Telling Time

teaching clock

to teach an ESL student
how to tell time,

the basics –
the o’clocks,
the minutes.

That’s assuming they already know
how to count to 60.
If not, you need to allow for that.

The fancy stuff –
AM and PM,
noon and midnight,

half past,
a quarter to and
a quarter past –

takes longer,
but those details
are especially useful.

The biggest hurdle,
it turns out,
is the same for all –

figuring out
which is the little hand
and which is the big.

Depending on the clock face,
it can be difficult.
The teaching aid (shown) is simple

but that assumes the learner knows difference
between little and big.
If not, you need to allow time for that, too.


Q: How necessary is it to know how to read a clock face now that we have digital clocks? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
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5 Responses to Telling Time

  1. slachie says:

    Digital clocks are not very helpful to me. They tell me what time it is right now, but on regular old fashioned clock faces, I can SEE how much time I have left. Much preferred to us visual thinkers…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marilyn says:

      So true! I read once that if you see someone look at their watch and then ask for the time, they will likely look at their watch again because most people are looking not for the time but for how much time they have left, just as you said. That’s a great point. (When I reference things like that, I should at least do some research and provide the link. Sorry.)


  2. Juliana says:

    I was going to say the same thing! A digital clock will give you the time and it doesn’t help you visualize the time or or see where you are in relationship to the rest of time. As much as possible I live by analogue clocks.

    I do wonder though if that because I am a visual person and if someone wasn’t if they would see the same value in a clock face?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t read a real clock very well. It’s the in betweens that get me. When I was learning Spanish, I always lost at Around the World if a clock was thrown in (otherwise I won or at least did very well). I wear an analog watch, but it doesn’t work–it’s more of a bracelet.

    Liked by 1 person

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