An essential skill in communicating and keeping up a conversation is the ability to ask questions. Students sometimes get lots of chances to answer questions but here is how you can get them to make some questions themselves! These activities can be used with a whole range of levels.
Guess the object
- Divide class into groups. Each group makes a list of three or four objects. Focus on words recently studied, words for objects in the room or words for objects related to a topic e.g. home, studying, music etc.
- One group must guess the objects of another group by asking questions e.g. 'Is it made of metal? Can you find one in this room? Is it bigger than this table?'
- Set a limit to the number of questions possible for each object (e.g. six to eight questions).
- Give a point to the team if the object is not guessed/guessed within the number of questions allowed.
- Guide students by providing the lists of objects yourself or focussing on specific question types to suit your classes.
Question time challenges
- This approach can be used as a regular lesson slot or filler to change pace.
- Give one question jumbled up on slips of paper. The first pair or group to unscramble it correctly are the winners.
A longer version
- Take four or five question types recently covered by students.
- Jumble the words of the questions and write on one worksheet or on slips of paper in an envelope.
- Challenge small groups or pairs to re-order.
- Run through the questions scoring two points for each correctly ordered question.
- Then challenge students again to think of logical answers to the questions or to use a couple of the questions in a mini dialogue.
These activities originally appeared on the British Council Language Assistant internet site.
Clare Lavery, British Council
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