Staging successful speaking activities with large classes

This was the topic of the weekly #eltchat on October 2, moderated by @Marisa_C and @Shaunwilden. What follows is a summary of one hour of productive tweeting. I’m also writing a summary for the first time, so please bear with me.

1) Initial thoughts and lesson-prep:

How large is a large class?

This posed an important and not-easy-to-answer question, with some of the chat participants never having taught classes before.

‘Large is anything you feel is too large to manage I guess’ via @Marisa_C and this perception seems to differ from country to country.

@PatrickAndrews and @MrChrisJWilson pointed out that the size of the room and the layout matter.

2) Problems during the speaking activity and how to deal with them:

Monitoring (@teacherkristina) and Managing T-S interaction (@Penultimate_K)

Could be dealt with by appointing monitors and encouraging peer-correction (@Marisa_C, @jobethsteel, @esolcourse, @BobK99) or by using a role-play approach or theater (@dspeicher27, @esolcourses).

Feedback (@ Shaunwilden)

Using the monitor-approach and having students take notes during the activity (aka ‘spying’), then report back was seen as very effective (@esolcourse, @Marisa_C, @teacherkristina, @BobK99).

3) Beyond the lesson

‘I think so far we have all agreed that you really need thorough prepping and strong class management re ICQs etc as a start point’ via @Marisa_C

‘from my experience, management/task allocation becomes more important’ via @teacherkristina

@louisealix68, @Marisa_C, @jobethsteel and @Penultimate_K suggested to use the classroom as rehearsal and then record students using soundcloud (

The transcript of the complete #eltchat can be found here: via @Shaunwilden

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