The #1 …. (word in any classroom)

Number One** Not your ordinary, endless list – just what’s number 1.


Surprised? Well, let me explain.

During my own growth as a teacher, through my own experimentation and observation during thousands of hours, I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the most important things we can do as a teacher is give more respect to the learners.

When students are shown respect, when they are allowed to answer of their own free will, there are important and positive implications for the classroom. Research actually shows that allowing students to say, “Pass” to a teacher’s question, promotes student response!

Students are people too. Sometimes they have had a hard morning/day. Sometimes, they are in a mood or suffering emotional growing pains. Sometimes, they just don’t like the question! Many times in the language classroom, students aren’t ready to answer and are going through a “silent period”. We should respect their own control and know of themselves.

So please, teach your students the word, “Pass!” and allow them to use it in class. You’ll get more students responding, if you cut them this slack. I promise!

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

2 Responses

  1. Dani Lyra says:

    Thank you for the idea and for backing it up with research. I wish some of my teachers had read this post.

  2. ddeubel says:


    I wish many of my teachers also would have done this!

    Let’s hope some teachers that aren’t doing it, start….

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