A Journey in TEFL

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Sometimes questions are more important than answers. Nancy Willard

I sometimes feel one of the most ignored area in my classroom is practising asking questions. When I started teaching English, there was a trendy activity to ask questions. That was Find the question for the underlined answer which was very mechanical and boring and while checking my blog posts I realised I never wrote about asking questions in a fun way so I’ll list here some activities, games I use in class.

whyfunnyface

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the Question?

Level: Any Level

Purpose: review question forms

Divide the class into two teams.

Tell students they will find the correct question for the answer.

Have two players come to the front  (one from each team)

Have a buzzer or a bell or they can just touch the desk if you don’t have the formers.

Read an answer to a question and say, ‘What’s the question?’ The fastest player to find a correct question wins a point

Dice Questions

level: any

materials: a pair of  dice

Elicit 6 topics you studied, such as:

1. family

2. school

3. food

4. music

5. books

6. inventions

Elicit the question words

1. what

2. where

3. when

4. why

5. who

6. how

Put students in 2 teams and tell if their team can form a correct question they will gain 2 points.

Throw the dice.

Students should ask a question according to the numbers on the dice so the dice say 2;4. The student will choose the topic from the first group in the list above number 2 is school and the question word will be number 4, in this case it is why.

20 questions

This one is a classic but can be a fun way to practice asking questions and have a look at Larry Ferlazzo’s post using it with an online treat.

DO YOU KNOW YOUR BEST FRIEND?

Level: any

Aim: to revise asking questions

Materials: pen and paper

Send 2 good friends out

In class decide what questions to ask such as

 what is your friend’s favourite colour?

Who is your friend’s favourite super hero?

Call one of the students back and ask the questions, take notes. send him back and call the other one in and ask the same questions.

Call both of them and ask the questions to them to get their answers, compare with the friend’s answer.

The winner is the one who has more correct answers.



6 Comments so far

  1.    Nancy C on June 30, 2011 9:29 pm      Reply

    Love your ideas and will definitely use them in the fall! We often spend more time on the answers than the questions. I’m glad you shared this post as it is a good reminder that the kids should be the ones asking!!!

    Take care.

  2.    Andrea on July 1, 2011 3:44 am      Reply

    Thanks for the great ideas, Eva! It’s always nice to refresh tired activities that you do over & over again – I’ll definitely be putting a new spin on some of mine having read your post!

  3.    Brad Patterson on July 1, 2011 8:17 am      Reply

    Great post, Eva. I love these kinds of activities

  4.    ElizabethA on July 4, 2011 5:13 pm      Reply

    Hey Eva – the sub-title of the communication I submitted to TESOL FR this year is “Why should the teacher always ask the questions”
    (in academic reading) but all the same! You know what they say about great minds :-)

  5.    Gordon Scruton on July 13, 2011 10:59 am      Reply

    Some great activities that have convinced me to finally go out and buy some dice and a bell or two.

    Thanks!

  6.    Carmen Lopez on September 18, 2012 2:19 am      Reply

    Hi! I also started teaching at the time when “Find the questions for the underlined answers” was all the rage. However, there is another activity from that distant past that I still love: “teapotting”, don’t you remember “teapotting”?
    It is played in small groups or pairs and within each group students think of an activity like brushing your teeth or feeding the dog, the other groups take in turns to ask questions in order to find out what the activity is substituting the mystery word with “teapot”, so the questions will be like:
    - Do you teapot everyday?
    - How often do you teapot?
    - Have you teapotted today?
    - Do you teapot indoors or outdoors?
    I’ve used it with many generations and it still works!

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