4 Communicative Competencies
Canale & Swain (1980) contend that communicative competence consists of four underlying competencies– 1)Grammatical 2)Discourse 3)Sociocultural/Pragmatic 4)Strategic
Grammatical Competence
The abstract abilities of grammar, vocabulary, phonology, and semantics of a language (Chomsky, 1965).

Hymes (1972) said that linguistic theory needed to be part of a more general theory that incorporated communication and culture (Richard & Rodgers, 2001, p. 159).

Discourse Competence
Knowing how to begin and end a conversation. The ability to interpret meaning in relation to an entire discourse or text. Using discourse markers (Richard & Rodgers, 2001, p. 160).
Sociocultural/Pragmatic Competence
Knowing how to respond appropriately to different speech acts, understanding of social context, roles, shared information of the participants, and function of the interaction.

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The knowledge of the rules of interaction (Richard & Rodgers, 2001, p. 160).

Strategic Competence
The coping strategies for initiating, termination, maintaining, repairing, and redirecting communication (Richard & Rodgers, 2001, p. 160).
Littlewood (1981) proposed two types of classroom activities that tried to achieve the aim of communicative competence. 1) Functional Communicative Activities – problem solving, following directions, and sequencing. 2) Social Interaction Activities – conversation, discussion, role-plays, debates, students centered activities.
Background Knowledge
What students bring to each learning activity.

Also known as schema. Students acquire background knowledge from texts, activities, real-life experience, ect. Teachers of ELLs should activate as much background knowledge as possible in order to get the students ready for the task at hand.Important in SIOP.

Comprehensible Input
Second language input just beyond the learners current second language competence, in terms of its syntactic complexity, Krashen i + 1 (Mitchell & Miles, 2004).
Comprehensible output
Swain (1995) 1) Noticing/triggering function- Learners may notice a gap between what they produce and the target form.

2) Hypothesis testing – an opportunity for learners to test what they know. 3) Metalinguistic reflection – learners reflect on their own target language use and enables them to control and internalize linguistic knowledge. Must precise, coherent, and appropriate.

Content topic/concepts
While planning, carefully consider the content concepts you wish to teach and use district curriculum guidelines and grade-level content standards to guide you. In sheltered classrooms, this entails ensuring that although materials maybe adapted to meet the needs of English learners, the content is not diminished. When planning lessons around content concepts, consider the following: (1991, Gunderson)

  1. the student’s first language literacy
  2. their second language proficiency
  3. their reading ability
  4. the cultural and age appropriateness of the L2 materials
  5. the difficulty level of the material to be read
Guided Reading
A teacher directed mode of reading instruction in which the teacher directs the purpose, structure, and response to a reading activity leading the reader through the reading of a text.

Good activity for a class with students of multiple proficiencies.

Any action that provides information on the result of a behavior. Can be negative or positive.
Free voluntary reading/sustained silent reading
FVR is an educational theory that says that many student gains in reading can be encouraged by giving students time to read what they want without evaluation.

The basic premise is that student who read often will read better. SSR is a method of implementing recreational reading or FVR. Students read at a designated time and place. ‘

Focus on form
Refers only to those form focused activities that arise during and embedded in meaning based lessons (TESL Wiki).

Graphic Organizers
Provide students will visual clues they can use to supplement written or spoken words that may be hard to understand. (KWK Chart, story maps, venn diagrams, t-charts, webs, timelines, outlines.)
Refers to the way the students are broken up into classes or within the classroom by age or proficiency level.

The goal is to maximize learning. Important considerations are groups size, mix abilities (or not). Types of group instruction include whole group instruction, small group instruction (6-8), tutorial discussion (;5).

Hands-On Activities
Something learners can touch, see, hear, feel, create, or participate in to make connections and construct personal, relevant meanings.
High-Order Thinking Skills/Questions
A concept of education reform based on learning taxonomies (like Bloom’s) that proposes that some types of learning require more cognitive process, but also have more generalized benefits.
Information Exchange Tasks
One of the primary techniques used in TBLT, in which two learners each have different pieces of information and must negotiate for meaning to share the information to complete a task.
Inquiry Based Science
Type of lesson/technique that can be used in Content-Area instruction for ELLs.

 The goal of inquiry based science is to allow students to interact with each other using the English language and pertinent content vocabulary to inquire and make hypotheses (thus using th scientific processes) while obtaining content objectives. One example from Dr. Wright is to break your students up into groups.  Give each group a different white powder and a cup of water.  In their groups, students must talk to each other to question and figure out what their powder is (e.g.

use their senses to describe it) and also make predictions before and after on what the powder is once water is added to it.  To make this lesson effective and meet content and langauge objectives, teachers can preteach vocab through word walls or prewriting activities and use realia.

