Chalkface – Chalk & Talk

Chalkface is a term believed to have been coined by Professor Ted Wragg in the Times Education Supplement in the 1980s. It is a reflection of coalface, the toughest point in coal mining where coal is hewn from rock.

Like the coalface, the chalkface is where the real, dirty, tough, hard work is carried out. All the planning and preparation leads to this point and it is here where the work either succeeds or fails.

At the chalkface means to work at the toughest end of education: standing in front of a class teaching, using a chalkboard to explain and elucidate. (Of course these days chalkboards have been replaced by whiteboards or interactive boards but the term is still used.)

Another useful related term is Chalk & Talk. This refers to the outdated, traditional practice of a teacher standing in front of the class writing things up on the board and talking and explaining. It is a teacher centered‏‎ concept of lecturing to the class who are probably dozing off after a few minutes of this.

Useful Links

Using Blackboards & Whiteboard‏‎s – some useful tips and tricks when you are using a black/white board in class.

Mini Whiteboards‏‎ – how about giving each of your students a mini-whiteboard to use.

Posted in How To Teach English.

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