There is a long-standing rule that many veteran ESL teachers know about called the 70-30 rule. What is the 70-30 rule? It is a ratio of student talk time to teacher talk time. We can state total class talk time during one conversation class period (60 minutes, 50, 45, 30, 20, etc.) as 100 percent. Seventy percent of the talk time should be student talk time. The remaining 30 percent should be teacher talk time.
Seventy-thirty provides a formula for monitoring talk time in ESL conversation classrooms and an effective strategy. It is a guide for how much teachers should be talking and how much freedom students should be afforded to talk. It is not a hard and fast mandate where measurements need to be made. But it is a rule of thumb that helps teachers manage their conversation classes. The following are five reasons why the 70-30 rule is useful in ESL classrooms. Read more