Question: Why should you think about what you say as a teacher? 

Answer: Your job is to help learners learn. So, your instructions need to be clear and when you speak there needs to be a reason.  

Language teachers are often told that teacher talking time (TTT) is bad. However, you shouldn’t think about how much you speak, but rather why you are speaking. Think about the quality of your TTT.  

Some mistakes teachers make when speaking are: 

  • repeating instructions word for word 
  • over-explaining simple tasks or language items 
  • using complex sentences and difficult vocabulary  
  • saying what they are going to do next instead of just doing it. 

Teachers often try to justify the reasons for speaking a lot, e.g. ‘I repeat my instructions because not all the learners are listening.’ In this situation, learners might not be listening, because they know the teacher will repeat the instructions. 

How could you improve the quality of what you say in class?


Justify: Explain or give a reason for something.