Do we really need so many questions?

This talk focuses on how we exploit reading texts and considers both typical comprehension tasks and alternatives.

30 minutes

About the talk

This talk questions some of the orthodoxies around how we exploit reading texts and in particular the use of standard comprehension check exercises that are a common feature of many published materials. We consider the pros and cons of such exercises and suggest some alternatives. Some research examining reading with no explicit task is also outlined.


Submitted by Jack.Williamson on Tue, 04/02/2019 - 20:33


It was refreshing and thought provoking to hear about summarising and retelling as effective learning strategies for demonstrating authentic understanding a text. Also, determining the information through guided open questions seems a more relevant approach to reading for academic purposes. Quite a useful perspective. The suggestion to use sentences stems to explore meaning as an alternative to comprehension questions is also useful. Thank you

Research and insight

We have hundreds of case studies, research papers, publications and resource books written by researchers and experts in ELT from around the world. 

See our publications, research and insight

Sign up to our newsletters for teachers and teacher educators

We will process your data to send you our newsletter and updates based on your consent. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every email. Read our privacy policy for more information.