Teacher Talking Time (ESL)

downloadIn ESL teaching, Teacher Talking Time (TTT) is noted as one of the key problems to look out for, because the large amount of TTT automatically limits the Student Talking Time. In a class of 45-50 minutes if a teacher speaks without planning, it creates the false impression of the teacher being professional and talented, but it can harass the studies of students who come to learn and practice new language.The students should be given a chance to speak in the class by involving them in the topic and by guiding them.

boring classIf the teacher is using a lot of TTT, it makes him/her dominating and controlling over the whole class, where the students lose their identity and become dependent upon the teacher, they learn what is taught to them without showing their interest in the language.

Teaching and learning a language is a skill… 

By planning the teaching techniques a teacher can minimize TTT and maximize STT. The main aim of the teacher should be to involve its learners into the task. If the teacher inputs by Teacher Talking Time then the Students Talking Time should be sufficient to check the output.

For example, if a piano teacher teaches piano lessons by playing piano just by himself/herself, can never make the learners good at playing piano, because only listening is not sufficient for learning.

Strategies to avoid TTT in classroomimages

  • Making an interesting plan with clear and easy to understand instructions. Students should be asked to complete a story, act on a particular situation or describe a picture.
  • Involving each and every student in the class activity. Everyone’s involvement should be compulsory to avoid selection. If the participation is optional, only few extraverts and initiative students’ answer on and on and the rest sit back quietly due to hesitation.
  • Using gestures equally with the language.
  • Creating appropriate atmosphere for speaking classes. Students feel proud to talk in a language class, though they hesitate too much. Now it becomes a teacher’s job to arrange the class in such an order so that everyone gets a chance to speak in front of the class.
  • Chopping off TTT by creating pair work or group activities, enabling students to interact with each other.
  • Having students correct themselves first.
  • Having students correct each other.
  • Asking students friendly questions that they love to answer with great interest. Elicitation is the best way to increase STT.
  • Encouraging them to raise questions.
  • Asking their views, opinions and ideas on some interesting topics.
  • Checking the attention of the students in the class by asking close yes/no questions or some small explanations on the running topic.
  • Keeping instructions precise.
  • Giving examples, and not wordy explanations which prove dry and dumb.
  • Having discussions, roleplays, debates etc. to minimize TTT
  • Using Concept Checking Questions when checking for understanding.
  • Discouraging much echoing as it hinders the flow of the speech of the students. The students then only listen to the teacher instead of struggling to listen to their fellow student.
  • Using Silent method as an aid because this approach focuses on students doing a lot of speaking; the teacher on the other hand uses mime, gestures or visual aids to give instructions to the class. So, with a very little speech the teacher conducts the class allowing the students to learn by doing.

All in all, a teacher can wisely use her influence on the class and plan a strategy that involves the students in  bringing out their best results.

Happy Teaching!

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Picture courtesy: Google Images

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2 thoughts on “Teacher Talking Time (ESL)

  1. Some very good tips and suggestions there, Sheela. These can be equally applicable (with necessary modifications in some) in all classrooms regardless of the subject being taught. Appreciate this post!

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