I was doing a CELTA course assessment last month and observing the post-lesson feedback with the tutor and the trainees when an interesting issue arose. The tutor asked one of the trainees to comment on the amount of teacher talking time (TTT) which had occurred during her lesson. The trainee agreed that there had been quite a lot of TTT. Indeed, a whole 10 minute chunk of the initial part of the lesson had been devoted to the teacher telling a story to the group of elementary students...

When we teach language for and through communication, it’s our job to ensure that there is as much student - student interaction as realistically possible. This means that teacher talking time (TTT) should be kept to an absolute minimum, right? Well, right and wrong. There’s more to TTT than meets the eye. Students’ interlanguage will develop not only through interaction (output), but also through reading and listening (input): Listening to coursebook dialogs, TV shows, movies and… the teacher. Yes, our own English is a rich, but sadly underrated source of...