Interaction

is so important in actual communication. It’s no wonder it’s good for the English classroom.

Don’t believe me? Try to have a conversation with a potato. Or better yet — a textbook. Not a lot of interaction there. It’s no wonder textbooks make us fall asleep. Just like someone who always talks but never listens.

But how do you make your classroom more interactive? I’m sure you have your own ideas. Several come to mind for me:

-Bringing interesting objects into class. Today I brought 50,000 YEN into the class and asked students, “Is this your money???” (1st graders are learning “this/that” and “my/your”). It took them about 5 seconds to get what is going on. Compare that to using a pen you pick up from the table. Totally different interaction there.

-Questions, questions and more questions — then and some follow up questions. Start easy. Go slow and use the collective knowledge of the class to your advantage. If one student  doesn’t understand, ask around, give hints or move on and come back later.

You see, interaction is a multiplier and a game changer. Find ways to interact with students and have a bigger impact.

Another idea. Recently during the class greeting I do two things.

1) I ask all students to make eye contact

2) Then I ask them to smile. I point out some good smiles, and when everyone starts laughing a little bit, then I do my greeting.

It’s small, but this small interaction is a game changer. It connects students with me and teaches them to connect their mind with their hearts, their studying with their emotion.

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