Interactive Writing
Involves the sharing of the pen between teacher and student. Focuses on concepts and conventions of print and how sounds connect with letter.
A lesson planning framework that involves getting students “into” (interested) the material, taking them “through” the material, and finally taking students “beyond” the material by making connections to new insights and learning opportunities (

Invented Spelling
Euphemistically known as “creative spelling” and typically seen in dyslexic students when learners spell words based on cues other than standard orthographic rules. Not to be seen as necessarily negative step in a delopmental process for language learners that culminates in a greater understanding of spelling than simple relationships between sounds and their graphic representations (Read, 1975).
Audiolingual Method
Originally used by the Army in WWII, the Audiolingual Method is a language teaching method based on Behaviorist (Skinner – operate conditioning) learning models and structural view of language. In practice, the AL method emphasized systematic attention to pronunciation, and intensive oral drilling of basic sentence patterns through pattern practice (memorization, repetition). Only enough vocabulary was introduced to make drills possible.

Critics of this method (notably, Chomsky)said that the behaviorist model of learning was not how humans learned language, and therefore would not tap into learner’s underlying competence (Richard ; Rodgers, 2001, p. 50-67).

Communicative Language Teaching
An approach that emphasizes interaction as the means and the goal of language learning. The primary function of CLT is interaction and communication.

Fluency is important. CLT Learning Principles: 1) Communicative (Hymes ; Widdowson)Principle – activities that involve real communication promote learning. 2) Task Principle- Activities in which language is used for carrying meaning tasks, promote learning. 3) Meaningfulness principle – language that is meaningful to the learner, supports the learning process. Classrooms activities should be meaningful and authentic.Brown (2007) a system for the expression of learning.

12 Principles, p. 64-811) Automaticity2) Meaningful Learning3) The Anticipation of Reward4) Intrinsic Motivation5) Strategic Investment6) Autonomy7) Language Ego8) Willingness to Communicate9) The Language-Culture Connection10) The Native Language Effect11) Interlanguage12) Communicative Competence

CLT Types of Learning ; Teaching Activities
Littlewood (1981) Functional communicative activities include- 1) problem-solving 2) following direction 3) sequencing 4) social interaction activities (conversation, discussion, role-plays, debates)
Content Based Instruction
An approach in which L2 teaching is organized around content the student need to acquire, rather than around linguistic features (Richard ; Rodgers, 2001, p. 204).
Grammar-Translation Approach
A approach that focuses first on a detailed analysis of grammar rules, followed by application of this knowledge to the task to translation sentences and texts into and out of the TL (Richard ; Rodgers, 2001, p.


Lexical Theory/Approach
Approach to language teaching based on the view that the basic building blocks of teaching and learning language are words and lexical phrases. The lexis (phrases, collocations, multiple word units) is the basis for communication and language learning (Richard ; Rodgers, 2001, p. 132).

Makes use of concordancers.Lewis (1993)

Natural Approach
Terrell ; Krashen (1982) based on the naturalistic approach (learn L2 the same way one learns and L1). Rejects formal grammatical organization as a prerequisite for teaching language. Emphasizes presenting comprehensible input in TL, uses techniques that provide comprehensible input, minimizing anxiety. With comprehensible input, you have full access to UG and acquisition will happen.

The goals are BICS and CALP (Richard ; Rodger, 2001, p. 178-190).Comprehensible Input HypothesisLearning/Acquisition HypothesisNatural Order HypothesisAffect Filter HypothesisMonitor Hypothesis

Neurolinguistic Programming
NLP is not a language teaching method.

It does not consist to techniques, theories, approach, or design. It’s a humanistic philosophy based on popular psychology that aims to convince people that they have the power to control their lives. Teacher who adopt NLP will (allegedly) be more effective (Richard and Rodgers, 2001, p. 130).

Sheltered Instruction
Genearl/umbrella term referring to grade-level-content-area instruction that is provided in English but in a manner that makes it comprehensible to ELL students while promoting their English language development. Note, in California, sheltered instruction, is called SDAIE (specially designed academic instruction in English).  Many other state are now using this term, SDAIE, to refer to their sheltered instruction programs.  Dr.

Wayne Wright as it carries a positive connotation, noting that instruction is different however is on grade level and appropriatelychallening.

SIOPShelterd Instruction Observational Protocol
Developed by Jan Echevarria, MaryEllen Vogt, and Deborah Short (2007).

The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) is a type of sheltered instruction, specifically a model, that follows a prescribed/systematic lesson plan and focuses on eight components: 1)Lesson Preparation, 2) Building Background, 3) Comprehensible Input, 4) Strategies, 5) Interaction, 6) Practice/Application, 7) Lesson Delivery, and 8) Review/Assessment.Using instructional strategies connected to each of these components, teachers are able to design and deliver lessons that address the academic and linguistic needs of their ELLs.  The SIOP model is also known for focusing/utilizing both content and language objectives and the use of primarly langauge support.Because of it’s prescribed/systematic model lesson plan, the SIOP model can also be used as a lesson planner for sheltered lesson plans and also as an observation and evaluation tool for preservice and currently working teachers.

