Teacher Questions in Second Language Classrooms: An Investigation of Three Case Studies

| March 25, 2010
Teacher Questions in Second Language Classrooms: An Investigation of Three Case Studies

Keywords: Teacher questions, Whole class teaching, Yes/No questions, Closed and display questions, Open and referential questions

Chi Cheung Ruby Yang
The Hong Kong Institute of Education
Department of English, Hong Kong

Bio Data
Chi Cheung Ruby Yang is a teaching fellow at the Department of English, The Hong Kong Institute of Education. She obtained her Master of Education and Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics at the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include classroom discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, and IT in English language teaching.

The present study investigates the types of questions asked by three NNS pre-service English teachers teaching in three different bands of secondary schools during the whole class teaching portion of their lessons through analyzing the transcripts of their videotaped lessons. A special emphasis is put on exploring the effects of the types of questions teachers ask on the students discourse patterns. Similar to the results of previous research, the findings of this study show that in all the three lessons, yes/no questions, and closed and display questions were frequently asked by the teachers, while open and referential questions were rarely or even never asked. However, the referential questions themselves will not make students produce longer responses unless the teachers are able to encourage their students to elaborate further rather than just accepting those brief and syntactically less complex responses. The implications of this study are that pre-service teachers should be provided with more training in developing their questioning techniques. Also, to facilitate second language development and bring about more dialogic forms of whole class teaching, students could be asked to expand their thinking, justify or clarify their opinions in the follow-up moves.

See page 181-201

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 12 Issue 1