Classroom language for finishing classes

Summary: Useful classroom language for teachers for finishing classes

Useful classroom language for teachers for finishing classes


Hurrying up the final activity

"Just five minutes till the end of the class, so just two minutes more for that activity"

"One minute!... Thirty seconds!...Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, a half, a quarter, an eighth, a sixteenth, stop!!"

"Just finish that sentence/ exercise/ paragraph/ question and then put your pens down"


Packing up/ Finishing the last activity

"Put your books and pencils away/ in your bag"

"Okay, time up. Close down all the programmes but don't turn the computers off"

"Put your books away."

"Pack your things away."

"You may pack away now"


Tidying up/ Putting the room back in order

"Can I have all the dictionaries/ colouring pencils/ Playdoh back please?"

"Can you make sure you clear your desks/ put all your rubbish in the bin as you leave?"

"Can the last person to leave please turn off the lights and shut the door?"

"Can someone collect all the dice?"

"Can you go back to your original places/ put your chairs and desks back where they were?"

"Can you put all the chairs and tables back into their original places?"

"Can you collect the pictures/ texts off the walls? Be careful not to pull off the paint from the walls"

"Put the/ your... on my desk/ in the box as you leave"

"Make sure you haven't forgotten anything"

"Whose book/ eraser/ ruler/ dictionary/ pencil case/ coat/ hat/ scarf is this?"/ "Has someone forgotten a...?"

"Don't worry, I'll clear up/ put the posters on the wall/ put it somewhere where the glue/ paint can dry"


Not time to stop.

"The bell hasn't gone yet."/ "I don't remember hearing a bell"

"There are still two minutes to go."

"We still have a couple of minutes left."

"The lesson doesn't finish till five past."

"Your watch must be fast."

"One more thing before you go."

"Wait a minute/ Hang on a moment/ Just hold on a moment/ Stay where you are for a moment/ Just a moment, please. / Just a sec/ Just a second/ Wait for it!"

"(Go) back to your places/ Where are you going?/ Where do you think you are going?/ Don't you think you are jumping the gun?"

"As we still have a couple of minutes left, we'll..."

"You can't go until you all..."

"Why are you packing your bags already?"

"Did anyone tell you to pack your bags?"/ "Did I say you can go?... I thought not"



Nearly time to stop

"Five minutes to the end of the test. (If anyone has finished early you can leave/ please sit quietly until everyone has finished)"

"Okay, just one more time and that's it."

"Okay, (this is the) last time"

"This is the last round of the game, (so if you get a point it will be a draw and if you don't the other team will win)"

"Did any groups finish the game?"

"Before we go, we just have to..."

"Oh, whoops. That's the bell already/ Is it that time already? Before you go, we have to... It'll only take a minute"

"We don't have time to do the whole thing, so we'll just do this exercise/ line/ section/ tapescript and then stop"


Time to stop

"Well, only one team can win so there doesn't seem to be much point in going on"

"That's all for today"

"We've run out of time"

"Is that the bell I hear?"

"Well, you can all stay here and carry on speaking if you like..."

"It's almost time to stop."

"I'm afraid it's time to finish now."

"We'll have to stop there."

"There's the bell. It's time to stop."

"That's all for today. You can go now."

"The other class are waiting to get in, so we'd better make a move"

"It's break time/ Let's take a break. (Please be back at 10:45)"

"That is the end of the test. Pens and pencils down please. Make sure you have written your name on the front/ on every page. I'll come round and collect the papers/ Please hand your papers in as you leave. No speaking until all the papers are in, please"

"If no one's won the game, the person with most cards/ the person nearest the last square is the winner"

"Sorry if everyone didn't get a chance to play"


Summarizing and reviewing the class

"You've done really well today"

"We didn't have time for the roleplays/ a free speaking activity/ to go through the homework, so we'll do that next week"

"Let's go through what we've studied today one more time"

"Let's tick the things on the lesson plan on the board that we did/ that you can now do"

"Do you feel more confident about the test/ using the Present Perfect Continuous now?"

"I think you'll find what we studied today really useful when you study abroad/ use English at work/ write essays, especially..."

"The aims of today's lesson were..., so I think we achieved..."

