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S-English 20

((Teaching Reading))


What is ReQuest?
Teachers are constantly challenged to find ways to get students to read. Research
suggests that if we get students to ask and answer questions before reading a text,
they will be able to read with a purpose, recognize major characteristics of the
texts, activate their prior knowledge, and make predictions about what they are about
to read.
Teachers also struggle to get students to interact with text while they are reading.
Students do not know how to generate good questions about their reading; they also do not know
the difference between lower level informational questions and higher level questions that
demand analysis, evaluation, or synthesis. A successful active comprehension strategy should
actually lead students to ask questions that will result in even more questions. In theory,
questions that lead to additional questions arouse student interest and curiosity and draw them
into the material. When it works, students will read to find the answers to the questions they have
generated. Self constructed questions are powerful. A strategy designed to help students generate
these questions is called ReQuest, short for reciprocal questioning.
Purpose: To help students develop the ability to ask and answer questions about their reading to
deepen comprehension and critical thinking, in short, to help students think as they read.
Description: Developed originally as a one-on-one procedure for a remedial instructional
context, this strategy encourages students to ask their own questions about content material under
study. Students take on the role of the teacher to form questions about a reading selection, and
the teacher in turn models how to answer. Then the teacher asks questions that require higher
level thinking to influence the students to frame more challenging questions about the ideas
presented in the reading selection.

A. Operational Definition/s:
The ReQuest Procedure was developed to teach students to independently set their own
purpose(s) for reading (Manzo, 1969a, b; 1985). ReQuest builds student independence largely
through three mechanisms: instructional conversation (Tharp &Gallimore, 1969a, b), mental
modeling (Duffy. Roehler, & Hermann, 1988; Manzo, 1969 a, b), and teacher-student
reciprocity or structured interacting (Manzo, 1969; Palinscar & Brown, 1984). ReQuest is a
form of apprenticeship training that bring students and teacher together much as apprentices and
craftsperson are brought together at a workbench.
Prior to the development of the Reciprocal Questioning, or ReQuest, Procedure (Manzo,
1969b), the common practice was for the teacher to try to anticipate and provide the necessary
background information and purpose for reading. The ReQuest Procedure takes a different tack:

It permits the teacher to model good prereading questioning behavior and encourages students to
develop their own purpose for reading by reducing many of the risks, or inhibitions, involved
in class participation.
ReQuest first was developed as a remedial reading procedure for one-on-one teaching. It
soon became evident, however that it could be equally effective in regular classroom situations
with heterogeneous groups. Early research indicated that its use tended to stimulate sensitive
teaching and attentive, adultlike student responding. The inherent language development and
therapeutic properties of ReQuest have led to its use in programs to promote personal-social
adjustment in juvenile delinquents (Kay, Young & Mottley, 1986), in mainstreaming learning
disabled students (Alley & Deshler, 1980; Hori, 1977), in content classrooms (Manzo, 1973),
and with second-language students (McKenzie, Ericson, & Hunter, 1988) ReQuest also has
become the basis for a larger movement in education called Reciprocal Teaching (Palinscar &
Brown, 1984)


While mature conversation between teacher and students is a frequent incidental benefit
of ReQuest interactions, there are two factors that may turn a teacher away from its use. One is
that when students reflect back the questions of their teacher, they sometimes do so in some
emotionally convoluted way. This can be disconcerting, since some of our less thoughtful
questions can really come back to haunt us when we put ourselves as models.
The best way to deal with this problem is to listen carefully to the twisted or potentially
hostile questions that students may ask, and then begin by assuming that there is something that
we are doing or saying that is evoking those questions; try to ask better questions. It is important,
too, to realize that it may not be your questioning that is at fault. It may be that the child is
carrying some heavy emotional baggage quite apart from your efforts. If you are tolerant of the
sometimes taunting questions that children may ask, they soon come around and behave more
thoughtfully and respectfully.
The other problem that sometimes inhibits use of ReQuest if that teacher can be
overwhelmed by the flood of diagnostic information that they receive through such interactions.
Some teachers become immobilized when they realize how much some students dont know.
They wonder how they can begin to fill these without frustrating the rest of the groups.
Experience has shown that when the teacher stays with the procedure and tries to help those who
do not understand even the simplest of things, the other students often are patient and touched by
the teachers caring. Children seem to sense that they might need the same thoughtful assistance
at some time of the future.

