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Participating in Language Class

August 6, 2021

7 Reasons to Participate in Language Class

You already know that class participation is important. But do you know why it's important? Here are 7 reasons to participate! 

1. Boost Your Energy

Participating in a language class may seem like a scary thing to do. Your heart starts beating faster and you start to sweat. But after you ask or answer a question, you will feel a rush of energy. If you get tired or bored in class, participating will help you stay alert

2. Set the Focus

When you are an active participant, your teacher can't help but get to know you. The more you participate, the better your teacher will understand your needs. This means your teacher can help you focus on language targets and content that you want and need to learn. 

"The future belongs to you, but it can only belong to you if you participate and take charge."

—Kofi Annan

3. Increase Your Confidence

The first time you answer a question, you may worry you'll get it wrong. The next time, you may still feel a bit nervous, but you'll gain confidence each time you give it a whirl. Before long, you'll be comfortable speaking up in class, and your bravery will start to carry over into the real world.

4. Make Your Teacher's Day

Nobody wants to talk to an empty room. If you feel uncomfortable asking a question, imagine how your teacher feels when nobody responds (or if the same student responds every time). Make your teacher's day by being an active participant. 

5. Learn Faster

The purpose of learning a language is to communicate, not to observe. The more you practice using the language, the quicker you'll pick it up. Your active participation will rub off on others in your class too. This will make your language class a setting that is more like the real world.

6. Get Better Grades & Results

Participation improves memory retention. When you remember what you learn, you score better on assignments and tests. Some teachers also give participation marks. 

7. Use Your Time Wisely & Get Your Money's Worth 

Are you paying for language classes? Money can be a big motivator. Don't waste your time and money by zoning out or coming to class late or tired. Raise your hand and voice and get your money's worth!

How to Participate in an Online Class

  • Turn on your microphone. 
  • Turn on your webcam.
  • Ask questions in the chat room.
  • Answer questions in the chat room.
  • Share feedback/gratitude.
  • Offer to help your teacher.
  • Offer to help a classmate.

Sentence Starters 

  • I have a question about...
  • I might know the answer to that. 
  • I think I can help you with...
  • I'm confused about... 
  • I really liked that activity. 
  • Thanks for helping me understand...
  • I need to learn more about...

Vocabulary & Expressions

  • alert: awake
  • can't help but: to be unable to avoid
  • give something a whirl: to try
  • carry over: to continue to exist or apply in a new situation
  • make someone's day: to cause a person to have a good day
  • pick something up: to learn 
  • rub off on: to transfer to other people
  • get one's money's worth: to receive the value of what you paid

Time to Participate (Leave a Comment)

Should participation be an important part of a student's overall score in a language class? Why or why not? What participation mark (%) would you give yourself for your last language class?

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Comments (12)

Elisabeth O.(Teacher)

Great reminders/prompts as I prepare for another semester of online classes. I'm going to use these tips during my first week of school. Thank you!

Reply to Comment

Lei Kayanuma(Author)

Thanks for your comment, Elisabeth! We hope you have a great start to the new semester.

katia Gitori(Guest)

This is good because is gonna help me to achieve my goals

Reply to Comment

Lei Kayanuma(Author)

Hi Katia! We're happy to hear that :)

Reshma L.(Teacher)

I always give marks for participation and even mention it in their reports. Some students volunteer to help other students. I also give them a second chance if they can't answer when put on the spot.
A great resource for the first week at school. Thank you.

Reply to Comment

Lei Kayanuma(Author)

Hi Reshma! Thank you for sharing. Those are great ideas to increase participation in class!

Janu A.(Member)

Hello.teacher Carrie,I have to learn more grammar. Academic language and social as well. I don't know why I cannot remember what I study everyday, when I learn a new word and I can't remember next day I really want to speak fluent English. Before I feel nervous to ask something in English because I don't know what to talk. But now I speak up it does not matter is correct or wrong but I try my best. sometime I feel I have to restart from Level 1 but since I have you as a wonderful instructor no worries at all.
best wishes
Janu....

Reply to Comment

Lei Kayanuma(Author)

Hi Janu! Thank you for sharing that. We're happy to hear about your progress. Keep up the great work!!

Tetiana V.(Student)

I really like that activity. It helps me to learn faster.

Reply to Comment

Lei Kayanuma(Author)

That's great to hear, Tetiana!

Susanne M.(Teacher)

Thanks Tara, I'll be sharing these tips to a friend who is taking group lessons and hesitates to speaks. As a teacher, i especially love the expressions at the end.
Good post !

Reply to Comment

Lei Kayanuma(Author)

Hello, Susanne! That's great to hear. I'll be sure to pass on your feedback to Tara. Thank you!

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