5 Great Strategies to Cut Teacher Talking Time

Teacher Talking Time (TTT) is the amount of time the teacher talks in the classroom, this can be compared with student-talking time which is the amount of time students talk in the classroom.

It has been determined that teacher talking time must be reduced and student talking time must be maximized.

Why Reducing Teacher Talking Time?

  1. Excessive Teacher Talking Time  imits the amount of Student Talking Time.
  2. A large amount of Teacher Talking Time leads to loss of concentration, boredom. and reduced learning.
  3. Teacher long explanations are tedious and hard to follow
  4. Teacher Talking Time reduces students opportunities for developing the speaking skill.
  5. Teacher Talking Time makes students not to take responsibility for their own learning

What are some strategies to reduce Teacher Talking Time?

These are some strategies to help teachers reduce their teaching talking time.

Pair Work

The use of pair work activities has been advocated by communicative approaches to foreign language pedagogy for the many years.

Organize pair work activities so student talk to each other and the interaction in the classroom doesn’t have to be between learner and teacher.


Elicitation is a technique by which the teacher gets the learners to give information rather than giving it to them.

To reduce teacher talking time, use body language, mime, gesture and facial expressions rather than words to communicate.


Giving instructions is an integral part of being a teacher. You are going to be spending a lot of time telling students what to do and when to do it. Keep instructions simple and clear.


How often is it quiet in your classroom? Do you value quiet, or dread it? Is silence “awkward” for you or your students?

Sometimes we mistake silence as a sign of inactivity. Tolerate silence and give students enough time to reply and prepare for activities.

Student-Centered Task

Calculate how much time you spent talking  and cut out some of the speaking or replace it with student-centered activity.

Student-Centered Learning, also known as learner-centered education, broadly encompasses methods of teaching that shift the focus of instruction from the teacher to the student.

The teacher still has an authoritative  role, but the students and the teachers play an equally active part in the learning process.

The primary goal of the teacher is to coach and facilitate students’ learning and comprehension of the subject material.

Preview Language

Use your TTT to ‘preview’ new language that is coming up, for example start using the simple past the day before you teach it! Students soon figure out what you are doing and begin to ‘notice’ the new language.

Reciprocal Teaching  to Reduce Teacher Talking Time

Reciprocal Teaching is a two-way street communication in which the teacher assumes the role of a  facilitator and monitor, and students are encouraged to perform  actively with the teacher or among themselves  Students are given a solid opportunity to improve their communicative competence in the target language because they have the openings they need to talk in class.

The procedures that Reciprocal Teaching uses are the following:

Paraphrasing: When you paraphrase, you state an author’s thoughts in your own words through the use of synonymous words or equivalent phrases. In the language classroom this ability is practiced when the teacher asks a student to paraphrase what a classmate just said or what the teacher just explained

Reported Speech:  Reported speech is speech which tells you what someone said, but does not use the person’s actual words: for example, ‘They said you didn’t like it’, ‘I asked him what his plans were’, and ‘Citizens complained about the smoke’.

Manuel Campos, English Professor

Manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of EnglishPost.org, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English