Reading Comprehension Questions

Preparation:

T or SS find a suitable text. Choose a text that is interesting for you and your students, and at a level that will challenge them, i.e. just above their current level. You might want to adapt the text, e.g. you could make it easier by changing harder words for synonyms and deleting harder sentences. The text could be:

  • from a real source of English, e.g. a newspaper, book, leaflet
  • one that a group has created, e.g. in a Mode 1 class
  • one that an individual SS has written
  • one that T has written

Method:

1. SS work in pairs or small groups. They think of 10-15 (or fewer) comprehension questions based on the text and write them down neatly. For example, questions with who, what, where, when, and why, etc. See example in Talk a Lot Elementary Book 3, p.175. T monitors, checks, and corrects.

2. SS swap their questions with another pair or group, who then write down their answers and pass the paper back to the original SS.

3. SS read and correct the answers where necessary, before passing the paper back to the previous group and giving verbal feedback where appropriate. SS could ask T for advice when correcting other SS’s work.

4. Group feedback: T elicits some examples of questions and answers from SS, eliciting corrections for any errors.

Tips:

  • This is a good way to combine textual analysis with making question forms, as well as a nice activity to get SS used to giving peer correction.
  • This activity is time and level flexible! The more time you have, the more questions SS could write – and vice versa. Also, the higher the level, the more questions SS could write – and vice versa.
  • This is a good way for SS to get an insight into the writing of the traditional course book, and they might feel encouraged that they can do part of the process themselves, rather than relying on a course book writer.

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