How to Reduce Teacher Talk Time

How to Reduce Teacher Talk Time

Reducing teacher talk time (TTT) and increasing student talk time (STT) is an important aspect of creating a communicative classroom. Here are some strategies to reduce teacher talk time:

  • Elicit answers and concepts from students.
  • Concept check understanding of new words and structures. Don’t over explain.
Body Language
  • Use body language, gestures, props, and the board to explain.
  • Make instructions simple and concise to avoid explaining them multiple times.
  • Don’t echo student responses.
  • Ask open-ended questions, not yes/no questions.
  • Use “why” and “how” to prompt student explanations.
  • Ask follow-up questions.
  • Encourage all students to participate.
  • Students should read instructions, examples, exercise questions, and anything else that is possible.  The teacher should never read these things.
Study Methods
  • Use inductive methods to teach new ideas.
  • Students should use self-discovery to find answers and solutions.
  • Students can give each other feedback rather than the teacher.
  • Provide students with ample thinking time so they can formulate answers and be prepared to speak.
  • Tolerate silence and don’t fill it with TTT.
  • Be patient when students are answering a question. Don’t rush to fill the silence with TTT.
Lesson Plans
  • Prepare your lesson plans thoroughly. A teacher with a good lesson plan is less likely to fill in gaps with talk time.
Student Confidence
  • Be positive about mistakes.
  • Provide a welcoming class environment where students feel they are able to make mistakes.
  • Increase student confidence whenever possible.
Student Level
  • Make sure students are in the appropriate level.
  • Ask students appropriate questions so they are able to answer.

“Be interested, not interesting”

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