Classroom language

Classroom language is the meta-language or the meta-communication used in the classroom and in the study material. It includes the following:

  • explanations of activities like “Can you talk slower?” or "Repeat after me."
  • language for the virtual classroom environment like "I can’t hear you well. Do you have an internet connection problem?"
  • exercise instructions like Fill in the blanks:

While the first lesson of pre-A1 may contain the instruction “Fill in the blanks”, it is an A2 sentence. This means that pre-A1 and A1 level students should not be expected to understand it. (tested with text-inspector)

Inexperienced teachers might try to use sentences like “Let’s do a drill and pretend we are real language students!” in an A1 class without realizing it is in fact a B2 sentence.


There are several ways to solve this problem:

  1. Give the students a “Classroom Language” sheet with translations and ask them to memorize it
  2. Integrate classroom language to the course material
  3. Simplify the instructions
  4. Train teachers to communicate classroom directions with limited vocabulary (more difficult online)
  5. Translate classroom language in the material (not recommended for Tibetan-only classes)
1 Like

I found the “cat is eating an apple” video a great example of how to overcome the problem of the classroom language, without getting too much tangled in English. I think with some practice and the appropriate supporting materials, teachers can become quite good in doing that in a way where we get the “best of both worlds” so to speak.