Teachers’ Questions in the EFL Classroom Are we asking effective questions? Are we aware of the type of questions we are asking? Are we clear about the function of our questions?
Utility of teacher questions It needs to be measured against three inter–dependent restricting factors:
The need to minimize teacher talking time
2. The importance of involving learners and generating as much leaner thinking and talk as possible.
3. The need for time – effectiveness.
Two main kind of questions Display Questions Referential Questions Request information the questioner already knows Request new information
The role of Questions in EFL classes
For classroom Interaction
To appreciate the level of cognitive difficulty involved in the students’ effort to respond.
Taxonomy of Questions 5 levels of complexity: 1.Literal Comprehension 2.Reorganization 3.Inferential Comprehension 4.Evaluation 5.Appreciation Display Questions Processing: Input, Communicating and informing and expressing their own views.
Taxonomy of Cognitive Difficulty of Questions 1. Literal Comprehension Recognition Of details Of main ideas Of a sequence Of comparisons Of cause – effect relationships Of character traits
Recall Of details Of main ideas Of a sequence Of comparisons Of cause – effect relationships Of character traits Of author’s organization Reorganization Classifying Outlining Summarizing Synthesizing
Inferential Comprehension Of supporting details Of main ideas Of a sequence Of comparisons Of cause – effect relationships Of character traits Of author’s organization Evaluation Judgments of: Reality and fantasy Fact or opinion Adequacy and validity Appropriateness Worth, desirability, and acceptability
Appreciation Emotional Response to the text Identification with characters or incidents Reactions to the author’s or speaker’s connotative and denotative use of language Reactions to imagery
Types of Pedagogical Questions
According to the response required
Yes/ No Elicit more language Convergent Divergent Do you like sports? What kind of sports do you like? Why? What do you think about the views expressed in the text? How old is X?
According to the Aim of the Teacher
1. Checking Understanding Form Concept /Function /Context
Where do I place the ‘s? (When teaching possessives)
Do I need an –ing?
Helen: “If I'd seen Peter, I’d have told him”
Does this sentence talk about the past or the present?
Did Helen see Peter?
Did she tell him?
Can she do anything about it now?
Who do you think is she saying this to? Why?
2. Elicitation Language Strategies (Reading/ Listening) Problems and Needs
What does X mean?
What are they doing (In the picture)?
What do you need to take on the beach?
What do you mean (by …)?
What are you views on …?
How did you guess the meaning of this word?
What helped you understand the writer’s view?
Where in the text did you find the information?
Did you find the answer in one place?
What did you find difficult in this question /activity?
Which word(s) do you think you need to understand? Why?
3. Guidance and Awareness - raising Focus on Form Focus on concept and function Focus on Strategies Limiting Choice
How does she express her promises?
What language does he use to express his predictions?
What is more important for the writer/ speaker, when the accident happened ?
Does the speaker really mean this or is she being sarcastic?
Did you need to understand all the words to answer?
Did you have to read everything to get the information?
Do you think this word has a positive or negative meaning?
Do you need Simple Past or Present Perfect here?
4. Class Management General
Can you all hear me?
Have you all brought your books?
Who is in group A?
What do you have to do?
Progression of Activities
Have you finished?
Are you ready?
1 . Questions which are not likely to elicit a “true” or helpful response
Do you understand?
Is it clear now?
2. Questions which can embarrass the learners?
Whose parents are divorced?
Are you awake X?
Are you with us?
Responding to Form Vs responding to Content
T: Why are you so late? L: I’m sorry my mother is take to hospital T: No, not “is take”, she “has been taken” to hospital Example: or T: Why are you so late? L: I’m sorry, my mother has been taken to hospital T: Correct, Bravo! As opposed to T: Why are you so late? L: I’m sorry, my mother is take to hospital T: Oh I’m sorry to hear that!