Academic English

La Trobe University Library La Trobe Library

Academic English

Achieve@Uni
La Trobe University Library La Trobe Library

Achieve@Uni
La Trobe University Library La Trobe Library

Academic English

Achieve@Uni

Class participation

Participating in class is important during your time at La Trobe and can be a part of your final mark. Some examples of class participation are: 

  • Giving presentations

  • Asking questions in a class or tutorial 

  • Contributing to a discussion with fellow students 

General tips for participating

Prepare 

  • Attend all class meetings and do any assigned reading beforehand. This will help you develop questions and comments. 

Listen 

  • Listen to how and when other students ask questions or make comments. Listen to how others respond. By listening you can learn ways to present your own questions or how to respond to others. 

Practice and participate 

  • Speaking in class or in a group can be intimidating. If you prepare a question beforehand, that can help you participate. 

Get feedback 

  • Getting feedback from fellow students or the lecturer on your participation can help you improve your ability to engage in class and group projects. Don’t be afraid to ask! 

Contributing to the discussion

To contribute your ideas and opinions in discussions, remember to not only state what you think, but also to provide your reasons for thinking that as well as supply evidence or examples. You can use the following phrases to help organise your contribution. 

State what you think: 

  • I think that… 
  • I believe that… 
  • As I understand it… 

Provide your reasons: 

  • Because… 
  • The reason I say this is… 

Supply evidence or examples: 

  • An example of this is… 
  • For example… 
  • We can see this when… 

More useful phrases

Asking a question: 

  • Could you explain what you meant by…? 
  • I was wondering about… 
  • Can you say more about…? 

Asking for an opinion: 

  • I was wondering what you think of… 
  • Do you mind sharing your opinion on… 
  • What are your thoughts about… 

Making a suggestion: 

  • If I could make a suggestion… 
  • I just want to point out… 

Expanding on something said: 

  • Responding to what was just said, I think… 
  • It was mentioned that…and I would like to build on that by saying… 

Agreeing and expanding: 

  • I think that is a great point. I just want to add… 
  • I agree and just want to say… 

Disagreeing and replying: 

  • I am afraid I don’t agree. I would say instead that… 
  • I’m not sure that is correct. I think… 

Pathfinder link

Still have questions? Do you want to talk to an expert? Peer Learning Advisors or Academic Skills and Language Advisors are available.