To investigate who speaks and how much during a lesson


To investigate who speaks and how much during a lesson.

Evidence and reflection:

We recommend that you begin with an audio recording of part of a lesson. You may want to gather data on your own teaching.

Now sit back, relax and listen … Consider:

Reviews of this kind can highlight the pattern of talk in a classroom. It can often reveal aspects which surprise us, because it is so difficult to be aware of how much we talk, to whom and when, whilst we are engrossed in the process of teaching itself.


Having identified the pattern of talk, we need to decide whether what we do is consistent with our aims. You might like to see if you can develop the way you teach in the light of what you have learned in this activity. You could also use a similar approach to investigate different aspects of classroom interaction, e.g. teacher–pupil interaction in group work; pupil–pupil interaction, generally or in small group work. You will find suggestions for other observations in subsequent Reflective activities in this chapter.