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Teaching English as a Second Language


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8 Teacher Talking Time

Just like teaching, language acquisition is also a practical skill that improves through practice. Unlike the teachers we may have met through our days at school and college, ESL teachers do not stand at the front of the room and lecture. They create situations in which learners can use English, they monitor the learners, and they give appropriate feedback.

Some teacher training programmes emphasize the evils of teacher talking time (TTT). I agree, up to a point. It’s much better to hand over to the learners and let them practice what they know in a controlled and supportive environment. BUT it is also important sometimes for learners to be presented with models of good English, and this is where TTT plays an essential role.

So the bottom line on TTT is it's OK, but like most things, in moderation.

Next: A Final Word

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