Most teachers and teacher trainers tend to start their lessons casually and routinely but a few of them like me start them by cracking a joke and the like.

As a teacher and a trainer, I usually start my lessons in the following manner which helps the students to lend their ears (to the teacher) to me. The way I teach differs from the students to teachers.

1. Telling a joke: I usually begin the session by telling a joke to the students. Thereafter, I ask a few students how they enjoyed the joke. This helps to improve the communication skills among the learners.

2. Writing a Quotation: I usually write a quotation on the blackboard and try to elicit the meaning of it from among the students which helps me to develop the spoken skills among them.

3. Telling a small story: The best thing to do is to motivate the students towards the lesson unknowingly is sharing a good but small story which creates a lot of interest among the learners and they participate in the discussion that follows and which helps to improve the dialogue between the teacher and the taught.

4. Stopping a story at the crucial point: The finest thing among the ice – breakers is to tell a story and stop it at the crucial moment. Ask a few questions to elicit the answers. The answers might be wrong or right but the questions trigger imagination and help to improve the oral communication skills among the learners/participants

5. The usual way of starting a lesson is to talk about the the previous class and ask a few questions related to it. I feel that a teacher must not start a new lesson abruptly and directly. There must be some trigger followed by a fruitful discussion for a few minutes. Then the transition becomes very smooth and effective and sets the tempo for the free flow of the lesson.


Your description sounds like a fairy-tale in which everybody does what he or she is supposed to do. I hear this advice for the last 30 years and should notice that for the millennials it does not work anymore because their learning habits have changed dramatically.

May I ask you: if you have 20 students in the class, how many minutes each student can talk during class time? The answer is – less than one or two minutes! The remaining time the student is passively listening to the teacher’s conversation or, even worse, to the broken English of his peers. It is a typical passive learning that explains such a high failure rate of adults learning English.

Teacher-centered lessons are obsolete and should be replaced with student-centered approach when all students are speaking about 80% of class time. It becomes possible by introducing simultaneous repetition of lessons and drills that all learners perform concurrently using their mobile devices with earphones. This form of learning could be characterized as active learning because all senses are engaged at the same time.

Active learning is a subconscious process that uses the human brain propensity to seek the patterns in the activity performed repeatedly so that this activity can be performed with a less conscious input. In active learning the main English skills—reading, listening and speaking—are trained simultaneously. The learner starts speaking actively before he or she remembers the rules of grammar or vocabulary lists.

I did not say that I would spend all the time for story telling or sharing a joke or writing a quotation.You must not forget that I am a teacher trainer too.I do not tell fairy tales but express what actually happens in my classes.The activities last only for ten minutes.I will have 35 minutes of inter action in which I concentrate on the lesson.I know that all the students find time to speak in each and every class.By yhe end of the course all of them get chances

Add new comment

Log in or register to post comments