During my training session with a group of LT’s in DG I have noticed one thing from the teachers, there’s “ too much echoing” and teachers being scared of silence in class. Students need time to talk. More importantly, they need time to think, prepare their thoughts, translate, and decipher how to say it out loud. Embrace silence in the classroom as a good thing, and give your students time to think.
It's amazing how almost every new teacher has the same problem-talking too much. No wonder we call it TTT ( teacher talk time). The whole Idea is to reduce it. Here’s what you can do to cut down on talking in your class:
Talking too much as a teacher usually comes in three forms: echoing, self-talk and filling up silence. Although not really harmful in itself, too much TTT takes away from the students' talking in class-which is the whole point of English Language teaching. It's the students who should be doing most of the talking-not the teacher. Make sure that you are producing good TTT.
Let’s look at echoing.
Echoing is repeating what the student has just said-usually in response to a question from the teacher. For example:
Teacher: "What did you do yesterday?"
Student: I went to the park
Teacher: OK! You went to the park. Okay great. You went to the park.
Quite simply, you want the student to talk more than you. When you echo what they say, it gives them less talking time. In addition, when you echo, they start to learn that they don't need to listen to anyone but you (the teacher who repeats everything). If you catch yourself doing this, stop it.
Nobody knows exactly why echoing occurs, but it most likely has something to do with a new teacher's confidence-or lack of confidence. Repeating what the student says, perhaps, buys the teacher a moment of time to figure out what to say next to the student.
So how should we stop it?
The first thing is to become aware that you're doing it. At first, you may need another teacher (who you may ask to observe you in class) to subtly signal you when you do it. At first, you will receive signals almost every time you respond to a student. You'll be surprised at how often you do it.
But that's the first step to stop echoing. The next step is to train yourself to come up with another kind of response to a student. Generally, it should be something to encourage the student to continue speaking in English. For example:
Teacher: "What did you do yesterday?
Student: "I went to the park."
Teacher: "Really? What did you do there?"
After a while, you will begin to reduce your echoing. At first, prepare yourself with responses such as--good; yes; go on-even uh huh-anything to say after a student responds...except repeating what the student has just said. ( excerpt from Irene Springer )
Remember we echo once in a while, especially in the beginning of a class. But once you catch yourself doing it, you'll wonder why you didn't stop earlier.