How to improve communication in a language class (language exchange session). Part 2.

students in the classroom learning languages

Last time we started to talk about some ways how one can boost  his or her learning experience by improving communicaiton in a classroom or during a language exchange session.

Communication can break down if a teacher can’t provide students a wide spectrum of communication-stimulating activities. To prevent this, educators are usually advised to use different ways of seating and grouping students. Preferably, all types of seating arrangements should be involved. However, it depends on class size, students’ age and many other factors. Anyway, keeping in mind that changing seating arrangements can boost communication is always helpful.

It would be unfair to forget that teachers are the authority in the classroom, and it is the teacher who is responsible for creating a genuine environment conducive to communication in the classroom.

Teachers play different roles at different lesson stages. When they prompt and present information, the “Teacher Talking Time” (TTT) must be limited. All the instructions and explanations should be quite brief though clear and sequential. If the topic or the task is too complex, and long instructions seem to be unavoidable, try to break them into several parts and deliver step-by-step.

As organizers and controllers of productive activities, teachers can slightly correct the way of communication between students. However, it is important to notice any issues. On later lesson stages, teachers may offer their advice and support that can help to cultivate good relationship and communication between students.

When acting as assessors, educators should not only mark the work with grades but also provide students some feedback on their performance. This is a part of communication, too, and it is essential for further development and learning progress.

Finally, dealing with problem behavior in class might be one of the biggest challenges for teachers. There is no universal answer that helps to fix any issue. Teachers should learn more about various forms of problem behavior and the reasons that cause it. In the classroom an educator’s primary goal is to prevent the situation when one student’s misbehavior impedes the whole class communication.

As a conclusion, genuine communication combines multiple elements and may be achieved by coupling the above-mentioned techniques with other methods of effective class management. Using catchy VAK aids, careful lesson planning, as well as using various activities in the classroom – increase the students’ confidence and encourage them to communicate more freely and proactively.

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