A significant part of what I do as an EFL teacher is based on interaction. I am continually thinking about better ways to teach it. I am constantly surrounded by people engaged in it. In my classroom I am at times encouraging, demonstrating, explaining, monitoring, managing, and correcting it.
Interaction, in all of its forms, is really at the heart of what I do.
Like many teachers in the EFL world, I have been schooled into believing that a noisy, chatty classroom is the summit of small-group learning achievement. The continual noise made by pairs engaged in an interactive speaking activity is a signal that they are having fun. And, they’re on task. Teachers who can motivate learners to use English at decibel levels that cause envy in adjacent classrooms are certainly doing something right. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t doing anything wrong.
Here’s a tip from a guy who used to go full throttle all the time, from start to end: build in a little wind-down time at the end of class. Your students need some time to process what they have learned, flip back through their books, ask a friend (or you!) to clarify or expand on a point. Perhaps most important, a few minutes at the end of each class will allow you to reflect on how you sequenced your activities and the effectiveness of your class in general.
In TOEFL Clear Strategies & Tactics, I talk about time management a lot.
If you are interested in learning even more about TOEFL Prep, check out my course Clear Strategies & Tactics.
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