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The Teacher Who Talks Less is on Their Way to Success

The Teacher Who Talks Less is on Their Way to Success | ITTT | TEFL Blog

The more a teacher speaks the less attention the learners will pay. Decreasing teacher speaking time can be done with a few practical steps and wonderful teaching methods. It all starts with proper planning. When designing a lesson plan be sure to include assignments and activities that will engage your students and do not call for a teacher dominant role.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Johnelle M. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

Classroom activities

Using activities in the classroom that engage the students is very important. For example, instead of going right into a lecture, using a pass the ball activity allows the students to get engaged and the teacher to observe strengths and areas of need. Start the students off with a question “what is your favorite activity to do when learning?” and see what you find. After engaging the students and getting them motivated for the day’s lesson be sure not to overpower them with speech.

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During the lesson elicit responses from students using open questions based on the lesson plan and jotting it down on the board to be used in activities. It is not always necessary for you to give the correct answer to a question. Allow the students to correct each other or ask additional questions that will guide them to the conclusion you are looking for. Before giving an assignment instead of giving instructions use an example from the worksheet or one similar to demonstrate exactly what you expect and then use a follow-up example to be sure they understand. Grouping students together to work on assignments is an effective way to make more student speaking time and it is wise for the teacher not to insert themselves into the activity, but rather be available to answer pertinent questions or to make a note of what may need to be addressed at later on in the lesson.

teacher and students

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Additional materials

There are many tools available to help limit teacher talk time. Playing a short video or sound clip that goes along with the lesson plan and preparing an activity based on it will help students develop listening skills. During that time instead of talking a teacher will be able to review other portions of the lesson plan. Using crossword puzzles can allow for quiet time as well.

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Revision methods

At the end of the day when it is time to review the progress of the students, using role-play assignments is a good way to limit teacher speaking time. By merely setting the parameters for the activity on what roles will be played and the purpose a teacher can be less talkative but very effective. This allows the students to interact with each other and freely use the lessons they learned developing the skills to use in a practical setting.

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By incorporating these very simple methods a teacher will greatly reduce talk time. When the students are speaking they are learning more. Using the abilities they have to correct each other is practical. A good teacher knows that the road to success is not to be entertaining with fancy talk but to listen to students’ ideas and guide them through the process.

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