Saturday, January 22, 2011

Teacher Talk - 4

Dr.K.N. Anandan

Q: What are the various levels of teacher talk?

We have seen that each instance of teacher talk serves a specific purpose. For example one of the specific objectives of the teacher talk related to the trigger is to elicit the learner’s perception of what she has seen. This holds good for all levels of learners.
Now consider the following expressions:
1. What do you think the picture / clipping / photograph is about?
2. What ideas do you get from watching this picture /clipping / photograph?
3. You have watched the clipping. You must have thought about some ideas. Why don’t you share them with your friends?
4. What does the picture tell you?
5. The picture tells us something, doesn’t it? What is that?
6. I was wondering whether someone could tell the whole class what the picture is about.
All the expressions given above are suitable for interacting with the learners based on the trigger. But are all of them these expressions at the same linguistic level?
Of course we cannot ask these questions as formulated here in classes 1 and 2. At the same time children in these classes will have their own perceptions about the picture and we must know what these are.
One way to tide over the problem is to establish the details of the picture by eliciting them one after the other using very simple expressions. This can be followed by a question that elicits what they think about the picture. Another way is to ask questions using the code-switching strategy. Alternatively, the whole question can be formulated in mother tongue.
What really matters is whether we are able to address the perception of the individual learners by evoking higher order thinking skills.


  1. Proper teacher talk will help the learners to acquire language.How to pose specific,meaningful and targeted interaction in various class room situations is a major problem that our teachers are facing at present.The teacher talk will surely give a light to the teachers to move forward with confidence.

  2. Dear Babu,
    I am glad to see that you have read what I had posted in English Corridor. Please post your field experience in the blog so that others will be benefited by it.

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