Teacher Talk Time
While the context of the lesson determines the degree to which teachers are speaking, it is clear that students benefit from opportunities to demonstrate their learning through engagement in discussion and opportunities to articulate their understanding of what they’ve learned (Edwards & Mercer, 1987; Deese, 1984). Therefore, presenting these opportunities to students supports deep learning and creates opportunities to model and reinforce understanding of the content being taught.
A large amount of TTT can cause student under-involvement, which leads to loss of concentration and reduced learning. High TTT also means there may be no indication of whether the students have understood the lesson content. Further, if the teacher dominates classroom discourse, opportunities for students to develop their skills can be limited. Importantly, high levels of teacher talk in the form of monologue can lead to students taking less responsibility for their own learning as they learn what the teacher decides and when. Here Professor John Hattie talks about Teacher Talk Time.
We all talk in different ways, but have you ever reflected on your rate of speech? Word speed impacts on the amount of information each of us is able to process, including both listening and reading comprehension (Goldstein, 1940). Most adults now communicate at more than 170 words per minute, but this is too fast for most of us to comprehend all the content that is being delivered. This is particularly true for students who are listening to their teacher in a classroom (Hull, 1985). When you look at your Average WPM, consider whether your speed suited your students and the lesson context. Here Professor John Hattie talks about Talk Speed.
Frequency of Questions
Analysing the frequency and types of questions that took place in a lesson is important because the difference in question type and the length of wait time give students opportunities to process content (Gustafson-Capková & Megyesi, 2001) and engage in deep learning. When you scaffold the types of questions students can reflect on, they are more likely to make connections between ideas and across ideas, and for the knowledge to be embedded more deeply over time. Too many surface questions implies knowledge is finite and related to simple information collecting, comparable, for example, to using a search engine online. There is no assurance that they have learned those ideas and have a deep knowledge of the concept.