby learning occurs. The process is more important than the product. In terms of writing, the important aspect is the way in which completed text was created. The act of composing evolves through several stages as writers discover, through the process, what it is that they are trying to say. See Product Approach.
 
Process Writing: Process writing focuses learners on the different stages and aspects of writing as they have been observed in good writers, and spends time on each stage. These are: planning, drafting, revising, editing and considering the audience.
 
Process-oriented Syllabus:  A process-oriented syllabus focuses on the processes of learning.  It can be compared to a product-oriented syllabus which focuses on things learnt at the end of the learning process (outcomes) rather than on the process itself. Many people have questioned the validity of separating syllabi into process- and product-oriented and argue that most syllabi are, and must be, a combination of processes and outcomes.
 
Product-oriented Syllabus: A product-oriented syllabus focuses on things learnt at the end of the learning process (outcomes) rather than the learning processes involved (see above). Many people have questioned the validity of separating syllabi into process- and product-oriented and argue that most syllabi are, and must be, a combination of processes and outcomes.
 
Product Approach: The product approach focuses on the end results of teaching and learning. In terms of writing, there should be something "resulting" from the composition lesson (e.g. letter, essay, story, etc.). This result should be readable, grammatically correct and obeying discourse conventions relating to main points, supporting details and so on.  See Process Approach.
 
Production Strategies: These are strategies involved in using linguistic knowledge in communication, and they operate largely unconsciously.  They do not imply any communication problem.  See Communication Strategies and Learning Strategies.
 
Productive competence:  This refers to learners’ ability to produce coherent, appropriate and relevant messages in writing and speaking.  It also refers to their ability to express ideas effectively and organize thoughts appropriately.  Productive competency is more often associated with writing because writing involves producing texts such as letters or essays.  Productive speaking competency is also the production of texts; it differs from interactive speaking competency in that it does not involve interaction with other speakers.  Giving a lecture or a presentation are examples of using one’s productive speaking competency.
 
Productive Skills: The productive skills are speaking and writing.  They are called ‘productive’  because learners produce language when they speak or write. They are also known as active skills. They can be compared with the receptive skills of listening and reading.
 
Productive Use:  It is sometimes important to differentiate between the English that students need to be able to use when they speak or write, and the English that students need to be able to understand when they hear or read.  Using English to speak or write is called productive or active use.  Using English to listen or read is called receptive or passive use.  English can be used receptively and productively at the same time.  For example, in a conversation, people listen (receptive use) and then speak (productive use).   

 

Project: A project is a task which involves pairs, small and/or larger groups of students working together independent of the teacher to produce an authentic product: a series of posters for tourists giving information about the students’ town, an advertisement, a collection of recipes, a collection of poems, a newsletter, a play, a brochure, a news program, etc.  The students and teacher discuss the content of the project, the time allocated for project, what students might need to complete the project and so on.  Students may take on specific roles within their groups in order to get work completed.  Then the students to the work:  they carry out interviews, they research for information in books or online, they draw, etc.  The teacher monitors their work and offers help where necessary.  When they have completed the task, students present what they have done to the class (or in some cases to the school or parents).  Peers and/or the teacher may give feedback on the product.  Projects should involve students in authentic communication and tasks should be engaging, motivating and meaningful.    

 

Project Work: Project work is work which focuses on completing a task. Project work normally involves a lot of resources - time, people and materials - and learners practice a range of skills and language as they complete the work.

 

Prominence:  Prominence is a technical term for Sentence Stress.

 
Prompts: Prompts are stimuli a teacher uses to get learners to give a response using target language. Prompts can be visual, spoken or written.
 
Psychological Distance: The term is used to refer to the learner's overall psychological set with regard to the target language and its community. This is determined by factors such as language shock and motivation.
 
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