When teachers are about to assign a task, students’ preparation need to be taken into account. Some checking requires to be done, following expressions might be useful:

Checking the Book

  • Does everyone have the book?
  • Who doesn’t have the copy?
  • Where is your workbook …?
  • Can anyone lend … a copy?
  • Have you found the page?
  • Help … find the page.
  • Show … the exercise.
  • Did you all finish off this exercise at home?

Checking Audio Visual

  • Can you see the picture?
  • Can you hear alright?
  • Is the volume alright?

Help, Anyone?

  • Who can’t manage?
  • Does anybody need any help?
  • Who is finding this difficult?
  • I’ll help you if you get stuck.
  • Let me know if you run into a problem


The very first stage on assigning is to state the objective, expressions below are to express the objectives:

The idea of This Exercise is to …

  • The idea is that …
  • The purpose of this is you …
  • Are you all clear of what you have to do?
  • Are there any questions?

Giving Time Limit

  • I’ll give you until … to finish this off.
  • You have five minutes to complete this.
  • You’ll have to stop in two minutes.


Assisting the students step by step while doing the activities will help maintain class control and train students to work in organized way. The useful expressions are:

We’ll Do It Like This …

  • This is how we shall do it
  • I would like you to do it in the following way
  • Do it the same way as last time
  • What we shall do is this
  • Before you begin, let me tell you how I want you to do it.

First of All …

  • First, lets …
  • To begin with, we shall …
  • The first time, you can try it with your books open.

Next, I Would Like You to …

  • … then, you shall do it in pairs …
  • After that, you can …
  • After each part, you can check the answers.
  • When you have finished, please continue with …

Finally, I want You to …

  • To finish off, you can do some …
  • For the last thing, …
  • Last but not least, we have a … to …


It is normal that students have questions, to confirm their understanding or even to ask details. Yet, the questions often come up not only during discussions but while practice as well and they become disturbances. Late students or school personnel interruptions might lead to similar situations. Teachers need to keep track on what they have been doing, the following are some useful expressions in such situations:

Where We Were:

  • Where did we stop last time?
  • Where did we finish/stop reading last …?
  • Let me refresh your memory. Last time we talked about …
  • If I remember correctly, we were on page …
  • Last time we got to page/exercise …

Are You Ready?

  • Who has finished?
  • Who has done them all?
  • Have you all finished?
  • Anybody not finished?
  • Have you finished …?
  • Have you done number …, yet?
  • How far have you got?
  • Which question are you on?

Who’s Next?

  • Whose turn is it next?
  • Who is the next one to try?
  • Your turn …
  • Who hasn’t had a turn?
  • Who’s left?


In typical class, students are a bit reluctant to speak out d express their ideas during discussions. Teachers should never hesitate to invite their participation, to make students gain confidence as well as to practice the language. Some expressions below might be helpful:

Who Wants to Participate

  • Who’d like to do this?
  • Who wants to write that on the board?
  • Any volunteers to …?
  • Is there anybody interested in …?
  • If nobody is willing, then I’ll have to choose somebody.

Which Team?

  • Do you want to be in …’s team?
  • Which group would you like to join?

Which Topic?

  • Which … do you want to work on?
  • Is there a particular topic you are interested in?

It’s Up To You

  • You can decide/pick/choose
  • I’ll leave it up to you to pick your topic.
  • It makes no difference which exercise you do.
  • It’s all the same to me which group you join.
  • I don’t mind either way.

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