Classroom Language

Classroom Language: The beginning of the lesson 


  1. Good morning

  • Good morning, everybody.
  • Good afternoon, everybody.
  • Hello, everyone.
  • Hello there, James.
  1. 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, Bill?
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Put your things away

  • Close your books.
  • Put your books away.
  • Pack your things away.
  1. 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, “”?
  1. 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

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.

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.

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.
Instructions can also be sequenced:
  • First
  • Next
  • After that
  • Then
  • Finally
 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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 (Eva Vigil suggested it)
  • Line up  (Eva Vigil suggested it)
  1. 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.

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”.
  • I hope you all have a good Christmas.
  • Happy New Year!
  • All the best for the New Year.
  • Happy Easter.
  • Best of luck.
  • Good luck.
  • I hope you pass.
  • Congratulations!
  • Well done!
  • Hard lines!
  • Never mind.
  • Better luck next time.
  • Who’s not here today?
  • Who isn’t here?
  • What’s wrong with … today?
  • Do you feel better today?
  • Are you better now?
  • Have you been ill?
  • What was the matter?
  • I’m sorry (about that).
  • Sorry, that was my fault.
  • I’m terribly sorry.
  • Excuse me for a moment.
  • 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.
  • 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’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?

Classroom Language: The language of classroom management

Here are some common situations in which spontaneous English can be used:
  • Make groups of four.
  • Move your desks into groups of four people.
  • Turn your desks around.
  • Make a horseshoe shape with your desks.
  • Make a circle with your desks.
  • Make a line of desks facing each other.
  • Make groups of four desks facing each other.
  • Sit back to back.
  • Work together with your friend.
  • Find a partner.
  • Work in pairs/threes/fours/fives.
  • Work in groups of two/three/four.
  • I want you to form groups.
  • Form groups of three.
  • Here are some tasks for you to work on in groups of four.
  • There are too many in this group.
  • Can you join the other group?
  • Only three people in each group.
  • I asked for four people to a group.
  • Everybody work individually.
  • Work by yourselves.
  • Work independently.
  • Ask your neighbour for help.
  • Work on the task together.
  • Ask other people in the group.
  • Ask others in the class.
  • Interview someone else.
  • Ask everyone in the class.
  • Stand up and find another partner.
  • Have you finished?
  • Do the next activity.
  • Move on to the next activity.


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?

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • You’ve got the idea.
·         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.

·         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.
  • 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.


·         There’s nothing wrong with your answer.

·         What you said was perfectly all right.

·         You didn’t make a single mistake.

·         That’s exactly the point.

·         That’s just what I was looking for.

  • Don’t worry about your pronunciation.
  • Don’t worry about your spelling.
  • Don’t worry, it’ll improve.
  • Maybe this will help you.
  • Do you want a clue (hint)?
·         You have good pronunciation.

·         Your pronunciation is very good.

·         You are communicating well.

·         You speak very fluently.

·         You have made a lot of progress.

  • You still have some trouble with pronunciation.
  • You need more practice with these words.
  • You’ll have to spend some time practising this.
  • You’re getting better at it all the time.
  • You’ve improved no end.