TTT stands for Tutor Talking Time. It is the time that you spend talking during a Live Lesson, rather than the student. Known as “Teacher Talking Time” it’s a common concept in classrooms all over the world. One key element of many modern approaches is to reduce the amount of TTT as much as possible, to allow learners opportunities to speak, and learn from speaking. After all, you already speak your native language most effectively so it’s not you that needs to practice.
Talking is the one thing they can’t do outside class. They can listen on their own, they can read and even write on their own, but they run a serious risk if they talk on their own. This is just one reason to make sure you limit the time you spend talking and maximize the time your student(s) spends talking.
Have a look at our infographic to learn more about why you should try to reduce TTT:
We can’t tell you the exact percentage of TTT there should be in a lesson. That’s something you have to judge, depending on each student’s level and needs. Obviously, the goal is not for you to go completely silent, and students definitely enjoy a good anecdote or some cultural background information. But, in general, you should always try to remind yourself to maximize the Student Talking Time and minimise TTT.
Strategies for reducing TTT include:
- Use body language. Try to use more mimes, gestures and facial expressions, instead of interrupting the student while they are speaking. Like this, you give the student the chance to correct themselves, too.
- Write in the chatbox. To visualize a word that is new, or maybe was hard to understand or pronounce can help a great deal. Not only hearing but seeing it, too, will help the word stick in their memory. And, the student can access everything you wrote down after the Live Lesson to review these words and sentences, that were particularly hard from them.
- Let the student read out their instructions. This makes you avoid over-explaining as the instructions are written in an easy, understandable language, fitting the student’s level. It also gives you a chance to scan over your instructions quickly where you often find tips on how to support the student best.
- Questioning and natural conversation. Every question you ask during a Live Lesson demands a student’s response. Questions don’t need to be language-related and can be part of a natural conversation, too. Frequent questioning holds your student’s attention and increases learner involvement in the Live Lesson.
- Tolerate silence. In particular, inexperienced tutors tend to fill silences by unnecessary talking. Silence is important and provides processing time between instructions, during explanations or while waiting for a student to respond. Providing clues too soon, and rephrasing the question several times, are often counterproductive when the student merely needs time to answer.
I’m happy to hear about your experience with Tutor Talking Time. Was this something you were aware of and that you actively try to reduce?