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Talking, Listening, and Teaching

Talking, Listening, and Teaching
A Guide to Classroom Communication

Edited by:

120 pages | Corwin
'This book demystifies the verbal magic that helps turn a classroom into a learning community with lively and engaging discourse. Teachers will find the instructional elements for orchestrating dialogue that gives students an appropriate and potent voice in the teaching and learning environment' - Neal A. Glasgow, Teacher, San Dieguito Union High School District, CA, Author, What Successful Teachers Do

Boost student participation and learning by fostering effective communication in your classroom!

Talking, Listening, and Teaching demonstrates how important it is for teachers to understand and monitor classroom communication patterns and resolve problems that may hamper students' learning. Using examples from real classrooms, the author explains

- How classroom talk is different from communication outside the classroom

- How to gather and analyze data about classroom talk

- What type of questioning generates good discussions

- Why and how to give feedback to students

- How nonverbal communication impacts the classroom

This insightful guide to classroom communication, featuring provocative 'Thinking About Your Own Classroom' questions, is ideal for teacher study groups and benefits all educators who wish to effectively manage this important aspect of teaching and learning.

About the Author
1. Talking, Listening, Teaching: Understanding Classroom Communication
Mary's Class: An Illustration

What Is Communication?

What Is Classroom Communication?

Talking and Listening

A Framework for Understanding Classroom Communication

Studying Communication Patterns

Reflecting on Classroom Communication

2. I Treat Them All the Same: Supporting Classroom Communicative Competence
"I Treat Them All the Same"

What Is Classroom Communicative and Interactional Competence

Home and School Communication Differences

Gender Differentiation

Communication Apprehension

Reflecting on Classroom Communicative Competence

3. You Talk Like a Teacher: Collecting and Analyzing Classroom Communication
Basic Classroom Communication Structure

Variability in Classroom Communication Structure

How to Examine Classroom Communication Patterns

Reflecting on Classroom Communication Data

4. Why Don't They Do What I Ask? Developing Effective Classroom Participation
A Bad Beginning

Organizing Effective Classroom Participation

Teacher Talk

Reflecting on Effective Classroom Participation

5. What Is 2+2? Examining Teachers' Questions
Informant Questioning Strategies

Types of Teacher Questions

Ways of Directing Questions

Characteristics of Good Teacher Questions

Characteristics of Unproductive Questions

Teacher Wait-Time

Reflecting on Teachers' Questions

6. OK! Good! Exploring Teacher Feedback
Purposes of Teacher Feedback

Teacher Feedback Strategies

Unproductive Teacher Feedback

Reflecting on Teacher Feedback

7. Two Heads Are Better Than One: Utilizing Learner Groupings
Turn Allocation in Whole-Class Grouping

Small Groups/Pairwork

Making Groups Work

Reflecting on Learner Groupings

8. I See What You're Saying: Recognizing Nonverbal Communication in the Classroom
Functions of Nonverbal Communication

Types of Nonverbal Communication

Teachers' Use of Nonverbal Behaviors in the Classroom

Reflecting on Nonverbal Communication

9. Professional Development: Reflecting on Classroom Communication and Interaction
Reflective Practice as Professional Development

Thinking About Your Own Classroom

Reflecting on Classroom Communication and Interaction


"This text speaks to an aspect of teaching that is often neglected in teacher preparation programs and in fact may not be on the radar of practicing teachers. As someone who designs and delivers professional development to practicing teachers, I can see a great deal of use for the ideas in this book. Experienced teachers often find that district-designed, one-size-fits-all PD is not particularly helpful, but this book has the potential to take each and every teacher from where they are right now and contribute to their professional growth."

Michele Cheyne, Clinical Faculty, Science Teacher Education
University of Pittsburgh

"This book demystifies the verbal magic that helps teachers turn a classroom into a learning community with lively and engaging discourse. It provides teachers with the instructional elements necessary to orchestrate dialogue into a powerful learning tool. The book helps teachers empower students and give them an appropriate and potent voice in the teaching and learning environment."

Neal A. Glasgow, Teacher, San Dieguito Union High School District, CA
Author, What Successful Teachers Do

"The author is clearly an experienced teacher who has taken an in-depth look at the topic of communication in the classroom."

Sandra Moore, English Teacher
Coupeville High School, WA

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

Thomas S. C. Farrell

Thomas S. C. Farrell is a professor in applied linguistics at Brock University, Canada. He has been involved with ESL and applied linguistics for the past 27 years and has written extensively on topics such as reflective practice, language teacher development, and language teacher education. His recent books include Reflective Practice in Action (2004, Corwin Press), Reflecting on Classroom Communication in Asia (2004, Longman), and Professional Development for Language Teachers (2005, Cambridge University Press, coauthored with Jack Richards). More About Author