Solve the Question

Image source: www.bigstockphoto.com
Image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

I’m privileged to have been teaching newcomers for the last few weeks. It’s definitely been an interesting class, more so because of the extreme level differences in learning. Having a multilevel class can be quite challenging because you want to ensure that no one is bored and everyone is engaged.

Forming questions to match answers is a great way to challenge your students at any level. (Although I wouldn’t recommend this to first time English language learners). I’d say it works anywhere from from a high CLB 2 or low CLB 3 and up.

The usual Q & A

I’ve been working on getting my students to think about asking and answering questions, and up until last week, it’s been the usual — I ask and they answer – the same concept applied on their worksheets. They read the questions and answer accordingly.

The Switch-Up

But this time around, I did the opposite. I gave them a worksheet with the answers on them and asked them to think of the appropriate questions. Of course I had led them up to this point, so it wasn’t a shock for them to perform the exercise. But it was definitely a challenging one, because they had to read the answer, think about what it meant, and then think about how to properly phrase a question to match that answer.

Peer Correcting

Before taking up the answers together, I had them check with a partner to see if their answers and grammar matched.

The Tense Test

The best tip I may have given them was to remember that the verb tenses should match in both the question and the answer. So for example, if I say: “Where did you go?” The answer would be: “I went to the mall”, (present=present, past=past, future=future, etc.)

I saw many ‘aha’ moments and imaginary light bulbs go off that night. Don’t you love it when that happens?

Free Sample!

Here’s a sample of what I gave my students last week (see below). Feel free to use it yourself if you can incorporate it into your lesson plan. Better yet, whatever lesson you’re currently on, think of answers and have your learners come up with the appropriate questions. They’ll love this exercise and so will you!

What are some helpful tips you can share that you like to do with your learners to help keep them engaged?

Happy lesson planning!


Asking Questions

Ask the right questions for the answers below.

  1. Q: __________________________________________________________________

A: I’m a doctor.

2. Q: __________________________________________________________________

A:  Syria.

3. Q: __________________________________________________________________

A: Your favourite, chicken and rice!

4. Q: __________________________________________________________________

A: I was 25 in that picture.

5. Q: __________________________________________________________________

A: I get up at 5 in the morning, everyday.

6. Q: __________________________________________________________________

A: I stayed at home and watched TV.

7. Q: __________________________________________________________________

A: Our friends came over Saturday night, and we relaxed on Sunday.

8. Q: __________________________________________________________________

A: Because we needed a bigger house.

Source: Laila Al-Sbeinati 

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