Glossary of Teaching Terms

carousel activity

A way of setting up activities so that small groups are working on different tasks at different tables. After a set amount of time the groups rotate around the room to another table and complete another task. This is repeated until all groups have visited all tables.

concept check questions

Using simple questions to find out if learners have understood the meaning of new language.

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Repeating a words or a sentence over and over again to develop pronunciation.

Drilling can be done as a whole class (chorally) as well as by individual learners.  Drilling can help learners get used to the sounds of English and help them to memorise words and chunks of useful language.

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Drawing out information by asking questions, using prompts, pictures, actions etc

Eliciting is a way of getting learners to provide information themselves and finding out what they already know, enabling you to build on their existing language.  It increases the opportunities learners have to speak in class.

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A task where learners need to use research skills to find information


Watching and assessing learners on task and providing support or extension as required.


Demonstrating how something is said or done.


Choosing a particular learner or group to answer a question or perform a task.

Nominating learners is a way of making sure that all learners participate and are included in class.  It can also be a way of differentiating for your learners – you can ask learners different questions according to their level of English, confidence and/or interest.


Using real objects in the classroom to elicit and teach new language.  For example, if you are teaching a lesson about food, you could bring in some items of food to the class instead of using pictures.


Recalling what learners learnt in an earlier session or earlier part of the lesson.


acting out a dialogue or scenario with two or more people


using questions, pictures, actions or examples to get an answer or response


the units of sound within a word


a short, dynamic activity at the start of a class to warm up the learners. See here for lots of ideas.

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