"Well, I didn't expect to (be talking about)... but it was very useful/ interesting, I reckon"


Feedback on the lesson

"Did you have fun today?"

"What was your favourite part?"

"Do you want to play the same game next week/ in the next lesson?"

"Do you feel more confident (about that language/ skill/ paper) now?"

"Do you feel like you've improved?"

"Do you think that will be useful (when you go abroad/ in your work/ in your studies)?"

"Do you need any more practice of that (or not)?"


Talking about the next lesson

"We'll do the rest of this chapter next time."

"We'll finish this exercise next lesson."

"We've run out of time, so we'll continue next lesson."

"We'll continue this chapter next Monday."

"The next class starts at 5 o'clock"

"We'll practice that one more time next week"

"Right, I think we have no more problems with the passive now. Next week we will move onto..."

"Today's lesson was hard work, so we'll do something a little easier/ a bit more fun in the next class"

"It's been mainly grammar today, so next week we'll do more skills work/ vocabulary/ speaking"

"I was pleasantly surprised by how easy you all found that. I'll have to think of something more difficult for next week!"

"When is the next lesson?"

"Did I tell you (all) that the next lesson is in the main hall/ in the Self Access Centre?"

"So, remember next week is a holiday. So I'll see you in two weeks/ the week after next"

"Oh yes, you're right, there's a holiday. In that case, I'll see you the week after next"

"I'm on holiday next week, so they'll be a cover teacher/ replacement teacher..."

"We'll start the next lesson by../ with the next person's presentation"

"We're finishing this lesson a little early/ late, so the next lesson will start at 9:35"

"Please don't be late for the second lesson"

"Please apologise to your next teacher for me making you late"

"You'd better hurry to your next lesson (but no running in the corridors)"

"We've finished the book! So, next lesson we'll do some revision before the final test at the end of term"

"And that is the end of Unit 3. Next week we'll do a little revision and start unit 4"


Homework, extra work, preparing for the next lesson, and self-study

"For homework please/ I'd like you to/ can you..."

"The same point comes up in your homework/ You'll feel a lot more confident about that when you've done your homework, which is..."

"I'm going to give you one more chance to do the homework from last week, so anyone who's already done it can enjoy their free time"

"If you feel like you need more practice, you can do practice at home by..."

"I think we all need some more practice of that, so for homework..."

"This is your homework for tonight."

"Prepare the next chapter for Monday."

"Don't forget your homework."

"Take a worksheet as you leave."

"And the homework is... nothing!"

"Do exercise 10 on page 23 for homework/ Your homework is exercise 10 on page 23/ The homework for tonight is exercise 10 on page 23"

"If anyone needs any extra practice, I suggest doing exercise 11 and 12 as well"

"There is no homework tonight."

"I forgot the check the homework/ We didn't have time to check the homework, so we'll have to do that next time"

"As you have a long holiday/ a big test coming up, I'm going to give you a bit more homework than usual"

"So, the homework is exercise A. And B. And C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J... Okay, I'm joking. Just exercises A and B"

"The people who missed the beginning of the lesson/ the last lesson might also want to do..."

"I told you about your homework earlier, and it is...?"

"Tonight/ before the next lesson/ before next week/ at the weekend, I'd like you to..."

"Remember the last piece of homework/ writing/ the last project? Well, I want you to do something like that/ something similar, but..."

"Please revise that for homework and we'll use that language in the next lesson/ next week/ in the test"

"This homework is a bit long/ difficult, so I'll give you till this time next week to finish it"


Final chit chat

"What are your plans for the weekend?"

"The weekend starts here!"

"You'll all be wanting to get home to watch the big match"

"Does anyone know the weather forecast for tomorrow?"

"So, apart from your homework what are your plans?"


End of the first lesson

"Well, it was a pleasure meeting you (all)/ it was nice to meet you (all)"

"That lesson was mainly just to get to know each other, so next week we'll start using the book/ start talking about TOEIC"

"I want to finish each lesson by standing up and saying goodbye to the class and the teacher, so..."


End of the last lesson

"Your English has really improved this week/ term/ year, so make sure you don't forget it!"

