One of the reasons why Talking Mats works is because it reduces the demand on the ‘thinker’ to remember the question, find the vocabulary needed to answer, construct the answer into a sentence, and then say it clearly. This reduced demand allows more ‘thinking time’.
Here’s a link to our website with more reasons why Talking Mats works
Another reason people respond well to it is there is no right or wrong answer. It is not a test.
Sometimes the listener can forget their role and use the interaction as a test or as a language exercise. E.g . ‘Do you know what this picture is? ‘What’s this one called?’ This makes the demands on the thinker instantly increase as they are required to formulate an answer. Checking the persons level of understanding first may be necessary but it shouldn’t be done as part of the Talking Mat.
In our training we recommend avoiding ‘why’ questions , as they can make a person feel they have made an error. If the listener wants to know more, then a sub mat can be done
Our mission statement is to maximise the person’s capacity to express what they think. Let’s help them to do that!