acquiring knowledge of a subject or a skill by study, experience, or instruction
showing or helping someone to learn, giving instructions; guiding; providing with knowledge; causing to know or understand
structural school of linguistics
a school of thought prevailing in the 1940's and 1950's, in which the linguist's task was to identify the structural characteristics of human languages by means of a rigorous application of scientific observation of the language, and using only "publicly observable responses" for the investigation.
structural syllabus
a language course that attends primarily to forms (grammar, phonology, lexicon) as organising elements of a foreign language curriculum, as opposed to a functional syllabus.

descriptive adequacy
satisfying scientific or empirical principles for describing a phenomenon such as language
an approach to scientific description that allows for the possibility of the veracity of unobservable guesses, hunches, and intuition
behavioural science
a paradigm that studies the behaviour of organisms (including humans) by focusing centrally on publicly observable responses that can be objectively and scientifically perceived, recorded, and measured
scientific method
a process of describing verifiable, empirically assessable data; accepting as fact only those phenomena that have been subjected to empirical observation or experimentation.
generative - transformational linguistics
description of language or language acquisition, originally associated with Noam Chomsky, that views language as a system of principled rules, independent of any particular language, that governs its use; human language forms are thus 'generated' by these rules and 'transformed' through conventional constraints.
explanatory adequacy
satisfying a principled basis, independent of any particular language, for the selection of a descriptively appropriate grammar of a language
one's actual "doing" of language in the form of speaking and writing (production) and listening and reading (comprehension), as opposed to competence.
one's underlying knowledge of a system, event, or fact; the unobservable ability to perform language, but not to be confused with performance.
cognitive constructivism
a branch of constructivism that emphasizes the importance of individual learners constructing their own representation of reality
cognitive pruning
the elimination of unnecessary clutter and a clearing of the way for more material to enter the cognitive field
cognitive psychology
a school of thought in which meaning, understanding, and knowing are significant data for psychological study, and in which one seeks psychological principles of organisation and mental and emotional functioning, as opposed to behavioural psychology, which focuses on overt, observable, empirically measurable behaviour.

cognitive strategies
strategic options relating to specific learning tasks that involve direct manipulation of the learning material itself
cognitive style
the way a person learns material or solves problems
cognitive / academic language proficiency (CALP)
the dimension of proficiency in which a learner manipulates or reflects on the surface features of language in academic contexts, such as test-taking, writing, analysing, and reading academic texts; context-reduced performance
seeking to discover underlying motivations and deeper structures of human behaviour by using an approach that employs the tools of logic, reason, extrapolation, and inference in order to derive explanations for human behaviour; exploring 'why' questions.
the integration of various paradigms with an emphasis on social interaction and the discovery, or construction, of meaning
post - structuralism
school of thought that emerged after the structural schools of the mid - twentieth century, e.g. constructivism.
social constructivism
a branch of constructivism that emphasizes the importance if social interaction and co-operative learning in constructing both cognitive and emotional images of reality
zone of proximal development (ZPD)
the distance between a learner's existing developmental state and his or her potential development
classical method
a language teaching method in which the focus is on grammatical rules, memorization of vocabulary and other language forms, translation of texts, and performing written exercises
grammar translation method
a language teaching method in which the central focus is on grammatical rules, paradigms, and vocabulary memorization as the basis for translating from one language to another.
audiolingual method (ALM)
a language teaching method, popular in the 1950s, that placed an extremely strong emphasis on oral production, pattern drills, and conditioning through repetition.
direct method
a language teaching method popular in the early twentieth century that emphasized direct target language use, oral communication skills, and inductive grammar, without recourse to translation from the first language
communicative language teaching (CLT)
an approach to language teaching methodology that emphasizes authenticity, interaction, student-centred learning, task-based activities, and communication for real-world, meaningful purposes
a unified but broadly based theoretical position about the nature of language and of language learning and teaching that forms the basis of methodology in the language classroom
a coherent, prescribed group of activities and techniques for language teaching, unified by a homogeneous set of principles or foundations; sometimes proclaimed to be suitable for all foreign language teaching contexts.