"It was a pleasure teaching you"

"I hope that you've learnt a lot, and I hope to see you again some day"

"Good luck in your future studies/ work/ lives"

"So, it's the end of term/ the week/ the year/ this level"


Final greetings

"Goodbye"/ "Bye"/ "Bye bye"/ "See you"/ "See you, then"/ "See you then"

"See you later"

"See you tomorrow"

"See you next weekend"

"Goodbye, everyone."

"See you next Wednesday."

"See you tomorrow afternoon."

"See you in room 7 after the break."

"Stand up so we can all say goodbye"

"When I say 'Goodbye everyone', you have to say 'Goodbye teacher, goodbye everyone'. I will then say 'You can now go' and you have to say 'Thank you, teacher'. You can then leave, but quietly of course. Okay. Right, let's practice a couple of times. 'Goodbye everyone'..."


Instructions for leaving

"Please don't make any noise in the corridor (as the other classes have tests)

"Don't forget your bags/ coats/ projects/ posters"

"Pick up a worksheet/ questionnaire/ note for your parents/ timetable for next term on the way out"

"Try not to make any noise as you leave/ No shouting/ No speaking in the corridor"

"Line up for the leaving drill. Today's question is 'Can you guess how many fingers?'"

"Get into a queue/ line up next to the door"

"Form a queue and wait for the bell."

"Be quiet as you leave. Other classes are still working."

"Remember how much trouble you got into last week for making noise in the corridor"

"The front door is locked at this time of night, so please use the back door"

"Does everyone know where the bus stop is?"

"Can everyone remember the way out of the building?"


Rushing out

"Can I leave you to clear up? It's just that my train is leaving in 10 minutes"

"I have to go now, but feel free to stay and chat if you like"

"I'm afraid there's another class in here in five minutes, but we can continue talking outside in the corridor"

"The janitor will be around in ten minutes to lock up, so we'd better make a move/ we'd better go/ we've got to shoot"

"I'm afraid I don't have time to answer extra questions today (but I'll arrive early for the next lesson/ I'll be in the teachers' room this afternoon and you can ask me then)"

"We'll all miss our bus/ train if we don't leave soon"


As they are leaving

"See you next week/ tomorrow/ on Wednesday/ next term/ after the holiday/ later/ this afternoon"

"Enjoy your break"

"Merry Christmas"

"Have a good time in..." [if they have told you where they are going]

"Have a good weekend"- "You too"

"Have a good holiday."

"Enjoy your vacation."

"Have a nice trip"

"I didn't notice your new shoes because you were sitting down"

"Wrap up warm, it's cold out there!"

"Bye Jane. See you Mr Fernandez. Have a good weekend"

"Catch you later!"

"Take care"

"Have a good one"

"If anyone sees Jun before the next lesson, can you tell him what the homework is?"

"Bon voyage"


Discussion questions/ thinking points

  • Would you use all of the stages above? Would you use them in the same order or not? Why?

  • Are there any stages that you usually do in L1 rather than English? Could you switch to English? Why/ why not?

  • For the stages you would use, which of the phrases in that section would you choose to use now with your classes? Which phrase would be the next level up once they have got the hang of that phrase?

  • How can you get the students using that classroom language too?

  • Once students get used to the routine of using such stages in the lesson, it is possible to use a much more difficult phrase with the students guessing from context what you mean. Would your classes benefit from you doing that?

  • Once students are used to hearing certain language at a certain stage of the lesson they no longer listen to the words, but mixing up the order of the stages can make them listen more carefully. Do you think your classes could benefit from doing that?

  • What do you think about doing choral greetings?

  • One problem with choral greetings is that students sound uninterested or even rude, even when saying things like "Have a good weekend"? How can you remedy this?

  • What do you think about teaching slangy expressions like "Catch you later" in your classes?

  • Students often make a mistake saying "Good night" when they mean "Good evening" or "Goodbye"? How could you explain the mistake to your classes?

  • Another typical mistake is "See you on Monday" "Yes, see you later". How could you explain why this is a mistake in simple language?

  • How could you explain the difference between "See you then" and "See you, then"?

  • Which phrases are unsuitable for the age ranges you are teaching?


Copyright © 2009

Written by Alex Case for

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