SEISheltered English Immersion
English language acquisition process for young children in which nearly all classroom instruction is in English but with curriculum and presentation designed for children who are learning the language.  Books and instructional materials are in English and all reading, writing, and subject matter are taught in English.  The terms “sheltered English immersion” and Structured English immersion are often used interchangeably.

 Native and nonnative learners (language learners) are in the same classroom with sheltered instruction.

SDAIESpecially Designed Academic Instruction in English
Specialy Designed Academic Instruction in English: Intended for teaching various academic content (such as social studies, science or literature) using the English language to students who are still learning English. SDAIE requires the student possess intermediate fluency in English as well as mastery of their native language.

 The instruction is carefully prepared so the student can access the English language content supported by material in their primary language and carefully planned instruction that strives for comprehensible input. SDAIE is a method of teaching students in English in such a manner that they gain skills in both the subject material and in using English. Unlike SEI (Sheltered English Immersion), the primary language support is available. Note, in California, sheltered instruction, is called SDAIE (specially designed academic instruction in English).  Many other state are now using this term, SDAIE, to refer to their sheltered instruction programs.  Dr. Wayne Wright as it carries a positive connotation, noting that instruction is different however is on grade level and appropriatelychallening.

Lazonov (1978) makes use of dialogues, situations, and translations to present and practice language, makes use of music, visual images, and relaxation exercises to make learning more comfortable and effective (lower affective filter), influence of suggestion on human behavior. No language theory specified and criticized by Scovel (1979) as a pseudoscience (Richard ; Rodgers, 2001, 100-106).
Tasked Based Instruction
A subset of CLT, approach based on the use of communicative and interactive tasks as the central units for the planning and delivery of instruction. Involve meaningful communication and interaction, negotiation, enable learner to acquire grammar as result of engaging in authentic language use.

Pica (1993) described types of TBLT activities Jigsaw, Information Gap, Problem-Solving, Decision-Making, Opinion ExchangeSLA – Spring 2010 W9S20 – Sauro

The Silent Way
Gattengo (1972) An approach based on the premise that the teacher should be silent as much as possible in the classroom, but the learners should be encouraged to produce as much language as possible. Uses color charts and Cuisenaire rods. Learning is facilitated by 1) discovery learning and creates, 2) mediating physical objects, 3) problem-solving (Richard ; Rodgers, 2001, p. 82). Very little feedback or correction. The absence of explanations leads the learner to make generalizations about language. The opposite of the Natural Approach, Gattengo claimed that L2 was NOT learned the same way as the L1.
Total Physical Response
(Asher, 1977) Items are presented in the L2 as orders, commands, and instructions requiring physical response from the learner.

Mimics L1 acquisition. Gives greater emphasis to comprehension and lower affective filter. No heavy productive demands on the learning and used often in K-12(Richard ; Rodgers, 2001, p. 73). Main drawback is that it’s very limited after the beginning level.

Whole Language Approach
Learning to read naturally with focus on real communication, opposed to the idea of teaching separate components of language in isolation. Key Points: 1) Language presented as whole, not isolated pieces, attempts to teach language in real contexts and situations, emphasizes purpose. 2)Activities move from whole to part.

3) All 4 modes (R,W,L,S) are used. 4) Language learned through social interaction (students work in pairs or groups).

Cooperative Learning
(Kluge, 1999) Learning happens best when there is a significant amount of interaction. Part of CLT. Emphasizes teamwork activities (peer editing, jigsaws).5 Principles -1) Positive Interdependence2) Face-to-face interaction3) Individual Accountability4) Social Skills Training5) Group Processing/Formation(Diaz-Rico, 2008 p. 168 and Richards & Rodgers, 2001, p.


Designer methods
Methods and ideas about language learning that evolved from a single idea or idea of a single theorist. Often not based in language theory and a very narrow theory of learning (Richard & Rodgers, 2001, p. 71). Each method contributed to the field.
Multiple Intelligences
Gardener (1983) claimed that there were other types of intelligences rather than just linguistic.1) Linguistic2) Logical Mathematical3) Spatial4) Musical5) Bodily/Kinesthetic6) Interpersonal7) Intrapersonal8) NaturalistTeachers should find out preferred intelligences and incorporate different modalities into lessons (Richard & Rodgers, 2001, p.


Competency Based Language Teaching
(CBLT) Focuses on what learners are expected to do with the language. Used to define educational goals in terms of precise measurable descriptions of knowledge, skills, and behaviors students should possess by the end of a course of study. Used the help new immigrants fit into the status quo and class relationships. (Schenck, 1978 in Richard and Rodgers, 2001, p. 141-142).