Do you allow your students enough speaking time during your lesson?

January 18, 2021


Whenever I allow teachers and other educators in the Facebook Group, I ask for their current CLIL challenges.

Many times, something related to motivating speaking is mentioned.

Last week this happened again. One question was: “How do I motivate my students to speak?”

This all has to do with planning for student speaking time in my opinion.

Estimated time to read this article: 4 minutes

Teaching my son to speak

Thinking about the question posed, I thought about my own sons.

Don’t worry, this story will actually make sense in a minute 😉

My youngest is learning to speak at the moment, and makes the most interesting words and sentences.

I really enjoy his enthusiasm whenever he knows a new word, share his frustration when he tries to say something and I don’t get it and guide him along whenever he wants to try something new.

One might say I am scaffolding his learning and language, but let’s not go there right now.

Whenever my son tries to say something new, I would use recasting to actually help him along.

Giving him plenty of time to try again and make mistakes.

Repeating his correct answers to confirm them.

Waiting patiently for him to learn this at his own pace.

After all, I cannot expect a 2 year old to talk at academic level yet, can I?

Key Take Away

A 2 year old boy learning to speak a language is not that different from your students learning a second language.

Teaching your students to speak

You probably already get what I am trying to say.

I see a lot of similarities with the way we teach language to our students.

There are not even that many differences, in my opinion.

Let’s have a look at what I do

Student thinking time

I make sure my son has enough time to practice, as I wait patiently for him to think about his answer.

Comparing this to the classroom situation, I cannot help but relate this to student thinking time.

An essential element of teaching in general, but even more so in CLIL.

After all, students have to learn a content in a second language. They might just need to think about the words to use a little longer than their L1 counterparts.

Student speaking time

Another aspect I think can be compared to a lesson situation is the fact I make sure there is enough time for my son to talk.

During dinner time, during play time, whenever really.

I stop talking and make sure I listen to him.

Speaking is a lot harder for him than listening (although he is not always doing that perfectly either…) so it is important to allow for some time for him to practice.

Comparing this to the classroom setting again, this simply means: plan for student speaking time.

Key Take Away

To allow for enough moments for your students to practice speaking, be aware of both student thinking time and student speaking time.

Do you allow students to speak?

How much time do you allocate for students to actually speak?

Think about this next time you plan a lesson.

What about you?

Do you implement student thinking time and student speaking time to your lessons?

And if so, how?

Let me know what you learned from this post and share your ideas below!

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}