Teach English in Dianshang Zhen - Changzhi Shi

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In an ESL classroom environment, teachers will inevitably partake in varying amounts of teacher talk time. Some classes will be more dominated by teacher talk time while others may involve more student talk time. Teachers must be aware of the times in class when they can limit their talk time because ultimately students will only acquire English language skills with ample amounts of practice. In the following few paragraphs, I will discuss the subject of how to lessen teacher talk time. In general there are a few guidelines which teachers can follow to reduce their talk time. Firstly, teachers should choose carefully the language they are going to use when giving instructions and explaining concepts. It is important to keep directions short and to the point. If a teacher keeps directions short, students are likely to pay more attention and listen more closely because they know the teacher will not elaborate. Secondly, teachers should avoid using TEFL jargon. TEFL certified teachers have a whole set of vocabulary which they learned during their courses, related to English teaching. However, to non-native English speakers, complicated vocabulary may be frustrating and confusing. Thirdly, when possible teachers should use gestures, miming, or pictures to help their students engage with the English language. The use of such gestures and media is not only beneficial for reducing teacher talk time but also for retaining attention from the students and for making lessons, arguably, more interesting. Next, as briefly mentioned above, teachers should not over-elaborate when discussing or introducing new topics and activities. Over-elaboration may seem useful for the teacher, however, in reality it makes concepts more complicated for the students. Another technique to be used for reducing TTT is the idea that teachers should use language which is at or below the level of the students she is teaching. Using non-complicated language makes class time run more smoothly and allows the students to feel more confident in their listening abilities. While the above are general strategies for reducing teacher talk time, I will now address the strategies used when following the format of an ESA class. The format of an ESA class provides an adequate opportunity for teachers to limit their talk time but only during the engage and activate activities. Teachers must speak more during the study part of the lesson because they need to explain new concepts and ideas. However, during the other parts of the lessons it is preferential to allow for student talk time. For instance, the teacher could start a class with a quick video about sports. The teacher, then, could encourage the students to talk about the sports they enjoy playing. In addition, the teacher could ask a student to try describe a sport and have the students guess which sport he is describing. In this way, the teacher has greatly limited the amount of time she spends talking and has encouraged the students to create dialogue with each other. In the activate part of the lesson, the students could create their own sport or mix a couple sports together to create a new game. Through this process, she allows time for her students to practice speaking to each other while also encouraging them to explain their ideas. The students will collaborate and discuss and she merely needs to monitor the activity and provide support or words when necessary. After the students have created their game, the teacher can call upon a few students to describe their sport and after others can ask questions. There are many ways in which to limit teacher talk time but it is important that each teacher decides what is most appropriate for their class. In certain circumstances, it is necessary for her to speak more but then in other circumstances, it is more important for the students to speak. Therefore, being aware of the situation and types of lessons being taught will allow the teacher to create a more balanced class dynamic of both student talk time and teacher talk time.