Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Strategy: Chunk and Chew

Chunk and Chew ensures that students are not inundated with input from the teacher without being given appropriate time to process information. By following the Chunk and Chew strategy, teachers deliver their lessons in small "chunks" giving students time to "chew" the information either individually, with partners, or in small groups. Follow this simple rule: For every 10 minutes of teacher input, students should be given 2 minutes to process information. (This is known 10 and 2). Time frames vary and should be adjusted according to language proficiency and grade level of the students. When students are aware of the strategy of the Chunk and Chew technique, they will anticipate the processing time and let the teacher know when they have reached their limit on input.

***From 99 Ideas and Activities for Teaching English Learners with THE SIOP MODEL by MaryEllen Vogt and Jana Echevarria


  1. What a great idea, I love it! Do you listen in? I wonder do they only talk about what you have been teaching them? Do they get off track?

  2. Sounds like a great idea. I know from my own class experiences I like time to think about what has be taught and make sure I understand. Do you have problems getting the kids back on task after two minutes? Does the chew time outweigh the teach time in the long run?

  3. The processing piece is very important. If the students don't have time to think about what you're teaching, they really can't learn.

  4. I do not think : think and Chew" wastes time- especially in Foreign languages classes: students need to "process" the new info, every 5 mn, as what they receive is "alien" to their previous mindset. they need to "check" that they got the message from every utterance that the FL teachers delivers- I, as an FL teacher, stop regularly to check comprehension on the part of the students - then I always "informally" assess students' comprehension at the end of class.