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Classroom Language

. Understanding the theory

The more that classroom language is used during an English lesson, the less the
students will need you to use L1 (the students 'first language). Teaching and using
classroom language during English lessons will make the lessons more authentic.
Classroom language often occurs in an English class. Language such as Repeat
that, please and Open your books, please is very natural. When students are
exposed to this language frequently, they will eventually be able to produce it
themselves. If classroom language is often used, it is quickly absorbed by the students
and becomes part of their natural vocabulary.
Students, and teachers, can use classroom language. If, for example, the students
are working in pairs, it is useful to teach them expressions like, Its my / your turn
and Whose turn is it? It is important to teach both the classroom language the
students have to understand as well as language they need to produce.
Students need to be taught language they can use when talking to you e.g. Can
you repeat that, please? How do you say ... in English? and Thank you. Teach the
students the language they need to be able to speak to you in English.
Classroom language needs to be a regular feature of the English lesson. This
language needs to be introduced over a number of lessons so that by the end of the
term / academic year, the students have learned a significant amount. Always try to
use gestures to explain the meaning rather than using L1. Introduce classroom
language regularly and use gestures to show what this language means.
Once you have introduced new classroom language, always use it in the lessons
and make sure the students use it when they speak to you. Dont just tell the students
what to say at the appropriate time. Make sure the students practice the new
classroom language.
. Practical ideas for introducing classroom language
Put a large piece of paper or card on one wall of the classroom. Label it
Classroom language. As you teach the students new classroom language, add the
new sentence(s) to the list. It will allow the students to see this language easily.
When you teach the students new classroom language, get them to practice it. If
you want them to practise, How do you say ... in language ?, write five new
words on the board that the students dont know. Then get the students to ask you,
How do you say one of the new words in Chinese? Do similar examples with the
remaining words.
If you are teaching the students, Can you repeat that, please?, move around the
classroom, point to things and say, How do you say that in English?. When the
students answer, pretend not to understand and say, Can you repeat that, please?
Write some verbs in the present simple tense on the board and tell the students to
find out the past simple tense of those verbs. They should ask, What is the past
simple form of verb ? Write some words on the board that the students are
familiar with, point to one and ask, How do you pronounce this?
Play an imperative game by getting the students to follow your instructions. Then
they can continue the activity in pairs. Here are some example instructions:
Point to the window / door,
Open / Close your books,
please. Stand up / Sit down, please.
Turn round, please.
please. Touch your book / pen / Look at the board / door, please.

ears, please. Clap your hands,

please. Draw a circle / the
number 5 in the air, please.

Say Hello, please. Hold up 5 /

10 fingers, please.
Put your bag/pen/ pencil on
the floor / desk, please. Write ...
in your books, please.

Classroom Language: The beginning of the lesson

1. Good morning

2. How are you?

Good morning, everybody.

How are you today,?

Good afternoon, everybody.

How are you getting on?

Hello, everyone.

How's life?

Hello there, James.

How are things with you,?

Are you feeling better today Badr?

3. Introductions

4. Time to begin

My name is Mr/Mrs/Ms Mohamed. I'm your

new English/mathematics teacher.
I'll be teaching you English/ mathematics/
science this year.
I've got five lessons with you each week.

5. Waiting to start

Let's begin our lesson now.

Is everybody ready to start?

I hope you are all ready for your lesso

I think we can start now.

Now we can get down to work.

6. Put your things away

I'm waiting for you to be quiet.

Close your books.

We won't start until everyone is quiet.

Put your books away.

Stop talking and be quiet.

Pack your things away.

Settle down now so we can start.

7. Register

8. Late

Who is absent today?.

Where have you been?

Who isn't here today?

We started ten minutes ago.

What's the matter with today?

Where have you been?

What's wrong with Jim today?

Did you miss your bus?

Why were you absent last sunday,?

Did you oversleep?

Don't let it happen again.

Classroom Language: Simple instructions

Here are some common instructions which the class can easily understand:

Come in.

Stand by your desks.

Go out.

Put your hands up.

Stand up.

Put your hands down.

Sit down.

Hold your books/pens up.

Come to the front of the


Show me your pencil.

A number of instructions can be used at the beginning of a session, and as the

semester continues:

Pay attention, everybody.

Listen to this tape.

You need pencils/rulers.

Repeat after me.

We'll learn how to ...

Again, please.

Are you ready?

Everybody ...

Open your books at page ...

You have five minutes to do this.

Turn to page ...

Who's next?

Look at activity five.

Like this, not like that.

A number of instructions can be used at the end of a session, and as the

semester continues:

It's time to finish.

Any questions?

Have you finished?

Collect your work please.

Let's stop now.

Pack up your books.

Stop now.

Are your desks tidy?

Let's check the answers.

Don't forget to bring your ...


Instructions can also be sequenced:





After that

Comprehension language:

Are you ready?

What did you say?

Are you with me?

One more time, please.

Are you OK?

Say it again, please.

OK so far?

I don't understand.

Do you get it?

I don't get it.

Do you understand?

Like this?

Do you follow me?

Is this OK?

Classroom Language: The end of the lesson

1. Time to stop

2. Not time to stop.

It's almost time to stop.

The bell hasn't gone yet.

I'm afraid it's time to finish now.

There are still two minutes to go.

We'll have to stop here.

We still have a couple of minutes le

There's the bell. It's time to stop.

The lesson doesn't finish till two pas

That's all for today. You can go now.

Your watch must be fast.

We seem to have finished early.

We have an extra five minutes.

Sit quietly until the bell goes.

3. Wait a minute

4. Next time

Hang on a moment.

We'll do the rest of this chapter next time

Just hold on a moment.

We'll finish this exercise next lesson.

Stay where you are for a moment.

We've run out of time, so we'll continue n

Just a moment, please.

One more thing before you go.

Back to your places.

We'll continue this chapter next Monday.

5. Homework

6. Goodbye

This is your homework for tonight.

Goodbye, everyone.

Do exercise 10 on page 23 for your


See you again next Wednesday.

See you tomorrow afternoon.

Prepare the next chapter for Monday.

See you in room 7 after the break.

There is no homework tonight.

Have a good holiday.

Enjoy your vacation..

Remember your homework.

Take a worksheet as you leave.

7. Leaving the room

Get into a queue.

Form a queue and wait for the bell.

Everybody outside!

All of you get outside now!

Hurry up and get out!

Try not to make any noise as you leave.

Be quiet as you leave. Other classes are still