Time to offer you what all practising teachers want: something practical.

I do think that a way John Morgan taught me to use comprehension questions is genuinely productive.

From story to comprehension question and from questions to story.  ( Lower Inter to advanced)

Ask each student to think of a story they know but that other students will most likely not know. A personal story or anedote is fine for this activity. Ask each student to  write 8-10 questions about the plot, questions like this:

Where was the man?        What did he see through his bedroom window       What was the unicorn doing?

What did his wife say when he told her about the animal?   etc........

Ask each student to exchange their questions with someone not sitting near them. Tell the students to read their classmate's questions carefully and then write the story they imagine them to be about.

After the writing phase get the students to move and sit next to their comprehension questions partner and exchange texts. If the written texts are different to the story behind the questions the writer of the questions will want to tell the original story. 

I am not sure what it is about this John Morgan technique that fascinates me; maybe it is the genuine pleasure it has given to many groups I have used it with. It is interesting how techniques can become associated in a teacher's memory with thrilling or dreadfful moments in class.

Good night,   Mario

ps: I hope this return to practicality will feel useful to you. I have an instinctive worry when I feel I have jabbered too much, and been too "theoretical". We have more than enough intellectualising bleaters around in language teaching. You will often find such people in the univerities [ the omission of the letter "s" in the last word is intentional] The teacher fellowship of Pilgrims has always stood for practical classroom stuff and this has been the bedrock of our thinking for the past 30 years.


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