Asking Questions

Asking Questions

Getting young ESL learners in Japan to ask questions has always been a challenge for me. As they grow older, this difficulty only seems to increase. However, one effective strategy I've found is to emphasize the importance of questioning skills from an early stage.

Asking Questions Game Details:

This particular ESL game calls for a set of blocks and a timer. It's more effective when played in larger groups, with the duration ranging from 5 to 15 minutes. The core objective is to make students ask a specific question repeatedly within a stipulated time.

Playing the Game:

Begin by deciding on the target question. For this example, let's use “What colour is it?” Next, designate a “building zone” for each student. They'll have to construct the tallest possible tower in this zone. As the teacher, position yourself a reasonable distance away from the students.

Students must then race towards you to ask the target question. After they ask “What colour is it?”, you provide them with a block while responding, for example, “It’s yellow”. The student then hurries back to their zone, places the block on their tower, and states the block's colour. They then return to you, queue up, and ask the target question again.

This cycle continues either until the time is up or you run out of blocks. The game's winner is the student with the tallest tower.

This game, while simple, is versatile and engaging. The target question can be tweaked to suit any lesson theme. Whether it's “What shape is it?”, “How big is it?”, or “What is it?”, the game remains just as enjoyable. Have fun with it!

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