Teach English in Shaoyangshichapu Chachang - Shaoyang Shi

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Let’s remember the latest class you’ve had. What were you doing? Were you explaining a new rule? Were you answering you students’ questions? Were you telling a story from your life? Weren’t you talking too much? Let’s discuss how to decrease teacher speaking time (TST) and increase student speaking time (SST). According to communicative approach TST shouldn’t be greater than SST, moreover it must be much more less than the last one. Why? There are several reasons. First of all we have to mention that the more teacher talks the less time for speaking and improving their skills students have. The second reason is that when teacher explains something for too long time, students literally start “switching off”, falling asleep and they just can’t catch all the information which is given and it leads to making the lesson inefficient. One more reason is confusion of students with long and complicated explanations. Sometimes teacher gives too long ones and students can get confused with them which will encourage teacher to explain further and it can increase TST and makes it impossible for pupils to find out the rule or meaning of the word by themselves. Let’s discuss, what we should do to decrease teacher speaking time as much as it’s possible. First thing I would like to talk about is structuring your work at the lesson. If to do it correctly and wisely you can give your students an opportunity to guess which rule or word you are talking about. In this way you can decrease your explanations and talking time significantly. Also you could try to separate some complicated structures onto several less ones and instead of explaining them for a few times it would be better to ask pupils “concept checking questions” . For example, while explaining the difference between Past Simple and Present Perfect using sentence “ I have already read three books”, you can ask some questions, such as: Do you know when I read those books? (No) Are we interested in the exact time? (No) If students answer all the checking questions correctly, teacher will understand that he doesn’t need to explain anymore. Also don’t try to give more information than it’s necessary not to confuse your students. Another thing I’d like to discuss is silence or pauses at the lesson. Teacher mustn’t fill in all the moments of silence at the lesson and try to finish all the sentences instead of his students. Don’t be afraid of silence. Neither you nor students should talk all the time during the lesson. Teacher should give his students time to think on their thoughts or reformulate sentence using some easier words. He has to help pupils only in case if they ask about it, otherwise it will make them unconfident or irritated. Teacher shouldn’t think that pauses are just wasting of class time because they are a great opportunity for students to make their answers more accurate and remember some necessary words from an active vocabulary. The last but not the least thing I want to mention it’s self-answering and the situation when the teacher start speculating instead of his students. Let’s imagine the situation when teacher needs to introduce to topic of the lesson, so he asks students to describe the picture at the beginning of the unit and there is such dialogue: Teacher: Well, we are going to start a new topic called “Solutions”. Look at the picture and try to guess what the unit is going to be about. Students: … Teacher (a few seconds later): So we can see several different inventions and it means that we are going to talk about some outstanding things which have helped to solve some problems, right? Students: Erm… Teacher: We can see a light bulb and a car, so it means that… Here we can see that teacher even doesn’t try to listen to students he just do all work instead of them. It’s unacceptable during the lesson and I dare repeat that teacher must give his students some time to think on their answers. The point of the task is not just answering correctly but to speculate in English and teacher should remember that it’s not he who has to speculate but his students. The best solution here could be pair work or work in groups to let pupils to discuss together and to think about the question. If groups are weak teacher can lead them to the correct answer to let them guess the answer and feel more confident. To conclude I’d like to say that a good teacher is a lazy teacher because he knows how to delegate questions, how to elicit all the necessary information from the students and at the same time to make his students speak as much as it’s possible during the lesson. Also it’s to remember that teacher shouldn’t be silent all the time but he must keep the balance between TST and SST to make his lessons efficient and encourage students to use and learn language more.