Classroom Language For Teachers and Students of English

The language spoken in the lessons is English. Here are some phrases you should know, understand, or be able to use...


Classroom Language for English Students

  • Can I come to your office?
  • How should I pronounce "..."?
  • How do you pronounce this word?
  • Would you pronounce the word "..."?
  • How do you spell "..."?
  • What does UK stand for?
  • Would you give us an example?
  • How do you spell that?
  • Could you explain a little bit more about that?
  • What do you mean?
  • What is the difference between "a" and "b"?
  • I didn't understand today's lesson.
  • I don't understand the homework.
  • Just a minute/second/sec.
  • When is the homework due?
  • Execuse me, can I talk to you for a minute?
  • I'm sorry I am late.
  • Can I go to the restroom?
  • Can I change seats?


Classroom Language For English Teachers

Classroom Language: The beginning of the lesson

1. Good morning

  • Good morning, everybody.
  • Good afternoon, everybody.
  • Hello, everyone.
  • Hello there, John.

2. How are you?

  • How are you today?
  • How are you getting on?
  • How's life?
  • How are things with you?
  • Are you feeling better today, David?

3. Introductions

  • My name is Mr/Mrs/Ms Kim. I'm your new English teacher.
  • I'll be teaching you English this year.
  • I've got five lessons with you each week.

4. Time to begin

  • Let's begin our lesson now.
  • Is everybody ready to start?
  • I hope you are all ready for your English lesson.
  • I think we can start now.
  • Now we can get down to work.

5. Waiting to start

  • I'm waiting for you to be quiet.
  • We won't start until everyone is quiet.
  • Stop talking and be quiet.
  • Settle down now so we can start.

6. Put your things away

  • Close your books.
  • Put your books away.
  • Pack your things away.

7. Register

  • Who is absent today?
  • Who isn't here today?
  • What's the matter with Jim today?
  • What's wrong with Jim today?
  • Why were you absent last Friday?

8. Late

  • Where have you been?
  • We started ten minutes ago. What have you been doing?
  • Did you miss your bus?
  • Did you oversleep?
  • Don't let it happen again.

Classroom Language: Simple instructions

1. Here are some common instructions which the class can easily understand:

  • Come in.
  • Go out.
  • Stand up.
  • Sit down.
  • Come to the front of the class.
  • Stand by your desks.
  • Put your hands up.
  • Put your hands down.
  • Hold your books/pens up.
  • Show me your pencil.

2. A number of instructions can be used at the beginning of a session:

  • Pay attention, everybody.
  • You need pencils/rulers.
  • We'll learn how to ...
  • Are you ready?
  • Open your books at page...
  • Turn to page ...
  • Look at activity five.
  • Listen to this tape.
  • Repeat after me.
  • Again, please.
  • Everybody ...
  • You have five minutes to do this.
  • Who's next?
  • Like this, not like that.

3. A number of instructions can be used at the end of a session:

  • It's time to finish.
  • Have you finished?
  • Let's stop now.
  • Stop now.
  • Let's check the answers.
  • Any questions?
  • Collect your work please.
  • Pack up your books.
  • Are your desks tidy?
  • Don't forget to bring your ... tomorrow.

4. Instructions can also be sequenced:

  • First
  • Next
  • After that
  • Then
  • Finally

5. Comprehension language:

  • Are you ready?
  • Are you with me?
  • Are you OK?
  • OK so far?
  • Do you get it?
  • Do you understand?
  • Do you follow me?
  • What did you say?
  • One more time, please.
  • Say it again, please.
  • I don't understand.
  • I don't get it.
  • Like this?
  • Is this OK?

Classroom Language: The end of the lesson

1. Time to stop

  • It's almost time to stop.
  • I'm afraid it's time to finish now.
  • We'll have to stop here.
  • There's the bell. It's time to stop.
  • That's all for today. You can go now.

2. Not time to stop

  • The bell hasn't gone yet.
  • There are still two minutes to go.
  • We still have a couple of minutes left.
  • The lesson doesn't finish till five past.
  • Your watch must be fast.
  • We seem to have finished early.
  • We have an extra five minutes.
  • Sit quietly until the bell goes.

3. Wait a minute

  • Hang on a moment.
  • Just hold on a moment.
  • Stay where you are for a moment.
  • Just a moment, please.
  • One more thing before you go.
  • Back to your places.

4. Next time

  • We'll do the rest of this chapter next time.
  • We'll finish this exercise next lesson.
  • We've run out of time, so we'll continue next lesson.
  • We'll continue this chapter next Monday.

5. Homework

  • This is your homework for tonight.
  • Do exercise 10 on page 23 for your homework.
  • Prepare the next chapter for Monday.
  • There is no homework today.
  • Remember your homework.
  • Take a worksheet as you leave.

6. Goodbye

  • Goodbye, everyone.
  • See you again next Wednesday.
  • See you tomorrow afternoon.
  • See you in room 7 after the break.
  • Have a good holiday.
  • Enjoy your vacation.

