How To Ask Questions In The EFL Classroom
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We’re pretty sure you know how to ask questions. Every day in every lesson we ask our students a million questions in the EFL classroom and they ask us two million back. Questions are part and parcel of the classroom (well, they should be. If they’re not then something needs to be changed!). The question is, are you utilising questions in the EFL classroom in the best way for your students? Or are you asking questions for the sake of asking questions?
What questions do TEFL teachers ask in the classroom?
There are a range of questions that are necessary in the EFL classroom. The first type of questions are those we ask at the beginning of the lesson or when you have a few minutes to spare.
Questions like: What did you do last night? Did you watch the football game? Who’s going to the festival tomorrow?
These questions are all totally valid as a way of improving rapport in the classroom and building relationships with your students.
Then there are the concept-checking questions, the ones we ask to make sure our students are following us.
These can be as simple as Does that make sense? Any questions? Or they can be more specific, such as Is this a real or hypothetical situation? What’s a synonym for this?
Finally, there are the questions we ask to create interest in a topic or to stimulate conversation. Examples of these questions are What can you tell me about the royal family? Or Who knows what this symbol represents?
These questions are used to find out how much your students know about certain topics or to get their attention.
How to ask questions in the EFL classroom meaningfully
- Listen to the answers. Don’t just ask questions to fill up time in the classroom. Don’t just run through your questions without following up on your students’ answers. How they respond to your questions may lead the conversation in a totally different direction and that’s ok. This will usually introduce much-needed teachable moments.
- Give your students time to think. Remember that even though you know what questions are about to be asked (because you came up with them!) your students don’t. They need time to process your questions, think about how to answer them and then think about how to do that in English.
- Be afraid of silence. This thinking time will mean there are periods of time when no one in the classroom will be speaking. This is perfectly acceptable. Don’t make the mistake of answering the question or moving onto the next question because you think they have nothing to say. Give them time and they will answer you.
- Target individual students with questions. Putting students on the spot usually doesn’t get the best results. Open the questions to the class, allowing any student to answer. Be careful that certain students don’t dominate the conversation. Alternatively, let your students discuss the questions in groups first before making it a class discussion.
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- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.