Teacher Talking Time and How it Influences the Success of your Students
I think of a teacher I had back in junior high in South Africa that made my learning experience memorable and that in turn earned me a diploma for achieving honors in my year-end examinations. He spoke little and allowed us as the students to discover and solve problems partially by ourselves. So, my aspiration is to apply the same or similar principals in teaching.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Candice F. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Challenges and Downsides of TTT
When teachers talk too much, students lose their concentration, they become bored and find the tedious explanations hard to follow sometimes. Teachers should give students time to answer, to be patient, to ask more open-ended questions that elicit a more conclusive response. Teachers should move around the room, and not stay in front of the classroom all the time. Students stay alert and awake this way. Stop asking if things make sense, that’s an easy answer to “yes”, even when students don’t understand. I suggest allowing the student to work in pairs, so that they get to learn ideas from one another, to have tasks of searching for information, instead of just giving the information to them. By using role-plays and debate scenarios, students get to speak freely and practice the language being taught to them. Use current topics that students can relate to, this way they will not get bored and will pay more attention. Ensure that all students are interacting and not just the same students over and over again.
Feedback from Students
I have asked a couple of students that are in grade 7 English to tell me what they believe would help decrease the time a teacher is talking and increase the time the student is talking and one of the comments was that the teacher needed to take more control of the class right from the beginning of the lesson. This could be done by having instructions clearly written on the work board to illustrate what the lesson would be covering on that particular day and the steps they were going to follow to achieve their goal. When students get involved in classroom activities, they are paying more attention, they are more eager to participate. Group projects and group discussions are also another way that students can interact, elicit information, and then present to their classmates, hence practicing speaking in public without feeling over conscious.
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In the modern world, we live in today, teachers have many new techniques they can use to teach a lesson in a more interesting way for their students. We have available amazing videos to illustrate topics, music to listen to which repeats words in a way that is easy to remember, visual aids and many current magazines and books that are appealing to read. Teachers do not need to be talking all the time for a student to understand a language. Students need to practice the language, they need to talk, even if they are not saying things perfectly, they need to practice. So, the less time a teacher is actually talking in a lesson, the more time a student is, hence they are practicing! Sometimes a silent teacher is a teacher that teaches more.
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