All professions have their specific vocabulary and language teaching is no exception. Some of the following terms are of more or less general application in teaching and grammar, others are more specific and designed to simplify the explanation of certain phenomena of interest only in the limited context of direct method language teaching.

You will probably hear the following terms used when talking about teaching and you should know what they mean.



INTRODUCTION The means by which you get a student to understand a word or structure - see "Introduction techniques".
DRILL Getting a student to repeat a given word or structure to make him remember it.
REPLACEMENT DRILL Getting a student to repeat a sentence with a single change in it (word or structure).
SUBSTITUTION DRILL Another term for Replacement drill.
MASKING If a student is to repeat a phrase after his teacher, that phrase should be the last thing he hears from the teacher. Intervening phrases "mask" the phrase he is to repeat.
KEY QUESTIONS Questions beginning with WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHEN, HOW, WHICH, etc.
AQ TECHNIQUE Giving the student an answer to which he has to formulate an appropriate question.
QAQ TECHNIQUE Asking a student a question, letting him answer it and then getting him to ask the same question.
"I DON'T KNOW" TECHNIQUE Asking a student a question he can't answer so that you can get him to ask it himself.
REPORTED SPEECH Prefacing any sentence with "He said ...", "She asked me ..." etc.
AND QUESTIONS A way of getting a student to give two answers, often an affirmative and a negative, in response to a single question.
DOUBLE QUESTIONS As above plus some variants. A similar effect can be obtained with "we" and "they" questions, for example.
SHORT ANSWERS Answers beginning "Yes" or "No" followed by the appropriate modal. (Yes, I did - No, he hadn't, etc.)
SKIT A sort of mini- Role Play often used to introduce situational expressions like "excuse me" or "just a moment please" which are incomprehensible outside their contexts.
ROLE PLAYS Acted-out situations.
INVERSION QUESTIONS The kind of question answered by Yes or No.
PROMPTS The first word or few words of the phrase you want your student to say, said, or sometimes whispered, to get him going.
CUES Same as prompts. Can include words which a student is to integrate into a sentence.
TO CUE (OR KEY) IN A STUDENT Using prompts and cues.
CUE RESPONSE What you should hear when a cue works properly.
TRANSFER TECHNIQUE Getting a student to repeat what you said, either as such or with some adaptation.
LEAD IN Getting a student on the right "wavelength" before introducing a new structure.
PROPS, ENVIRONMENTAL SITUATION Anything useful for your lesson that you can see in or from the classroom.
SUBSTITUTION (Replacement) drill Student repeats a phrase with ONE change in the sentence.
PASSIVE VOCABULARY Words a student can recognise or understand even though he can't use them himself.
ACTIVE VOCABULARY Words the student can use and integrate into his conversation.
MODES Question mode, repeat mode, adapt mode. The drill pattern the student is following at any given moment.

Mark Yates 2000