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Understanding Classroom Interaction

To get started we should separate classroom interaction from classroom behavior.
1. The term classroom interaction refers to the interaction between the teacher and learners in the classroom.
2. Classroom Interaction is also a practice that enhances the development of the two very important language skills, which are speaking and listening among the learners. This device of speaking and listening helps children to be competent enough to think critically and to share their views among their peers.
3. A classroom interaction describes the form and content of behavior or the social interaction taking place in the classroom especially the relationship between teacher and children in the classroom.
4. It capitalizes on the diversity of learner’s experiences to generate solutions to (open-ended) problems and to explore learner’s ideas within the context of the lesson. *Includes sufficient time to have meaningful discussions around learner’s activities and arrive at fully realized responses that structure classroom interactions.
5. In contrast, more learner-centered classes provide adequate time during activities for learners to think about concepts, receive feedback, and/or participate in discussions that may guide the direction of the lesson.
*Some activities may allow learners freedom to engage in their own learning (e.g., online search, library, other books for relevant information) and/or may involve the learners using the instructor as a resource to provide information as needed.
6. Studies conducted on classroom interaction have shown that learner talk accounts for an average of less than 30 per cent of talk in ‘teacher-fronted’ classrooms. *Yet studies on language and learning have shown that children not only learn to talk but they also talk to learn. This can be seen from the fact that children are persistent questioners; it is by asking questions that they explore and learn about the world around them. BUT however, studies have shown that the number of questions asked by children have dropped significantly as soon as they enter school.

“Telling is not teaching; listening is not learning. Teaching is listening, learning is talking.”

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