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Teaching and the Art of Questioning

Teaching and the Art of Questioning

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Published by: EFL Classroom 2.0 on Dec 13, 2009
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Teaching and the Art of Questioning
David Deubelbeiss
http://setiteachers.ning.com http://eflclassroom.ning.comDeveloping the art of questioning can be as simple as practicing. It is with practice thatwe gain competence and “pattern” the process.
In pairs or 3s – Look at Appendix 1
. Choose one question, ask it and then give twofollow up questions.
The art of questioning students is the foundation of all good teaching practice.It provides for both assessment and student growth (learning) and is the coreof the scientific method and how we learn.Yet, teachers spend comparably little time, learning how to ask questions or make questions which lead to good teaching. Moreover, many teachers spendlittle time developing this fundamental skill in their students. You can’t have“real” communication without questions yet so many students gain Englishcompetence in this – too far along their learning curve to benefit.This workshop will address both aspects of questioning.
Part 1
– How to deliver questions as a teacher?Assessing students through questions.
Part 2
- Activities to promote question making skills in our students.
Recalling -Who, what, when,where, how _______?Identifying Errors -What is wrong with_______?
Comparing -How is similarto/different from_______?Inferring -What might we inferfrom _______?
What conclusions mightbe drawn from _______?
Identifying Attributesand Components -
What are thecharacteristics/parts of  _______?
Predicting -
What might happen if  _______?
Classifying -How might we organizeinto categories_______?Elaborating -What ideas/details canyou add to _______?Give an example of _______.Ordering -Arrange into sequenceaccording to _______?Summarizing -Can you summarize_______?Establishing Criteria -What criteria would youuse to judge/evaluate_______?IdentifyingRelationships andPatterns -Develop anoutline/diagram/web of _______?Identifying Main Ideas -What is wrong with_______?
What conclusions mightbe drawn from_______?
Verifying -What evidencesupports _______?
How might we
Representing -
In what other ways mightwe show/illustrate _______?
prove/confirm _______?
Techniques of Effective Questioning
Establish an appropriate environment
. Only certain questions shouldbe posed in front of students; “bedside” (beginning) questions shouldfocus principally on knowledge and recall and to a lesser extent oncomprehension.
Create a climate conducive to learning
. A happy facial expression, nod,or verbal acknowledgement of a correct response encourages other students to participate in the discussion. Pose questions in a non-threatening way and receive answers in a supportive fashion. A harshtone, especially when used to interrupt a response from the student, canbe devastating for both the student and his or her peers.
Prepare the students for the questioning session and discussion
.Explain to students the format, expectations, and how this knowledge willhelp them.
Use both pre-planned and emerging questions
. Pre-planned questionsare those incorporated into the teaching plan that are asked during theteaching session to introduce new concepts, focus the discussion oncertain items, steer the discussion in specific directions, or identify studentknowledge / level on the topic. Emerging questions derive from thediscussion itself and the specific answers given to previous questions.Think quickly and act decisively to phrase these questions accurately andpose them at appropriate times in the discussion.
Use an appropriate variety and mix of questions.
One good strategy isto start with convergent questions and then continue with divergentquestions, perhaps asking questions in hierarchical sequence and buildingfrom the recall of facts to higher levels of thinking and problem-solving. If aquestion requiring a higher level thinking skill blocks the student, go downto a question requiring lower-level thinking skills and then work up thehierarchy.
Avoid trick questions and those that require only a YES or NOresponse.
Trick questions should be avoided, as they frustrate studentsand tend to encourage frivolous responses. YES or NO questionsencourage students to respond without fully understanding or thinkingthrough the issue. When used, such questions should be followed by other questions to determine the thinking process of the student.

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