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T

Target Language: This is the language that the learner is attempting to learn.
 
Task:  A task is an activity that involves learners in comprehending, manipulating, producing and/or interacting in the target language while their attention is focused on mobilizing their language to exchange meaning.  The intention is to convey meaning rather than to manipulate form. 
 
Task-based: This refers to materials or courses which are designed around a series of authentic tasks which give learners experience of using the language in ways that it is used in the 'real world' outside the classroom. There is no pre-determined language syllabus, and the aim is for learners to learn from the tasks – to notice - the language they need to participate successfully in them. Examples of such tasks are: working out the itinerary of a journey from a timetable, completing a passport application form, ordering a product from a catalogue and giving directions to the post office.  See Authentic Tasks.
 
Teacher-centered:  A teacher-centered approach is one in which the teacher is the center of class activity and student attention.   It can be compared to a learner-centered approach.
 
Teacher Development:  Teacher development is concerned with professional development and training for in-service teachers – in other words for teachers after their initial training (see Teacher Training below).  The focus is usually on deepening and expanding teachers’ knowledge, skills and attitudes, developing teacher self-evaluation practice, and innovations in the fields of education, teaching and learning, and subject matter.
 
Teacher-Talking Time (TTT): Teacher-talking time (TTT) is the time that teachers, rather than learners, spend talking in class. Some teacher talking time is necessary and/or helpful: giving instructions, checking student understanding, and synthesizing what students have said.  Other teacher-talking time is unnecessary and detrimental to student learning: (lengthy) explanation of grammar, lexis, pronunciation points and/or functions, talking while students are doing an activity or thinking, answering questions instead of allowing students to answer, etc.  Teacher talking time can be compared with student-talking time. One key element of many modern approaches is to reduce the amount of TTT as much as possible so as to allow learners opportunities to speak, and learn from using the language.
 
Teacher Training: The formal process by which people learn basic knowledge, skills and techniques for teaching grade-level classes or content-specific classes (such as English language, math, science, geography, etc).   The focus of many initial English-language teacher training programs is on preparing lesson plans, classroom management techniques, ways of teaching/revising and practicing language, teaching the fours skills and correcting errors. Teacher training programs of excellence also guide potential teachers to develop awareness of students and student learning, evaluation of their teaching in terms of student learning, and development of positive attitudes.
 
Teacher Talk: Teachers make adjustments to both language form and language function in order to help communication in the classroom. These adjustments are called 'teacher talk.'
 
Test:  A test is a procedure of measuring ability, knowledge and/or performance.  It is form of assessment.  Words commonly associated with “test” include:  achievement, aptitude, placement or diagnostic; proficiency or progress; cloze, discrete point or essay; standardized, etc.
 
Test-Teach-Test: Test-teach-test (sometimes known as task-teach-task) is an approach to teaching (presenting or reviewing) lexis, grammar, pronunciation and/or functions.  In this approach, learners first complete a task or activity without help from the teacher; the teacher monitors carefully. Then, based on the challenges or problems seen, the teacher focuses on those problematic areas in particular. Finally, learners do another task or other tasks to practice the language.  This approach is used when the teacher knows the students are most likely to have some knowledge of the language focus.  The teacher may not be sure how much the students know and may also wish to activate what they already know before adding to or building on that knowledge with new information.  The first activity is not really a test; its purpose is to highlight what students know, don’t know and/or are uncertain of.  The post-teach activities are also not really tests; their purpose is to give students practice and use of the language being covered.
 
Text:  A text is any scripted or recorded production of language presented to the learners of that language. A text can be written or spoken and could be, for example, a poem, a newspaper article, a passage about pollution, a song, a film, an extract from a novel or a play, a passage written to exemplify the use of the past perfect, a recorded telephone conversation, a scripted dialogue or a speech by a politician.
 
Textbok Adaptation:  Based on an understanding of what students’ needs and interests are, a teacher makes changes to texts, activities and tasks in the text- or coursebook so that they meet student needs better and/or are of more interest or relevance to students.
 

Think-out-loud (Think Aloud) Protocol:  Helping students to become more conscious of the ways they think about and do particular activities, and the strategies they use to do them, can help them to see possible improvements. Teachers can help students with this kind of ‘thinking about thinking’ (or metacognition) by asking them to explain what they are doing and why as they do something.  This is called a ‘think-out-loud (or think aloud) protocol.’

 

Tongue Twister:  A tongue twister is a phrase, sentence, or rhyme that is difficult to pronounce because some of the sounds are similar, or because it is difficult to say quickly.  “Sally sells seashells at the seashore” is an example of a tongue twister in English.

 

Total Physical Response: Total Physical Response (TPR) is an approach to language learning and teaching in which instructions and/or commands are issued initially by the teacher and later by students which require a physical response from learners.  For example, teachers teaching some basic verbs of movement ask students to stand up, walk to the door, go back to their seats, sit down, cross the room, etc., first model language and action, and then ask students to do the actions. Later, when students are confident of both meaning and form, they give each other instructions using the language. 

 

Training:  See Teacher Training.
 
Top-down Approach to Language Comprehension and Production: The top-down view of language learning starts from use of the language. The study of grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure, etc., come later, once the learner has started using the language for communication. In a top-down approach, a learner makes use of previous knowledge and experience, expectations and scripts to analyze and process interactions and texts for meaning. In this way, the learner utilizes knowledge of the “larger picture” to assist in comprehension.  See Bottom-up Approach to Language Comprehension and Production.
 

Transactional Tasks: These tasks are primarily concerned with the transfer of information.  See Interactional Tasks.

 

Transfer: Students and teachers can use knowledge they have of the students’ L1 to help in learning the L2.  Transfer of knowledge from L1 to L2 can be positive when the two language have similar structures, or it can be negative, when the two languages are different, and L1-induced errors occur.
 
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