One of the biggest challenges facing teachers in the TTO is how to get their learners to speak English in their lessons. One approach could be for a teacher to focus on reducing the amount of time they speak in front of the class in order to shift the focus onto the learners’ spoken output.
So, for this reason I've been encouraging teachers to use the MTV rule. MTV stands for Maximum Time Verbals, meaning the maximum time a teacher talks for a given moment in a lesson (not the maximum time for the whole lesson). This amount should not exceed the average length of a music video on MTV (the television channel) – 3 minutes.
The idea then is to plan instructions, explanations, etc. that will be given to the whole class in order to ensure that each time these can fit into three minutes. After that the learners will then do an activity, such as a speaking task. Imagine then that all the spoken output in a lesson (teacher and learners) could be transcribed, producing a ‘script’ of the lesson. This then would be the spoken ‘content’ of a lesson. What would the ratio be between teacher’s spoken contribution and the learners’? How about aiming for a 20/80 ratio? That means 80% of the lesson’s spoken content is produced by the learners.
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