7. Leaving the room

  • Get into a queue.
  • Form a queue and wait for the bell.
  • Everybody outside!
  • All of you get outside now!
  • Hurry up and get out!
  • Try not to make any noise as you leave.
  • Be quiet as you leave. Other classes are still working.
  • It's tidy up time 
  • Line up

Classroom Language: Language of classroom management

Here are some phrases that can be used for classroom management:

Giving instructions

  • Open your books at page 52.
  • Come out and write it on the board.
  • Listen to the tape, please.
  • Get into groups of four.
  • Finish off this song at home.
  • Let's sing a song.
  • Everybody, please.
  • All together now.
  • The whole class, please.
  • I want you all to join in.
  • Could you try the next one?
  • I would like you to write this down.
  • Would you mind switching the lights on?
  • It might be an idea to leave this till next time.
  • Who would like to read?
  • Which topic will your group report on?
  • Do you want to answer question 3?

Sequencing

  • First of all, today, ...
  • Right. Now we will go on to the next exercise.
  • Have you finished?
  • For the last thing today, let's ...
  • Whose turn is it to read?
  • Which question are you on?
  • Next one, please.
  • Who hasn't answered yet?
  • Let me explain what I want you to do next.
  • The idea of this exercise is for you to ...
  • You have ten minutes to do this.
  • Your time is up.
  • Finish this by twenty to eleven.
  • Can you all see the board?
  • Have you found the place?
  • Are you all ready?


 Supervision

  • Look this way.
  • Stop talking.
  • Listen to what ... is saying.
  • Leave that alone now.
  • Be careful.

Asking questions

  • Where's Bill?
  • Is Bill in the kitchen?
  • Tell me where Bill is.
  • What was the house like?
  • What do you think?
  • How can you tell?

Responding to questions

  • Yes, that's right,
  • Fine.
  • Almost. Try again.
  • What about this word?

Metalanguage

  • What's the Spanish for "doll"?
  • Explain it in your own words.
  • It's spelt with a capital "J".
  • Can anybody correct this sentence?
  • Fill in the missing words.
  • Mark the right alternative.

Reference

  • After they left the USA, the Beatles ...
  • The church was started in the last century.
  • This is a picture of a typically English castle.
  • In the background you can see ...
  • While we're on the subject, ...
  • As I said earlier, ...
  • Let me sum up.

Affective attitudes

  • That's interesting!
  • That really is very kind of you.
  • Don't worry about it.
  • I was a bit disappointed with your efforts.

Social ritual

  • Good morning.
  • Cheerio now.
  • God bless!
  • Have a nice weekend.
  • Thanks for your help.
  • Happy birthday!
  • Merry Christmas!

Classroom Language: The language of error correction

Here are some phrases that can be used when giving feedback to students:

  • Very good.
  • That's very good.
  • Well done.
  • Very fine.
  • That's nice.
  • I like that.
  • Marvellous!
  • You did a great job.
  • Magnificent!
  • Terrific!
  • Wow!
  • Jolly good!
  • Great stuff!
  • Fantastic!
  • Right!
  • Yes!
  • Fine.
  • Quite right
  • That's right.
  • That's it.
  • That's correct.
  • That's quite right.
  • Yes, you've got it.


  • It depends.
  • It might be, I suppose.
  • In a way, perhaps.
  • Sort of, yes.
  • That's more like it.
  • That's much better.
  • That's a lot better.
  • You've improved a lot.


  • You were almost right.
  • That's almost it.
  • You're halfway there.
  • You've almost got it.
  • You're on the right lines.
  • There's no need to rush.
  • There's no hurry.
  • We have plenty of time
  • Go on. Have a try.
  • Have a go.
  • Have a guess.


  • Not really.
  • Unfortunately not.
  • I'm afraid that's not quite right.
  • You can't say that, I'm afraid.
  • You can't use that word here.
  • Good try, but not quite right.
  • Have another try.
  • Not quite right. Try again.
  • Not exactly.


Classroom Language: The language of spontaneous situations

If we use English in spontaneous situations:

  • We relate the target language to the learner's immediate environment.
  • We take advantage of spontaneous situations to use the target language.
  • We exploit contexts which are not directly linked to the syllabus (language in use).

Here are some common situations in which spontaneous English can be used:

  • Happy birthday!
  • Many returns (of the day).
  • “” has his/her 12th birthday today.
  • “” is eleven today. Let's sing "Happy Birthday".


  • Best of luck.
  • Good luck.
  • I hope you pass.
  • Congratulations!
  • Well done!


  • Who's not here today?
  • Who isn't here?
  • What's wrong with ... today?


  • I'm sorry (about that).
  • Sorry, that was my fault.
  • I'm terribly sorry.


  • Excuse me.
  • Could I get past please?
  • You're blocking the way.
  • I can't get past you.
  • Get out of the way, please


  • I hope you all have a good Christmas.
  • Happy New Year!
  • All the best for the New Year.
  • Happy Easter. 


  • Hard lines!
  • Never mind.
  • Better luck next time.


  • Do you feel better today?
  • Are you better now?
  • Have you been ill?
  • What was the matter?


  • I'll be back in a moment.
  • Carry on with the exercise while I'm away.
  • I've got to go next door for a moment.


  • I'm afraid I can't speak any louder.
  • I seem to be losing my voice.
  • I have a sore throat.
  • I have a headache.
  • I'm feeling under the weather.
  • Do you mind if I sit down?

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Classroom Language For Teachers and Students of English

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