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Teaching Tip: Limit Teacher Talking Time (LTTT)


The new school year has begun for most ESL teachers, and it can be said that the LTTT rule is one of the most basic rules that we tend to forget when teaching in a classroom full of kids. Using the LTTT rule is a way to make the most of your lessons for the students, especially those who are teaching large a large number of students at a time.


Out of the four areas of teaching ESL - listening, reading, writing, speaking - speaking is probably the most common (or the only) request from the client (schools). Speaking, or communicative English, is what we want the students to do, and it will not happen if we are doing all the talking, ie. giving too much instruction, lecturing, explaining unnecessary rules, boredom. On average, we teach a class of 20-40 students for 40-60min a week. You can see where this is going... do the math and it can be seen that we do not have much time to teach each and every student.


Negative feedback from schools usually come in the form of, "xxx Sensei picks out certain students too often... xxx Sensei is not having students practice the language enough... xxx Sensei is not giving everyone a chance to speak..." you get the idea.


This is the reason why we have to try and adopt LTTT as much as we can into our lessons, and the drills/activities/games should ideally be involving the whole class. It sounds so simple, yet even the best of teachers sometimes forget and continue to harp on and on and on and on and on and on....


Keep the LTTT rule in mind every time you are planning your lessons. Devise ways on how instructions can be given as short and simple as possible, and use games/activities where the language is used for the majority of class time. I promise, the students will get more out of the lessons, and you will find that they will retain the language much better the next time you see them.

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