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ERIC Number: EJ1078056
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1559-663X
Critiquing Questions
Zimmerman, Lynn W.
English Teaching Forum, v53 n3 p32-34 2015
Question formation is a basic part of teaching and learning English. However, teachers often focus on the ability to form the question properly and not as much on the quality of the information the question is seeking. Whether teaching English language learners or students who want to be English teachers, teachers need to carefully consider the intent of questions. What makes a good discussion question? A question that results in a Yes/No answer or one that elicits only factual information is not likely to promote discussion. More fruitful are open-ended questions that elicit factual information as well as opinions and differing perspectives. To address the issue of how to develop effective discussion questions, Lynn Zimmerman planned an interactive activity that required students to write questions about a topic they had just focused on, in this case, the topic was sociocultural influences on intercultural communication. After writing discussion questions, students then critiqued one another's questions. Herein, Zimmerman describes how the activity engaged students in authentic discussion at several levels while using a variety of language skills and functions.
US Department of State. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs, SA-5, 2200 C Street NW 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20037. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Tests/Questionnaires; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A