Vocabulary through College Talk and Participation through Talk Moves

College Talk: Improving Students’ Vocabulary”

The College Talk strategy from the Teaching Channel allows teachers to use complex vocabulary words in simple phrases. For instance, instead of “stop talking” it is “stop socializing.” Students eventually repeat this over time. Although this is gauged for younger students, I think it is something to try in secondary classrooms. Vocabulary walls are also important!

What ways do you improve students’ vocabulary? How is grammar instruction implemented in your classroom?

Improving Participation with Talk Moves

To make sure students do not check out as another student answers the question, this teacher calls on students to repeat the answers. This means that all students must listen because they never know when they are going to be called on! This  is not used as punishment or to embarrass a kid for talking; anyone could be called. They also use a silent signals (waving their hands) to show that they have the same answer or idea. This encourages the student who is speaking because they can see that their classmates have a similar idea. However, no interruptions are made. Students get a chance to revise their ideas when they are confronted with new information. Students learn that coming to a new understanding by merging information is normal and expected. This, once again, shows an elementary school class but I think the same strategies can be applied in secondary classrooms (ie. Cold Call).

What other strategies can you think of that foster participation?

English Teacher Resources

7 Word Autobiographies Ice Breaker

100 Incredibly Useful YouTube Channels for Teachers Blog Post

Adverbs for Elementary by Engames


Assessing Children’s Literature

English Grammar 101

English with A Twist Blog

FreeRice Spelling and Grammar

Grammar Board Games by BBC

How To Describe Events in Sequential Order in English by English Tonight

National Writing Project

Present Perfect Tense Lesson by Engames

Present Perfect Tense vs. Past Simple Tense by Engames

Research on Literature Circles

Teaching Resources and Lesson Plans by BBC

The Mind of a Middle Schooler: How Brains Learn

When Two Vowels Go Walking Brain Break by Multimedia English