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Here’s the terminology from this week which is all about motivating and managing learners. If there are any terms which you’re not sure about, post your question below - you may find one of your fellow learners has an explanation which will help you to understand it better.

Intrinsic motivation

Motivation influenced by internal factors, such as a desire to communicate in a new language or an interest in a new culture.

Extrinsic motivation

Motivation influenced by external factors, such as the need to pass an exam or apply for a visa.

Learning preferences

These are also known as learning styles and describe the way individuals learn languages best. The most common categories are visual, auditory and kinaesthetic, but there are many others. Although some people dispute the fact that learners can be boxed into these categories, it is generally accepted that teachers need to accommodate different learning preferences in a class by providing a range of activity types.

Visual learner

Prefers to learn through images and pictures.

Auditory learner

Prefers to learn through listening.

Kinaesthetic learner

Prefers to learn through doing actions.


Prefers to work in pairs or groups.


Prefers to work independently.


Enjoys experimenting with language.


This is when teachers identify and address the different needs, interests or abilities of their learners by providing a range of activity types and using a range of approaches.


This is the commonly accepted abbreviation for teacher talk time and refers to the amount of time in a lesson that the teacher talks to the learners. It is important that TTT is helpful to the learners.


This is the commonly accepted abbreviation for student talk time and refers to the amount of time in a lesson that the students talk. There needs to be a balance of TTT and STT in a language lesson.

Grading language

This is when teachers use language they know the students have already studied to ease the cognitive load. This can be done by avoiding informal, colloquial language or complex grammar structures.


When the teacher asks learners questions, or prompts them, to come up with ideas or language. It can be used to activate their existing knowledge of a language point in order to base new knowledge on what they already know.


When the teacher observes learners during an activity to check their understanding of the activity and assess their progress.


This happens at the end of the activity cycle when the teacher gives the learners feedback on their performance by going through the answers with the class and/or finding out what they have talked about. This stage can be used for further clarification if the learners still need help with the language point.

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Exploring the World of English Language Teaching

Cambridge Assessment English