Didn’t you talk when you were in class? What normal child cannot resist talking during class? The teacher has to understand that every child has a natural desire to communicate. Whenever something great happens in class, children want to share their thoughts with others. Whenever a class is truly boring, or the teacher is ill prepared, children naturally are turned off and want to communicate with those around them. They will talk about everything that enters their minds at the time, just to be “tuned out” to the boring situation.
Another valid reason that children talk in class is their enthusiasm to discover. They may ask a classmate a question or make a comment that indicates they are in the discovery mode. Even when the group discussions are suppose to be over on a topic, an inquisitive child will still want to pursue the topic further. It all depends on the interest level. Still other children are natural talkers. We might say they inherited the knack. They must talk. Parents have been known to say their child wakes up talking and goes to bed talking.
We are all social beings. God made us this way. We love to talk and share our thoughts and feelings with others. There are times when we just can’t stop the wonderful habit because it releases in us what’s inside. Children are the same way. Suppressing their desire to talk is like popping that gigantic colorful balloon you won at the circus. Teachers and parents will never be able to have a perfectly tame child, who is more like a robot, who conforms to the “no talking” rules with precision. They will never be able to push the “no talking” button and have it work 100% in the classroom, try as they may.
You will discover children who are articulate, must practice. They like to use new words and ask questions about them. They enjoy using those new, long, words to impress others. These children usually show signs of a greater command of the English language early on. Their vocabulary just keeps increasing and the words are like real candy to them. They actually sing the songs over and over until they become a part of them. Words have power, and the power of these words and their sounds intrigue very articulate children. They like to test these words out on their fellow students, in class.
Many teachers have broken with tradition and allowed a small amount of talking in class, as long as the conversations are kept very low so that others will not be disturbed. Those classrooms usually are quite productive, especially when there are projects to be completed by collaboration. Talking is really an “on task” necessity.
In more rigid classes where teachers want to maintain full control of the class and keep them quiet most of the day, children feel inhibited and incarcerated. They pass notes along, while creating and using their own form of sign language to communicate. So, they are still talking, silently.
It’s not going away, children will talk, are going to talk; your children, their children and ongoing generations. Middle ground demands that we lasso talking and use it in the learning process, not exclude it. When children are taught when to talk versus when not to talk, they have a guideline and this will help them to open up and share at appropriate times. Our lives are communal. It will always be, so for those who wonder why children talk, it’s in our very fabric!