Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Best Practice: What is Teacher Talk?

Teacher talk” is everything you say when you're in the classroom. If you are someone who habitually thinks out loud, pay a lot of attention to your “teacher talk”!

Focused, deliberate speaking is most critical in Beginning and Intermediate ESL settings, but even Advanced and GED instruction can benefit from it.

Here are a few points to ponder:

Which do you think is easier for ESL students to understand?
A. "I'm gonna go ahead and ask you all to turn to page 34."
B. "Please go to page 34."

Which statement is the most authentic?
A. "I'm going to introduce myself to you now. 'Hello, my name is Emily.'"
B. "Hello, my name is Emily."

Which definition is most useful to your students during a lesson on the American K-12 education system?
A. "The word Kindergarten comes from the German, meaning 'a garden of children.'"
B. "Kindergarten is school for young children. It's the level before first grade. There is a lot of reading, art, and play."

The answers are all B because they are comparatively clutter-free, authentic, and relevant.

Try tackling a section of your next lesson with your teacher talk in mind.

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