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Last Updated: Tuesday December 18 2007 10:26 GMT

Does chatting in class help you learn?

School children in a science class

Your teacher may tell you off for it, but scientists have found that chatting with your mates in lessons could actually be a good thing.

Experts say kids should be encouraged to explain things to each other and have discussions.

So does your teacher ever let you chat in class, or do you always get told off for talking?

Do you think more chatter would help you do better at school, or would it just lead to classroom chaos?

Unfortunately this topic is now closed but there are Comments pages on other subjects on the main Chat index.

Your comments

"Chatting in class does not help you learn it just gets you into trouble. Trust me, I have tried it."

Rachel, 8, Edinburgh, Scotland

"No! I hate class discussions! I work better alone."

Alice, 10, Harlow, England

"I think talking in class is a good idea because as a class you can discuss things so if you don't understand you can listen to other people's comments. Also, you can tell other people that you don't understand rather than being scared of telling the teacher and thinking you're going to get laughed at in class for being stupid."

Hannah, 12, London, England

"We are allowed to chat in class, but not when the teacher is talking. It helps me a lot because it helps people who don't know the answer to a question!"

Shanie, 10, Bewdley, England

"I think talking in class is OK as long as it is about the lesson."

Lily, 7, Hertfordshire, England

"Yes, of course it does because I am too chatty to stop talking in class."

Ellie, 8, Normington, England

"It depends on what subject... I have a maths teacher who doesn't explain anything so my friends and I figure it out by talking. Talking can also give you ideas. But talking in PE doesn't help, so its basically what subjects you have to discuss."

Beatrice, 11, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

"Well it depends really. If you're talking about class work it definitely helps you learn., but if you are not talking about work it definitely will not!"

Luci, 11, Essex, England

"I think talking quietly in class can be ok, but only if you are talking about the work you're doing or helping somebody."

Isabel, 11, Towcester, England

"I think chatting in class helps you learn more."

Sumaya, 9, London, England

"Talking in class can be distracting, but there is nothing worse than just sitting there when you are not sure of what to do, you can't ask the teacher because you think you will look stupid and you're not allowed to talk to your friends and so can't ask them for help."

Izzy, 11, Cardiff, Wales

"We are not allowed to talk in important subjects like Science and Maths, but we are in subjects like Art & DT. I think its because you can paint and talk but you can't do experiments with dangerous acids and talk, you need to concentrate!"

Hannah, 11, Oswestry, England

"It's very BAD because it just distracts you. I have a partner in maths. He doesn't shut up and once I almost shouted at him and ruined my immaculate school record. Chatting is detrimental."

Connor, 11, Castleford, England

"I think its a good way to express your feelings and opinions about the subject."

Jessica, 13, Lancaster, England

"I think that when someone needs help they should be allowed to ask someone other than the teacher."

Sarah, 10, Julianstown, Ireland

"I think you should talk, because your mates' ideas may help your learning skills."

Iqra, 7, London, England

"I always chat in my class. My teacher says I'm the chatterbox in the class."

Sophie, 8, Londonderry, Northern Ireland

"I think too much chatter can cause disruption in a classroom, but sometimes discussing ideas, thoughts and feelings is a good thing. At break time we get a good chance to gossip, therefore gossiping in the classroom is pointless. Gossiping should be kept for break time and in class we should concentrate on our work! I'm in Year 6. We've got our SATs - THE IMPORTANT ONES! We need to pay attention every second!!!!!!"

Emma, 11, Bristol, England

"In our school, we are encouraged to chat to each other during lessons as long as we are discussing the work. Some teachers explain something, and if someone needs help, a pupil shows them how to do it. It's better that way!"

Josh, 12, Stourbridge, England

"I don't think that we should be able to talk in class all the time because children stand more chance of being bullied during the lesson."

Lara, 11, Sheffield, England

"My teacher lets me talk and discuss things in class from that day. We get much better notes."

Iņigo, 10, Madrid, Spain

"I think they are so right! I chat at school and I still get my work right."

Ellie, 8, Ingleby Barwick, England

"If you are chatting about the subject you're learning about then it might help you learn. But if you're talking about what you're going to have for tea tonight you won't hear what the teacher is saying, therefore you won't learn anything."

Lizzie, 11, Liverpool, England

"We should be able to talk a little bit, because my friend talks to me and she says something I realise I can write in my work. So yes, we should be able to chat."

Chloe, 10, Stockport, England

"Talking in class should be allowed, but not if it's not about the work or while the teacher is speaking."

Alex, 9, Liverpool, England

"I think sometimes it does help you work and sometimes it doesn't. If you're chatting to someone that distracts you from your work that's bad, but if it's a joint piece the more ideas the better!"

Ellen, 12, Marlow, England

"I think chatting is good because we get to learn things off other people if we talk. If we didn't, we would only have our ideas and nothing else!"

Immy, 11, Tunbridge Wells, England

"I think that talking in class does not help you learn unless you are talking about the work or working together."

Rahma, 12, Leicester, England

"I think that talking in class is a bad idea."

