TTT or Teacher Talk Time refers to the amount of time during class that a teacher consumes by talking. Not all TTT is negative. After all, students will have to hear the proper way of pronouncing words and hear explanations about the lesson. Still, in ESL lessons where the speaking practice is a crucial part in helping the student improve their skills, reducing the teacher’s TTT can be a big help. The target here is to make sure that you don’t do more than 50% of the talking in class. The most commonly recommended ratio is 30:70, but this will still depend on the type of student you have.
- Ask more open-ended questions
Encourage the student to go beyond ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Asking questions such as, ‘what?’, ‘when?’, ‘where?’, ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ will elicit longer responses and explanation from your students, whether you’re having a free conversation or checking their comprehension of a topic.
- Give simple, short and concise instructions
Provide instructions that can go straight to the point. Simplify your instructions but make it clear enough, so that you won’t need to repeat it over and over.
- Stop echoing your student
Aside from making you talk more, echoing doesn’t really have much purpose and can even distract your student from their thoughts. Instead, keep yourself silent for a few seconds and allow the student enough time to think and respond.
- Plan your lessons
Prepare for your lessons well and you find yourself having fewer gaps to fill with talking. Even if you don’t follow it completely, you’ll at least know what you can do next instead trying to buy some thinking time by talking.
- Consider your student’s skill level
This is always an important thing to consider. In asking questions or trying to converse with a student, make sure to check if the questions you’re asking or the instructions you’re giving are appropriate enough for your student’s level for them to respond.