I recently came down with a bit of the summer flu and as a result had a very sore throat and being up in front of people that expect you to then talk for a good few hours every day was something that was not helping. This got me thinking, which consequently led to this write-up, as to how to speak as little as possible, if at all during a lesson.
I have read one or two posts before about how to get through a whole lesson without speaking at all. I have tried some of those methods and while they are a challenge and definitely get your mind thinking creatively, they can tend to be quite awkward, especially with the lower level English learners. – I will add, however, that if you haven’t tried to do a silent lesson (no Teacher Talk Time at all) then it is definitely worth a try at least once just to experience something different, you never know, it might work out amazingly.
I also find that students, any students; young, old from beginner to advanced, need variation in the classroom and not just with the materials. As a teacher it is your responsibility to make sure that the students are captivated, if they still don’t want to listen that’s a story for another day, but I think a lot can be said about the amount of power a teacher has in the classroom.
There is a lot on the grand old internet with regard to Teacher Talk Time and how to reduce your amount in the classroom.
Here are just some of the sites I found;
The last one in that list above also comes with a list of activities that you can do in the class and provides some ways of thinking about speaking less and less in the classroom.
One benefit they all mention, which is the obvious side-effect of the teacher speaking less, is that the students then need to fill that silence and it is surprising how, with a little encouragement, students open up and you start listening to them as opposed to the other way around.
It turns out getting sick wasn’t so bad after all.