Kristina, 10, Manchester, England

"Chatting can be annoying, but not if it's helping someone with what they're stuck on. In our class we do 'think pair and share' - instead of asking the teacher, we ask the person beside or across from us. It really does help!"

Siobhan, 10, Glasgow, Scotland

"Talking in class is a nice thing to do, it helps you be a better communicator and if someone needs your help they can always tell you and you can answer them."

Ashley, 9, Hong Kong

"I think chatting in class is a great idea otherwise people will find things more distracting to do to pass the time away."

Rachel, 13, Leeds, England

"Yes of course it does, but I hate it when you are discussing the work with the person next to you or a friend and the teacher tells you off for talking, even though it was about the work!"

Suzanne, 12, London, England

"I think chatting with your mates makes you feel more relaxed and ready for the work!"

Jordan, 11, Cardiff, Wales

"I think chatting in class sometimes is a good thing because then you won't get bored from working all day long."

Zainab, 11, Bolton, England

"Talking about work in class really helps you work hard, but any other chat just disrupts you."

Lindsey, 11, Leeds, England

"Our teacher likes quiet talking. We haven't got a very good class so chatting leads to chaos really, but whenever anyone chats they never talk about work."

Juliette, 10, Manchester, England

"Chatting is great to learn and to help each other learn too..."

Saffron, 10, London, England

"I think talking in class is sometimes good and sometimes bad. I think it helps you work if you talk quietly but it can get really loud sometimes!"

Oliver, 10, Warwickshire, England

"Just sharing your ideas with friends is what helps me learn."

Isabelle, 10, New Malden, England

"Chatting in class helps me loads! You can ask your friends if they find it difficult, and also compare answers. I get told off for chatting loads, but the teachers never seem to understand that it's about work!"

Madi, 13, Dyffryn Ardudwy, Wales

"It's only helpful if you are helping someone. Otherwise it just distracts you so you don't get any work done!"

Emma, 12, Cheshire, England

"Chatting definitely helps me work! If we are told to work in silence it puts me off putting in any effort."

Charlotte, 13, Staffordshire, England

"I think talking in class is good. I talk to my friend and I seem to get more understanding!"

Tammy, 9, Bridlington, England

"I think that chatting does help you learn. You can get ideas from other people and listen more to your friends than you would to a boring old teacher! "

Emma, 12, Harrow, England

"I agree. It really helps to be able to clarify understanding, but the noise level cannot be so high that it prevents other people from working."

Charlotte, 9, Old Amersham, England

"I think it's a bad idea because you can't concentrate on your work and you would be talking about things not related to your school work and our teacher says we work harder when we concentrate."

Alice, 10, Colchester, England

"I think it depends what you are talking about. If it is to do with the work it could be good as long as you can still hear the teacher when the teacher talks to you."

Chloe, 12, Cambridge, England

"We chat all the time in class and we still get all our work done. We hardly ever talk about our work, but we still get on with it!"

Charlotte, 12, Kettering, England

"I think it's stupid because children will get carried away and they might spread rumours or talk about non-school related things."

Connor, 10, London, England

"I do not think that chatting helps us to learn because some people could chat about anything."

Katie, 7, Macclesfield, England

"The chatting doesn't exactly help as you get distracted and you won't be able to concentrate. On the other hand, I think it's also a good idea as, if you're not sure about something, you can ask your friends and they'll help you!"

Lamin, 12, Birmingham, England

"It is wrong because when I chat I get less work done and when I don't chat I get more work done."

Kayleigh, 10, Nottingham, England

"I think that chatting in class would be useful, but if it was allowed most people wouldn't talk about the right thing, they would talk about something else."

David, 10, Leicester, England

"Definitely! I always talk and I never get behind, sometimes I even get more work done than those who don't talk."

Jenny, 9, Leicester, England

"Chatting in class helps you learn because we have someone to talk to since, at playtime, we always play and never talk."

Sarah, 10, London, England

"It's an alright idea, but some kids would take advantage of it and just have normal chats with their friends, instead of chatting about what they've learnt."

Eleanor, 12, Galway, Ireland

"It's alright if you are talking about work-related subjects but not if you're talking about what you did at the weekend!"

Mia, 13, London, England

"It is good to talk in lessons, but sometimes people talk when they're not supposed to. It gets really annoying!"

Helena, 11, London, England

"I think talking in class will help learning, but in my school we have already started that. It helps if we are with people we like otherwise you won't want to talk to them."

Jade, 10, Hampshire, England

"Talking in class does not help you learn, it puts you off your work and I'd like to put a stop to it."

Ella, 9, Canterbury, England

"It is a very good idea that we could get to chat in class. Even though the chatting might not be about the work."

Naimul, 12, London, England

"I always get told off for chatting but I find it helps me."

Robert, 13, Yeovil, England

"Well I think that chatting in class does not help you learn unless you are talking about your work."

Nadine, 10, Folkestone, England

"I think that chatting in class is a great way of helping each other."

Bradley, 11, St. Annes, England

"It depends if it is a joint piece of work because if it is it will give you more ideas."

Sophie, 10, Berkshire, England



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