Silence in Language Teaching

Silence is GoldenSometimes silence is the best approach. Have you ever seen a TV interview where the interviewer asks a question, lets the interviewee answer, and then says nothing? What happens? There's a pause, maybe even a pregnant pause - and then the interviewee just keeps on talking, very often revealing something s/he never intended to reveal. People just can't stand silence!

But in a learning situation, silence can have another truly beneficial effect. Your students are running while you're walking. They need silence sometimes, to catch up, to reflect, to rest, to process. Those ten seconds of silence, or thirty seconds or two minutes, may be far more valuable to them than yet more TTT!

Here are some activities to encourage your students to talk.

See also 15 Ways To SHUT UP.