Achieving proficiency in a foreign language

Who are the language learners that can achieve language proficiency?

 Learners who achieve foreign language proficiency are those who initiate and manage their own learning.

What does it mean?

This basically means that learners who rely only on instruction input fail to master a target language. A Danish researcher Leni Dam believes that learners do not necessarily learn what teachers believe that their students learn. The only thing that teachers can provide for their learners is raising an awareness of metacognitive aspects of learning. Basically, to help them to become conscious of the whole process of learning, of how they think and learn (Dam, “Developing Learner Autonomy” 42)

Things beyond language learning

Little proposes that students need to be aware of the things that go beyond learning language and proper strategies.

These things can help them to become efficient learners. He states that learners need to become aware of themselves as learners. Additionally, they need to know the learning techniques they should impement.

Some learners write their journals to note how well they progressed in mastering personal learning skills.

Scandinavian students applied this method and it came out as a successful way of a learning. Students had to note which learning tasks were well or badly done.  (Little, “Autonomy in language learning” 86)

However, not majority of learners “come into the language classroom with natural ability to make choices about what and how to learn ” (Nunan 134). Because of this, Nunan proposes to switch from being learner centered to learning centered.

What does it mean to be learning centered?

 Learning-centeredness assumes an approach where learners are guided on how to make informed choices (Nunan 134).  Such classrooms are focused not only on language being learnt, but also on learning process.

In this way, learners are aware of the ‘skills and knowledge they will need in order to make informed choices about what they want to learn and how they want to learn” (Nunan 134).

Basically, it does not mean that a teacher should hand over responsibility and power to a learner from the first day, but directs learners at the beginning until they are able to make informed choices. He encourages learners “to move toward the fully autonomous end of the pedagogical continuum” (Nunan 134).

Learning styles and strategies

Learners need to identify their own styles and strategies that suit them best. Learners should employ critical thinking and make decisions on what and how to learn (Nunan).

He also writes that learners need to become aware of curricula content and pedagogical materials in developing their critical learning skills.

Critical learning skills

 Basically, if a teacher is able to involve students in the learning process, it can be beneficial to their learning outcome (Nunan 135).          

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6 IDIOMS with Line /

  1. Why don’t you give me a call or drop me a line sometime?
  2. We’ve made the bad decisions down the line.
  3. If you want to get a line on your favorite celebrity, you may want to google it.
  4. Somewhere along the line I’ve made a mistake.
  5. You know John, he’ll take the line of least  resistance. He knows how to get out of the dilemma.
  6. It must fall into line with our efforts to simplify our policies.
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10 Phrasal Verbs with Fall /

Phrasal verbs with FALL: examples
phrasal verbs with fall
Phrasal Verbs with FALL

  1. The summit was icy then but it was thawing as we were up there and the ice was falling away.
  2. The house fell into decay.
  3. They fell on the bread as if they hadn’t eaten for days.
  4. It all fell to me to the point it became overwhelming.
  5. We all fell about when he told us a joke.
  6. My favorite mug fell apart so I need a new one.
  7. The enemy fell back as our troops advanced.
  8. I can always fall back on my mum if I have a problem.
  9. Our garden tree fell down on the ground during the storm.
  10. I rushed for the door and fell over a small rock.

Exercises: Fill in with the proper forms of phrasal verbs in the picture:

  1. An expectant hush __________ the guests.
  2. Beyond the hill, the land __________ sharply towards the river.
  3. I don’t have any more money to   __________ on.
  4. Part of the hotel __________ the sea.
  5. The one thing to do when you can’t __________asleep is to simply get up.
  6. Europe’s monetary system is__________.
  7. My bathroom ceiling __________ today, only to reveal a huge water leak.
  8. Tom broke his leg, missed school for several days and __________.
  9. Christmas Day__________ on a Saturday.
  10. The market for their product  __________ to almost nothing.
  11. Their marriage finally __________.
  12. Don’t __________the rent or you’ll be evicted.

You may want to read more on other phrasal verbs with : GET and COME.

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Phrasal Verbs with Come /

phrasal verbs with come
Phrasal Verbs with Come


  1. I came up with a good plan for the meeting tomorrow.
  2. She came up to us and asked us a few questions.
  3. I’ve come upon this post after some time
  4. Come over here!
  5. Our government came under siege.
  6. The leaves were coming down all over me.
  7. She hurried up the stairs. If she ran into a servant or a guest, she’d say she was running from Anton, which he’d only confirm when he eventually came after her. (From the book “Firestorm” – Rachel Grant)
  8. Plan your activities so that you are rested and refreshed when something important is coming up.
  9. I’m so excited whenever I come across a good book!
  10. Susan came along in her car and offered us a lift.

Please note: The same phrasal verb can have several meanings:

e.g. come under

a) experience or suffer sth –
Our government came under siege.

b) to be found under the larger unit of something – The phrasal verb run into usually comes under the verb run in a dictionary.

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Makeup Vocabulary for ESL and EFL learners /

Vocabulary – Makeup

Here you can find vocabulary related to makeup with exercises and a KEY at the end of this mini e-book. This is great for your EFL/ESL students who need to master this type of vocabulary – those working in cosmetic or fashion industry for example. This FREE makeup vocabulary pdf is great also for teachers engaged in teaching their EFL/ESL and other students. A iist of words included in this mini e-book  : bronzer, liquid powder, lip gloss, lipstick, mascara, eye-shadow, highlighter, lip liner /lip pencil, toner, crayon, eye pencil / eyeliner

Makeup – Exercises:

 Match the sentences in column A with their definitions in column B:


  1. bronzer
  2. liquid powder
  3. lip gloss
  4. lipstick
  5. mascara
  6. eye-shadow
  7. highlighter
  8. lip liner / lip pencil
  9. toner
  10. crayon
  11. eye pencil / eyeliner




  1. a cream or powder that you put on your face and body to make your skin look brown from being in the sun
  2. a type of make-up that is put on the lips to make them look shiny
  3. a substance that you put on your face after you have cleaned it to make the skin feel firm
  4. a colored substance, usually contained in a pencil, that is put in a line just above or below the eyes in order to make them look more attractive
  5. is intended to fill uneven areas on the outer edges of the lips after applying lipstick, therefore giving a smooth shape
  6. a cosmetic cream or powder applied to the face to highlight the cheekbones, eyes, etc
  7. a colored cream or powder that is put around the eyes to make them look larger or more attractive
  8. a substance similar to eyeliner but thicker and more oily
  9. a colored substance that women put on their lips to make them more attractive
  10. a soft, dry substance that is spread over the skin of the face, in order to stop the skin from looking shiny and it is in a liquid form
  11. a thick dark liquid make-up that is used to make eyelashes dark and make them appear thicker and longer

There is also one very amusing video you can watch on YouTube. Look at the way this teacher explains makeup vocabulary:

(definitions are from – ;;; )

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