I recently uncovered some old files and among them was the slides from a presentation I did on Teacher Talking Time (TTT). I think many of us have heard about how “bad” it is and how we need to limit it and increased Student Talking Time. Heck, I even wrote about how to reduce TTT here. While I think this is usually a step in the right direction I also think it is quite simplistic. I think it’s too easy to demonize teacher talk without considering the potential positive aspects. In this workshop I wanted to highlight the different reasons we might engage in teacher talk and have participants make their own decisions about when and how to use teacher talk. I also wrote a short paper with some of these ideas in this Word document TTTb (1).
Here is the abstract for the workshop:
Teachers that have undergone training courses like the CELTA or SIT TESOL Certificate might have nightmares about the dreaded TTT, or teacher talking time. Obviously if teachers speak at the expense of giving their students adequate speaking time it can be a problem. There is probably not much need for long-winded grammar explanations, personal narratives or instructions. However, teachers need to talk sometimes. When? How? Why? In this workshop we will explore the options and choices related to teacher talk and consider how best to use teacher talk effectively and efficiently. Through a series of hands-on activities participants will be asked to consider both their use of teacher talk and the options available to them in their classes. The importance of scaffolding through reformulation, extension, clarification requests will be highlighted and examined. Also, we will consider comprehensible input, graded language, and non-verbal communication. Using real and fictional transcripts, participants will identify and evaluate different “teacher moves.” Additionally, the distinction between real and display questions and their possible effects will be highlighted. Finally, we will examine the typical patterns of interactions in class and the options available. Participants should leave the workshop feeling more aware of the challenges, benefits and choices related to teacher talk in their English classes.
Here are the slides (in a pdf) : Who_is_afraid_of_a_little_TTT_
Here are the questions I had participants ask each other:
(These questions were then analyzed to see if they would be real questions if asked by a teacher)
1) Do you like kimchi?
2) How do you say “hungry” in Korean?
3) How many brothers and sisters do you have?
4) How many fingers do you have?
5) How many students are in your class?
6) What does “irresponsible” mean?
7) What is 18 divided by 3?
8) What is the capital of Japan?
9) What is the simple past tense of “cut”?
10) What is your favorite Korean food?
11) What is the past tense of “cut?”
12) What time is it?
13) When did you first start teaching?
14) Where did you grow up?
15) Why did you come to this presentation?