An idea to help question formation and an interesting site

I know grammar is a dirty word, but in the Swiss secondary school system it’s difficult to avoid, so after the bare minimum I encourage my students to talk to each other as much as possible.

It seems that most conversations involve questions so I try to get them asking each other questions, and then answering them (I hope!).

I have noticed however, that no matter how good at gap filling they are, instructions such as…

” write five questions about life experiences”


” Write as many questions using ‘would’ as you can”

…tend to lead to a verbal bunfight.

So today I put some guiders on the board:

Complete these questions:

What would you do if…..?

Where would you go if….?

What would you…(verb).. if….?

……. would you…..(verb)..if….?

As you can see they gradually leave more freedom to the students.

Result- questions that actually made sense and developed into some great conversations, but even better – even the weaker students had enough material to  participate fully in the activity.

On a totally different note, I don’t know if you are familiar with Jim Scrivener’s demand high approach, I saw him present it at Harrogate, here‘s the video of that talk if you have a moment. It’s the polar opposite of my question leaders, but as you well know, there’s room for a lot of stuff in the EFL classroom.



About fabenglishteacher

enjoying sharing learning
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