B. Theories that influence ReQuest

While most modern-day teaching strategies have their theoretical basis in cognitive
psychology, ReQuests can also be found in the influence of the social context on learning. This
is a domain recently found made popular in education by the rediscovery of the work of the
Russian psychologist, Lev Vygotsky, who died in 1963, but whose works were being published
as late as 1978. A related American branch of this research, known as social and imitation
learning theory, was pioneered by Miller and Dollard (1941) and by Bandura (1987).
The social learning theories of Vygotsky, Miller and Dollard, and Bandura provide the
basic rationale for the structure of ReQuest interactions. The social imitation learning connection
is important to know about because much of childrens inability to make progress in reading and
other schoolwork often can be traced to dealing with a variety of social and emotional
inhibitions, such as fear of failure, feeling conspicuous in class, and other social concerns.

C. Process in ReQuest
1. Students should be informed in advance that they will be taking on the role of a teacher
while reading and developing questions about the information and ideas found in the
reading. In other words, students need to know that they will be asking the teacher
questions about the text after they have read it.
2. Both the students and the teacher silently read the same segment of the text. After
everyone has read the passage, they should write a list of questions about the reading. It is
helpful if the teacher writes his/her questions along with the students.
3. The teacher invites the students to ask the teacher their questions. The teacher should
respond with clear, complete answers in a think-aloud fashion that shows students the
mental process the teacher used to derive the answer. Some sources suggest teachers
should close the book in order to answer student questions, but it is not necessarily the
best practice. Students need to see the teacher refer to the text as needed in order to model
this strategy for students.
4. Next there is an exchange of roles. The teacher questions the students about the same
text. The teachers questions should focus on higher level thinking to guide the students
in framing more challenging questions with the next section or selection.
5. On completion of the student-teacher exchange, the students and the teacher read the next
segment of the text, pausing at the predetermined stopping point. Steps 2 and 3 are then

6. Students stop questioning and begin predicting. At a suitable point in the text, when the
students have processed enough information to make predictions about the remainder of
the assignment, the exchange of questions stops. The teacher then asks prediction
questions such as What do you think might happen in the remainder of the text? What
has the author said or implied that makes you think so? Divergent thinking is
7. Students are then assigned the remaining portion of the text to read independently.
8. The teacher facilitates a follow-up discussion of the material.

D. Sample Activities/Exercises
The example exercises of Reciprocal Questioning would be as simple as the Q&A
segment of a beauty contest. There would be throwing of questions and answers. There would be
sharing of thoughts as well. The students would be the contestant and the teacher would be the
judge that will ask the questions. There is a plot twist, since it is obvious that the process would
be reciprocated, therefore there would be an exchange of duty. The contestant (student) will now
ask the judge (teacher).
Moreover, the teachers task is to read the first sentence or paragraph of the text orally
and the students will follow using their minds. Then, the teacher will let them ask questions
about the reading. You have to let the other student to answer the question thrown by his
classmate. Of course in every Q&A segment, the contestants will have to clarify their answers.
As their teacher, you can answer their questions carefully using a Think Aloud. For
example, you can ask them, Did you use your personal experiences? Did you know it from
another text or reading? Was it answered in the text? Probably, their answers would be: The
answer is _____. I know this because I just read an article in the newspaper last week about
Next, ask the students a question about the sentence or paragraph. The students will
answer the questions clarifying their thoughts as they answer. In the beginning, you will need to
coach the students to clarify. Use questions such as, Why do you think that? Can you
elaborate? Can you give me an example? Explain how and many more questions that
will let your students share their thoughts.
After doing so, you may now ask the students to do it by partner. Student A and B are
partners, they will do what you and your class did. Student A can read the text then she will ask
Student B to formulate questions. They can throw each other lots of questions and thoughts.
After that, you will have to let them share it to their classmates.

However, this could be also done by group. Same process, there would be a throwing of
questions and answers, it is just that there would be a group speaker that will share the things that
they have talked about.

E. Resources/References:
Manzo A, Ula Casale Mano. 1990. Teaching Children to be Literate: A Reflective
Approach. Columbus, Ohio: Merrill Publishing Company
Lass, R. 1999. The Cambridge History of the English Language (Volume II). United
Kingdom: Cambridge University Press
Reciprocal Questioning (During Reading). (n.d.). Retrieved August 12, 2015.
Reading Educator. (n.d.). Retrieved August 12, 2015.
www. reciprocal_ questioning_strategy.pdf