The 22nd international conference for English language teaching professionals by IATEFL Hungary

Any questions about questions?

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The power of questions
Workshop by Margit Szesztay

I always enjoy workshops and presentations by Margit Szesztay. She is always good value and has a seemingly instinctive way of getting you to reflect on what you do and think about things from a different angle.  Her session on the power of questions was no different.

Margit suggested that the job of the teacher is to open doors and the key to the door is… a good question, so we tried out a number of activities, which not only encouraged us, as teachers, to think about the questions we ask, but also to pass control to our students and encourage them to think and ask questions themselves.

Activities like predicting what was behind a covered part of a photograph, talking about holiday photographs as if they were ours, and explaining where we took photographs which weren’t ours encouraged us to be creative and was a natural stimulus for questions.

We then focused on the kinds of questions we ask in class…not thinking about the Wh or Yes- No types of classification, but the range of questions we ask and what the questions we ask actually do, for example encouraging exploration, checking comprehension and encouraging reflection.

So questions to encourage reflection and tasks to encourage reflection. This sums up an extremely interesting session. Now as one participant reflected, how do I put into practice what I have learned?

Hamish Buchan


Author: IATEFL-Hungary

The International Association of Teachers of English in Hungary

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