Leading and Participating in Classroom Discussions

Successful classroom discussions involve more than just asking questions
and letting students answer. This workshop will concentrate on techniques
for promoting constructive discussion and keeping discussions on track.

Classroom DOs

  • Listen to other students’ opinions and take notes.
  • Build on other students’ comments
  • If you agree with what is being said, say so and explain why.
  • If you disagree, say why and never attack the other personally.
  • Ask other students’ questions of clarification.
  • Connect other students’ comments to each other.
  • Talk to the instructor if you are very uncomfortable with participating.

Notes on Leading and Participating in Classroom Discussions

Some Good Conversational “Moves”


Listening and Note Taking

For those whose first language is not English, listening and taking notes in class can be especially difficult.

Focused preparation and specific note taking strategies can compensate for difficulties with listening.

Also, you can build listening practice into your daily schedule.  Listen to English as you drive, make dinner, or do other regular chores.

The PowerPoint slides and Resource Sheet are filled with advice for taking notes and suggested sites for listening to English.

Listening and Note Taking PowerPoint Slides

Listening and Note Taking Resource Sheet