What are the key concepts in English language teaching?

There are, of course, many different approaches. Here is a short guide to some of them: Teaching English Toolkit Low cost ESOL Teaching Packs

What is Miller's Magical Number Seven? How has it influenced the way we teach languages?

The psychologist George A Miller  had an incalculable influence on the new academic discipline of cognitive science and the still disputed notion of psycho-linguistics. His research focussed on working memory - the way the mind processes information.  He observed that the brain encountering the unfamiliar, could absorb roughly seven new things at a time.When asked to repeat a random list of letters, words or numbers, he wrote, people got stuck “somewhere in the neighborhood of seven.” Some people could recall nine items on the list, some fewer than seven. But regardless of the things being recalled — colors and tastes, numbers with decimals, numbers without decimals, consonants, vowels — seven was the statistical average for short-term storage. (Long-term memory, which followed another cognitive formula, was virtually unlimited.) From NYT obituary 02/08/2012 Why is Miller's work important for language teachers? In practical terms this means that the mind best processes new

What is a descriptivist? A prescriptivist?

In linguistics very long words sometimes describe straightforward ideas. Listen to this short description of two key words: descriptivist and prescriptivist. listen to ‘What do linguists mean by descriptivist and prescriptivist?’ on Audioboo Essential Linguistics: What You Need to Know to Teach Reading, ESL, Spelling, Phonics & Grammar The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics (Oxford Paperback Reference) Teaching English as a Foreign Language For Dummies E.S.L - English As A Second Language

Is English the most spoken language?

Before You Read  Which language has the most a) native or first language speakers? b) second language speakers? The English Language from ESL Reading Listening: English - the easy language?

How many new words are entering the English language?

According to new research, the English language has doubled in size over the last century . It continues to grow ' by 8,500 words a year' and now stands at 1,022,000 words .'  And the speed of this growth is accelerating :  The language has grown by more than 70 per cent since 1950 .... The previous half century it only grew by 10 per cent ...     source Are all these new words in the dictionary ? English does not have an equivalent version of the Académie française. The only official recognition comes with an entry in the  Oxford English Dictionary  (OED). Interestingly much of this new vocabulary has not been formally recognised. Nearly half of the new words are not included in any dictionary and are dubbed lexical "dark matter". They are either slang or invented jargon.       Why does the OED restrict the words it includes? Because there are so many words in English! The OED is already more than three times bigger than the equivalent dicti

What is a metanarrative?

The definition of metanarrative is earnestly debated in faculty lounges and hipster coffee-bars. Here is one attempt: a narrative  about  narratives of historical meaning, experience or knowledge, which offers a society legitimation through the anticipated completion of a (as yet unrealised) master idea.    J. Childers/G. Hentzi eds.,  The Columbia Dictionary of Modern Literary and Cultural Criticism  (1995) p. 186 What does this mean in comprehensible English?  I can make no sense of 'narratives of historic meaning' but the meta here seems to be defined as 'wider' or 'overarching'.  So for a Marxist the story of the Russian Revolution forms part of the wider metanarrative of the (supposed) history of class struggle. Terms like  metanarrative  have emerged from the influence of post-modernism on leading universities in the West.  Matt Labash  is one of many to question whether this influence has been entirely beneficial. What is a meme? What does m