Reduce your TTT!

By TTT I mean teacher talk time of course! For this week’s teaching tip, I would like to share with you a few tips on how to reduce the amount of time in the lesson you, as the teacher, spend speaking. Why is it important to reduce your TTT? Well, as I always say, it is my students (not me) who need to improve their English. Therefore, they need as much speaking practice time in class as possible :).

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Student talking time (STT) should be around 75 % of the class. Plan your classes taking this into consideration. a class which is not previously planned is likely to have an excessive amount of teacher talking time.
  2. Have your students do plenty of pair and group work.  Monitor students’ performance by discreetly circulating among them while they are working, and assisting them when necessary.
  3. Use body language whenever possible. It is amazing how much you can reduce your TTT by using a simple gesture in place of a verbal explanation. 
  4. Have students read the instructions for textbook activities and model the examples if any instead of you.
  5. Listen to your students patiently and attentively.  Resist the temptation of interrupting them while they are talking. Also, after you ask a question  count to 10 before you say anything. Don’t be afraid of long pauses because this will give students enough time to think and formulate a response.
  6. Provide your students with enough support language when they engage in discussions and role plays. Prepare posters of common A/B dialog sentence structures. The students can refer to them while doing group and pair work.  This will lessen the amount of support/nudging during group/pair work and increases the amount students talk!
  7. Let your students be teachers once in a while.  We can also learn from them!

Have any other ideas? Feel free to share them in the comments!

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