Classroom English: Vocabulary & Expressions for Students

Hi. Welcome again to www.engvid.com. I’m Adam. Today’s lesson comes as a request, because I know that there are actually quite a few of you who are teachers of English, and you wanted to know some classroom English. So, today, we’re going to look at classroom English. This is more for beginners, especially people who have just joined an English class, an ESL class, EFL class, etc. and you’re starting to get used to the classroom environment, and you’re not exactly sure what the teacher is saying, what you should say, etc. We’re going to start with the teachers. What do teachers say that you need to understand? Okay? [Clears throat] Excuse me. First, the teacher will take attendance, or the teacher will take roll call. Sorry, these are two separate words, “roll call”. Basically, they want to know who is here and who is not here. Okay? So, if a student is in the class, he or she is present. So, if the teacher says: -“Bill?” -“Present.” -“Mary?” -“Present.” -“Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?” Bueller is absent. He or she is not in the class.

So, “absent”, not here. “Present”, here. If the teacher has finished with attendance and starts to teach the class, and a student comes in then, that student is late. And they get a little check. Too many lates, you get into trouble. Now, you could be absent, but you can have an excused absent, means that you have a note from your parents, from your doctor, from your boss, or the teacher just knows that you’re not coming today and it’s okay; it’s excused.

Now, the teacher will give you commands. He or she will tell you to do things. Okay? So, it’s very important that you understand what to do. If a teacher says: “Put up your hand”, or: “Raise your hand to ask a question, to make a comment, to ask to go to the bathroom”, put up your hand. Raise your hand. Don’t speak out. Because if everybody speaks out, it’s just noise. Put up your hand, ask your question, get your answer. Okay? Then, the teacher will ask you: “Take out your notebooks. Take out your pens.

Take out your earphones.” Basically, get them ready, we are going to use them. Okay. “Take your seats.” Basically means sit down, sit. Okay? So, he’s trying to get organized, or she is trying to get organized. Next, they’ll say: “Take out your book. Turn to page 37.” Means open your book, page 37, let’s start reading, working, etc. Now, if the teacher wants you to do things, but not alone… For example, if you’re doing math, yeah, you do it alone no problem. If you’re doing ESL, the teacher will want you to work in pairs. It means two people together, so you can speak. “Work in groups”, means get into a few people together; three, four, five. If he wants a specific number, he will say: “Get into groups of”, or: “Work in groups of three.” So, you find your two friends, three sit together, do the exercise. Now, if the teacher… As everybody’s talking, the teacher wants everybody be quiet and listen to one student, he will say or she will say: “Please pay attention to Jack. Jack is going to speak. Everybody, please pay attention to Jack.” Or if you’re doing exercise, if the teacher wants you to be careful about one word or one grammar structure: “Pay attention to the independent clause.” Means be very focused, be aware.

Okay? So, these are the basic things you need to know what… That your teacher will say. Now, you’re the student, you have questions or you don’t understand something, what are you going to say or what are you going to ask? Let’s see. Okay, so now, you’re the student and, you know, sometimes you don’t understand everything the teacher says. So, there are things you can say or ask from the teacher, of course, to help you.

If you didn’t hear something, what will you say? You could say: “I didn’t catch the last part.” Now, if you say: “I didn’t hear”, and I’m the teacher, I have been speaking for 10 minutes, and you say: “I didn’t hear.” I’ll say: “What? Everything? 10 minutes?” I can’t say again. So, “I didn’t hear”, or: “I didn’t catch the last part.” So, I will go back and say again the last part, or: “I didn’t hear the part about what to ask.” Or: “I didn’t hear the part about independent clauses”, or whatever the lesson is about. So, be specific. Tell the teacher which part you didn’t hear. He or she will say it again. Or you can just say: “Could you repeat that please?” Repeat, say again.

If you didn’t hear: “Could you repeat that please? Could you say that again?” But again, say which part. Be specific. Or: “I didn’t hear/catch what you said after here.” So, tell the teacher you heard everything until here, and from here, you didn’t hear, you didn’t catch. “Catch” means hear or understand. Okay? And if you’re having a lot of trouble, ask a teacher: “Can you please speak more slowly?” And the teacher will slow down, and it will be much easier for you to understand. Okay, now, if you are learning something… And again, we’re learning English and you’re not familiar with what the teacher says…

It’s something new or you don’t really know what it is, first of all, make sure you know how to spell the word. If it’s a new word, ask the teacher: “How do you spell that?” And the teacher will say: “S-p-e-l-l.” Spell. Okay? “How do you spell that?” Now, if you don’t know the meaning of the word and the teacher just continues speaking, put up your hand, say: “I’m sorry. What does this word mean?” And the teacher will explain to you. Now, if you’re learning in another country, you’re learning EFL, English as a foreign language, you can say: “How do you say this word?” in your language? If you’re learning in Japan: “How do you say ‘spell’ in Japanese?”, “How do you say ‘spell’ in Spanish?”, “How do you say ‘spell'” in any language? And: “What is this word in Japanese?”, “What is ‘spell’ in Japanese?” So, these two basically mean the same thing. By the way, these marks means same as what was above, just so you know. What is the word in your language? If you’re learning outside. If you’re learning in Canada, for example, and you say: “How do you say this word in Spanish?” I don’t know.

I don’t actually speak Spanish. I wish I spoke Spanish. I will learn one day, but for now, I don’t. So, you have to be careful. Okay. Finally, if you need a bit more information, you want the teacher to explain a little bit more, maybe you understand or you heard, but you’re not really sure. So, you can always ask for more specifics. “Can you use this word in a sentence?” So, for example, you heard the word, you understand the word, but you’re not sure how it would fit in a sentence, how to use it. Ask. “Can you use…?” Like, for the teacher: “Can you please use this word in a sentence so I can see how it works?” Or: “Can you give me”, or: “Can you give us”, the class, “an example of this?” Okay? So, for example, the teacher taught you about some new technology. You understand, but you want to see in real life what this means. So, you want examples of things that use this technology, so you ask.

Now, this is everything you need to know, teachers, students entering the classroom, but the most important thing you need to remember: if you don’t understand something, ask. There’s no such thing as a bad question or a stupid question, or you’re not sure about. If you’re not sure, ask. The teacher will be happy to tell you the answer. He or she will be happy to repeat a few times until you understand. I’m sure that other… Your classmates, other people in the class, they also have questions, but they are too shy to ask.

You ask. You get the answer, you move on. Okay? Go to www.engvid.com. If you have any questions for me, write them in the comments box. I will answer them. Do the quiz, make sure you understand everything. And come back again to www.engvid.com. Bye..

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