Bismillahirrahmaanirrahiim. Assalamu’aaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. Today I’d like to talk about three issues that I have read in chapter 2 of Jeremy Harmer’s How to Teach English, namely: giving instructions, teacher talking time or TTT and student talking time or STT, and also about using L1 in an English class. My name is Evi Sofiawati.
First, let’s take a look at some points to ponder when giving instructions to our students. I absolutely agree with a statement in this chapter of the book that the best activity in the world is a waste of time if students don’t understand what they are supposed to do. To get our message across to the students, I believe that we need to consider these two points: KISS, keep it short and simple, and be logical.
It is also essential that we check students’ understanding after we give them instructions. This can be done by asking them to repeat the instructions. We also can just ask one of them to demonstrate how an activity works. Repeating and demonstrating the instructions can also be done using L1, especially when everybody in the class share the same mother tongue.
Now, let’s move on to the second issue of my talk here, teacher talking time or TTT, and student talking time or STT. Good teachers can use their common sense and experience to get the balance between TTT and STT.
The percentage of how much time a teacher should talk or the student should talk in class in not to be measured accurately. It is very flexible depending on several factors such as students’ level of competence, the skills being taught, or maybe the students’ age. However, overuse of TTT is not a good thing since the more a teacher talk, the less chance students get to talk. Well, it’s the students who need to practice their speaking skills, not the teacher. But one thing for sure is that we should always maximize STT, and minimize STT.
In addition to maximizing STT and minimizing TTT, we should also pay attention to TTQ. To give our TTT beneficial qualities, it is important that teachers consider comprehensible input only when talking in class. The comprehensible input can be given by rough-tuning the language. Teacher’s talk is also needed and appropriate to summarize what is happening in the lesson. Besides, teachers can also engage students with their stories. And while students are discussing in groups or pairs, the teacher can just enter into their discussions to enrich them with more comprehensible input.
Now, let me share with you the last issue in my talk today. It is about using L1 or the mother tongue in our teaching learning process. Using the students’ L1 may help students see connections & differences between L1 & L2 providing that the commitment to creating an English environment is not abandoned. When effectively and appropriately used, L1 can be one of the enabling tools to help students reaching the learning objective.
Being a potential value, L1 can be effectively and appropriately used for certain activities. Translating the given instructions in L1 can be an option to ensure that students are clear with what they have to in an activity. When dealing with unfamiliar words especially those for concepts and abstractions, we can also ask students to translate them in L1, and then back into English without looking at the words in English again. Another tip of helping the students with their fluency is to ask them to read an article in L1, and then get them to summarize it, or just to answer questions about it in English. L1 is also one tool to use in teaching pronunciation when we need to find equivalent sound in the L1 for the English one that the students are trying to produce. And last but not least, in film subtitling, especially in higher-level students. We can use films which are in L1 with good English subtitles. One good way to do this is to ask students to watch the film without looking at the substitles, and then write the subtitles for a scene. After that, they can compare their subtitles with the one from the filmmaker.
How to Teach English
Evi SofiawatiGiving InstructionsTTT and STTUsing the L1
Giving InstructionsThe best activity in the world is a waste of time if students don’t understand what they are supposed to do. K I S S B e logi cal
Giving InstructionsChecking students’ understanding Repeatin g Demonstrati ng
TTT and STT Student Talking TimeTeacher Talking Time