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Classroom Language: Teacher Talk and Student Talk

As an ESL teacher, you should repeat phrases like “let’s begin”, “do you understand?” and “repeat after me”. Your students can use phrases such as “please say that again”, “I don’t understand” and “please speak more slowly”. We call this “Teacher Talk, Student Talk”. Simply, these are a word bank of useful common words in English.

This is why you should stick to common phrases in your ESL lessons or any beginner lesson. In order to do this, you will need to build the teacher talk and student talk dialogue from the first class.

In the “Teacher Talk, Student Talk” activity sheet, we have built a list of useful classroom phrases. It’s a good idea to practice them in the first class so students know what you’re talking about. Afterward, you should stick to this classroom language.

Teacher Talk: Useful Classroom Language

  • Let’s start
  • Are you ready?
  • Don’t be shy.
  • Did you understand?
  • Like this.
  • Any volunteers?
  • Speak up.
  • Repeat after me.
  • Does anyone know the answer?
  • Work in pairs.
  • Go back to your seats.
  • Move your chairs in groups of 4.

Student Talk: Useful Classroom Language

  • I don’t understand.
  • Pardon me?
  • Can you repeat that?
  • Sorry, I am not sure.
  • See you next class.
  • Just joking.
  • Sorry, I couldn’t hear you.
  • How’s it going?
  • Long time, no see!
  • Excuse me.
  • What’s up?
  • Please speak more slowly.

Other Useful Classroom Phrases in English

  • Who?
  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • How?

Related Classroom Management Worksheets

If you need more disciplining and classroom management worksheets, see our free printable activity sheets below.

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