The Glossary below is designed to act as a reference for the many terms and acronyms used in education. For example, English Language Learning (ELL) can be referred to as: EAL - English as an Additional Language, ESL - English as a Second Language and ESOL - English for Speakers of Other Languages

If you need an explanation/definition of something not on the list, please send a question through the forum. We will answer and add to the glossary.

English Language Levels

# Word / Acronym
Definition
1 Advanced A level of English proficiency which is above 'Intermediate' - Advanced level learners will be near fluent although they may not understand some figurative uses of language.
2 Beginner A level of English proficiency which indicates no previous study of English - Beginner level learners will perhaps know the alphabet but not much more.
3 Comprehension Another word for 'understanding,' When you check learners' comprehension, you can see if you need to review the language again or if you are ready to move on. Sometimes you can check by asking a question, asking them to draw a picture, point to an object - there are many methods that do not involve writing.
4 Elementary A level of English proficiency which is above 'beginner' - Elementary level learners will know very basic English such as greetings, numbers, letters but may not be secure.
5 False Beginner A level of English proficiency which indicates little or no previous study of English. However, False Beginner level learners will know the alphabet and some vocabulary picked up from international media although they won't have a knowledge of grammar structures. Communication will be very limited.
6 Intermediate A level of English proficiency which is above 'Pre-Intermediate' - Intermediate level learners will be able to communicate quite well in English but may have some vocabulary and grammar issues.
7 Pre-Intermediate A level of English proficiency which is above 'Elementary' - Pre-intermediate level learners will be able to communicate fairly well in basic conversations but will have many gaps.

English Language Terms

# Word / Acronym
Definition
1 BICS Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills are language skills needed in social situations. It is the day-to-day language needed to interact socially with other people.They are not very demanding cognitively. The language required is not specialized. These language skills usually develop within six months to two years in a totally English speaking environment.
2 CALP Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency refers to formal academic learning. This includes listening, speaking, reading, and writing about subject area content material. This level of language learning is essential for students to succeed in school. Students need time and support to become proficient in academic areas. This usually takes from five to seven years. Recent research (Thomas & Collier, 1995) has shown that if a child has no prior schooling or has no support in native language development, it may take seven to ten years for ELLs to catch up to their peers.
3 Elicit When you ask learners to tell you something, rather than you telling them. For example, 'elicit the names of 3 animals' means ask the learners to name 3 animals. Doing this allows you to see what they do or don't know when teaching and it is good practice to get as much from the learners as possible.
4 Instructional Reading Level This is the level at which a child needs the support to decode and/or comprehend the text. The child can read the text with 90-95 percent accuracy or better and has at least 80 percent comprehension on simple recall questions about the story. They may need to learn or be reminded of strategies to completely comprehend the text. At this level, they will encounter new vocabulary and sentence structures within a text they can generally access.
5 Independent Reading Level This is the level at which a child can read a text on his/her own with ease. The child makes hardly any errors when reading the text and has excellent comprehension of the story. The child can read the story alone with confidence.
6 Text Levels Many books have a level assigned to them, such as Lexile, Grade level equivalent. See Assessment below for these.

School Levels

# Word / Acronym
Definition
1 Key Stage 1 A level of education particular to the UK system involving learners aged from 5-7 in Years 1 and 2.
2 Key Stage 2 A level of education particular to the UK system involving learners aged from 8-11 in Years 3-6.
3 Key Stage 3 A level of education particular to the UK system involving learners aged from 12-14 in Years 7-9.
4 Kindergarten (UK) A level of education that indicates very young (3+) pre-school learners. May also be referred to as 'nursery'.
5 Kindergarten (USA) A level of education involving learners who are 5 years of age at the beginning of that school year usually equivalent to Year 1 (UK).
6 Grade Level (USA) A level of education equivalent to Year (UK). Grade 1 = Year 2 ( 6-7 years old), Grade 2 = Year 3 (7-8 years old) etc.
7 Elementary School (US) A school division involving learners who are Kindergarten - Grade 5 (sometimes Grade 6).
8 Middle School (US) A school division involving learners who are Grade 6 - Grade 8.
9 High School (US) A school division involving learners who are Grade 9 - Grade 12.
10 Primary School (UK) A school division involving learners who are aged 5 - 11, Years 1 - 6.
11 Secondary School (UK) A school division involving learners who are aged 12 - 16, Years 7 -11.
12 Sixth Form (UK) A school division involving learners who are aged 11-18, Years 12 and 13.
13 Nursery A level of education that indicates very young (3+) pre-school learners. May also be referred to as 'kindergarten'.

Cooperative Learning Strategies

# Word / Acronym
Definition
1 Think, Pair, Share (or Square) In this strategy, a problem is posed or a piece of text read, students are given a set time to think about it on their own, and then they work in pairs to discuss the text or solve the problem and share their ideas with the class. (or join another pair). Guiding questions (open ended questions that promote discussion) are often provided.

Assessment

# Word / Acronym
Definition
1 Formative assessment Sometimes called “assessment FOR learning”, formative assessment involves teachers assessing frequently and using the results to plan the next steps in instruction.
2 Summative assessment/td> Sometimes called “assessment OF learning” summative assessments happen after learning is supposed to have occurred to determine if it did.
3 Lexile level