Teach English in Xichang Zhen - Nantong Shi

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When you are a new teacher it is easy to fall into the habit of talking too much during the lesson, this can be easily done because, in reality, you are the teacher, therefore you teach. This makes complete sense from one standpoint, the students are there to learn English, and you are obviously the model of that language. However, it is essential that we remember that the students are also in the classroom to learn how to communicate in English, or whatever language they are learning. So, how could you learn to lessen your talking time during a lesson? It is fundamental that during the stage of planning your lessons that this is a well thought out aspect of your lesson planning process. Writing down your interaction patterns on your lesson plan is a very good way to see visually if you are doing all the talking during the lesson. It is a good idea to see how you can maximise student talking time, even if it is not a part of the lesson that is focussing on speaking. For example, before you ask the students to give you the answer to a question make them work in pairs and discuss it first, you could also think about the layout of your classroom, small “pods” if possible is a great way to encourage student to student interactions. Encouraging more autonomy from your students is also another way to encourage speaking, instead of students always using you as their first port of call for an answer encourage them to ask each other, however, you need to ensure that they are actually using English. Thinking of the tasks you want to do in your lesson is important, but you also need to think about the language they will need to carry out the task. For example, if you want them to have a discussion in small groups, make sure you give them key phrases that they will need to take part in the discussion, so they are not just sitting there in silence. Encourage students’ knowledge by eliciting ideas and vocabulary that they know already, rather than you just giving them the answer, allowing them to brainstorm in small groups, and then report back to the whole group is another way to lessen your talking time. Also, think about where you place yourself in the classroom, do you always need to be the centre of attention? Lessening your teacher talking time is often easier said than done, but it is essential that you learn how to maximise students’ talking time in the classroom, once you become more familiar with this you will actually find it makes your experience in the classroom more fun and the students will be far more engaged in your lessons. Indeed there are always moments in a lesson when there is silence because the students may be focussed on something that you are saying or reading, however, once the students get into the habit of speaking and interacting with each other during a lesson it not only builds their confidence but will also build your confidence in yourself as a teacher.