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Terms used to describe language in TESL/TEFL and applied linguistics

Defining your terms

Idioms, clichés, jargon, slang, mottoes, phonemes, allophones, redundancy




Books on the terms used in language teaching theory and applied linguistics

1. First Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics, A (The Language Library) by David Crystal

2. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language

3. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (if I could only afford one book to develop as an English language learner or teacher, it would be this one).

The above three books are by David Crystal, who for me is one of the UK's finest linguists. Among his many works are books on phonetics, syntax and such specialist applications as assessing language disabilities. There could not be a more qualified author to write a reference book defining terms used in linguistic description. The generous coverage of terms used in phonetics, where definition is of major practical importance (e.g. for speech therapists as well as pronunciation teachers) makes the above three titles especially useful.

4. Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics by Jack C. Richards and Richard Schmidt

One of the finest North American linguists who has applied his writing to language teaching is Jack C. Richards. This work started out as 'The Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics', but is now targeted at Language Teaching as well, an area in which Jack C. Richards is well known for his contributions.

5. Practical Techniques for Language Teaching (LTP teacher training) (Language Teaching Publications) by Michael Lewis and Jimmie Hill

This work covers most of what is needed for trainee teachers covering the CTEFLA syllabus. This is the examination offered by the University of Cambridge Syndicate for Local Examinations based in the UK for teachers requiring a basic certificate in the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language to Adults. This examination should be the first stepping stone for less experienced teachers or trainee teachers in the UK for entry into the TEFL industry. This is the first qualification to aim at if you want to be eligible for English teaching jobs abroad or junior or temporary posts in UK-based language schools. The book is clearly written and will be appreciated by teachers who want things explained without being overloaded with jargon and technical terms. Having suffered most of the jargon and inflicted it on others, I found the book agreable to read.

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