TEFL sniglets – ‘tiglets’

sniglet (noun): any word that should be in the dictionary, but isn’t. (Hall, 1983).

I’ve been watching some old sniglet sketches from Not Necessarily the News recently. This one is by far my favourite (sorry for lack of quality):

Call me a bit TEFL-obsessed, but I figured that somebody somewhere must’ve already made a list of TEFL-related sniglets, (tiglets, perhaps?). I’m sure there’s a list out there. I couldn’t find it, although I did stumble across a preview of an article for using sniglets in class…

Anyway, here are a few tiglets I came up with today during a whole morning of tech problems in the staffroom. This is the best use of my planning time this year…

aimbiguous = unclear lesson aims

clinical approach = the tendency to teach all new vocab/grammar using clines, whether appropriate or not. A variant, the inclinical approach, includes lines which steadily move up the board, normally due to poor control of the whiteboard marker

critteria = a bug on an assessment rubric

gistage = an unexpectedly long amount of time for a first listening task

ICQs = lines of teachers waiting outside a conference centre for the doors to open during winter

morment = the sudden realisation during planning/teaching that you haven’t conveyed and checked meaning before highlighting form

PPP = starting a class in the knowledge that you need the toilet

rubricon /ˈru:brɪkɒn/ = assessment criteria for tasks about Italian rivers

rubricon /ru:bˈraɪkɒn/ = an icon in the world of writing assessment criteria

SLAting = criticising certain theorists, e.g. Krashen

subsi-diaries = a daily log book of all a teacher’s sub-aims used during the year

TEFAL = An English for Specific Purposes course for chefs.

Please share a sniglet, sorry, tiglet or two in the comments. If we start now we’ll have a whole Tiglets Annual by Christmas J

Categories: General

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5 replies

  1. over-aimbitious = when you try to cram too much into a lesson; maybe particularly useful on initial training courses

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Planospotting – when you plan the lesson on the spot 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice 🙂 My favourite is ‘gistage’ – you see a lot of that on CELTA courses! One of my trainees once suggested ‘the chair technique’ = when you decide to sit during the lesson. Over the course it became ‘chairing’, as in ‘great chairing today’.
    I’d never heard of sniglets before, but it reminded me of the ‘The Meaning of Liff’ which has many similar ideas: http://amzn.to/2gpuHy5 [being naughty and making that an affiliate link, so feel free to remove it if you like]. It bills itself as ‘The Original Dictionary Of Things There Should Be Words For’ and is by John Lloyd and the sadly missed Douglas Adams. A key text for any bookshelf 🙂


  4. Love ‘aimbiguous’.
    My addition would be: unARSEd – a teaching behavior in which the material is followed without Adaptation, Rejection, Selection or Evaluation.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. TEFL Tiglets #2 | ELT Planning

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