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Passive Voice

A sentence where the subject is receiving the action. This is contrasted with the active voice, where the subject is doing the action. To form the passive voice you use the verb “to be” plus the past participle.

The Merchant of Venice was written by Shakespeare.

A man was taken to the police station.

Entry link: Passive Voice


Project-Based Learning. A teaching approach that consists of using projects – usually research projects – to further learning in the classroom.

Entry link: PBL


The smallest sound that can make a difference in meaning. For example, the word sheep has five letters but only three phonemes (“sh,” “ee,” and “p”).
Entry link: Phoneme


The study of phonemes (sounds), intonation, word stress, sentence stress, rhythm, and connected speech.
Entry link: Phonology

Phrasal Verb

Two- or three-part verbs, usually with prepositions, that take on a different meaning than their separate parts suggest. Some examples include:

to go out with = to date  /  to bring up = to raise a topic in conversation  / to look after = to watch                                                                                                                                             
Entry link: Phrasal Verb

Placement Tests

An assessment instrument or procedure used to determine a student’s language skills relative to the levels of a particular program he or she is about to enter.
Entry link: Placement Tests

Positive Feedback

Praise for correct or well-spoken utterances or speech, something that can be motivating for learners. Positive feedback is more effective when it is more specific and might include something like highlighting correct grammar or improvement in pronunciation.

Entry link: Positive Feedback


Presentation, Practice, Production. A method or model to teaching and lesson planning based on the idea of giving (presenting) small items of language to students, providing them with opportunities to use it in controlled ways (practice), and finally integrating it with other known language in order to communicate (production).
Entry link: PPP


A stage in a lesson during which students and the teacher (or teaching materials, such as a reading text) use the presented language in controlled and monitored activities. During this stage students get additional practice forming sentences with the new language structure. For example, students complete a text with new words or students answer teacher’s questions using a new structure.
Entry link: Practice


Understanding when language is appropriate to use according to the context or situation surrounding it, which is often a question of formality.

Entry link: Pragmatics

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