BK5b

GETTING QUESTIONS FROM YOUR STUDENTS

AQ - Answer, Question

This finds out if a student can use a question form which he is supposed to know but which he may have forgotten. It is thus more for revision than for systematic drill. An example might be:

T Peter is seven years old. A question please ....
S How old is Peter?
T He's seven.

This finds out if a student knows the expression "How old?"

another example:

T It's 450 km from Paris to Lyon. A question please ....
S How far is it from Paris to Lyon?
T It's 450 Km.

to see if he knows "How far?"

Notice that the teacher says "A question please", instead of a prompt as the appropriate prompt "How old ..." or "How far ..." would give the game away and defeat your purpose.

Of course the student might come up with something quite wrong or nothing at all but that is what you set out to find and in this case you would then use QAQ to drill the forgotten form.

Sometimes a student doesn't catch on to what you want but you don't have to give up and use the prompt. You can switch to a variation of the "I don't know" technique (q.v.):

T It's 300 miles from London to Paris . A question please ....
S Er .. Pardon ... It's ....
T (Interrupting) It's 300 miles from London to Paris , Right?
S Yes, it is.
T And from London to Manchester?
S I don't know
T Question please.
S How far is it ....
(or whatever)

It's always better if a student corrects himself or is made to think that little bit more.

Often a student will say, when you try the above, "How many miles is it from London to Paris?". After he answers the cunning teacher will not prompt "How", or go on to another example of cities but will say "from the door to the window?". You can watch the student do a double take as he says "How many..." and suddenly realises miles are an inappropriate unit. Then he might come up with "How far...".

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Mark Yates 2000 modified 2015