What is "SLANT"?
SLANT is an acronym that teachers can use when they want their students to perform listening and paying attention behaviors. SLANT stands for:
Ask and Answer Questions.
Nod yes or no.
Track the Speaker.
SLANT can be used by the teacher to remind his/her students of the behaviors they should be performing as they are learning. Teachers can break the acronym apart depending on the situation. If students are not tracking the speaker then a teacher could simply say “Where’s my T?”, “Don’t forget to SLANT” or “I need to see more T, please.” A teacher could even have a sign in the room with the acronym and point to the sign and/or letter when that behavior is not being expressed. It can be a reminder that teacher doesn't even have to verbally say.
Why is it Effective?
SLANT is effective because it is a clear statement of your expectations and defines appropriate behavior. Students are more likely to perform the desired behavior when they specifically know what that behavior is. If a teacher simply says “pay attention”, this can cause some gray area in behaviors because it is a vague statement. It raises the question of what is considered "paying attention"? SLANT informs students that the desired behavior of paying attention is sitting up, listening, asking and answering questions, nodding their heads, and tracking the speaker. Students cannot argue with a teacher about their behavior when the expectations are clearly stated. This is also effective for dealing with students with emotional disabilities who may have a tendency to argue with the teacher. This technique doesn't give them the chance to say “You didn't tell me that.” This strategy is also effective because it increases instructional time. A teacher can simply say a one sentence or point to a sign to remind his/her students about the expected behaviors. This saves time compared to having to stop instruction to scold students of their behavior and tell them to pay attention. This may not sound like a large amount of time being saved, when you consider the time saved over a month or school year, the time saved adds up.