Asking Questions - ESL/EFL Teaching Activities
Answers and Questions - Mixed Tenses
ESL/EFL Writing Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
Teach your students question structures with this useful worksheet. Students read a list of answers and must write the question for each answer using a range of question structures and tenses.
Delay - Past and Present Simple
ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 10 Minutes
This amusing speaking activity is useful for teaching question and answer structures. Students work in pairs. Both students are given a different set of questions. Student A asks their questions to their student B. Student B gives delayed-by-one replies. This means the student asks the first question, and the other student doesn't reply. When the student asks the second question, the other student answers the first question. When the student B has answered all the questions, Student B then asks their set of questions to student A. The first pair to finish both sets of questions is the winner. The wrong combination of questions and answers can be highly amusing.
Get the Right Answer - Mixed Tenses
ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 30 Minutes
This speaking exercise will teach students to recognize and master yes/no questions with the verb to be as well as other verbs. Students also get to practice short answers with auxiliaries with particular attention on the be and do contrast. To start, the class is split into groups of four and given a set of answer cards. The students shuffle and deal out the cards evenly. Students take turns to choose one of their own cards, and think of a question that will yield the answer on their card. He or she then tries to guess who in the group will give him or her the answer on the card, and directs the question to that person. In this teaching activity, students can ask and answer yes/no questions in the present simple, present continuous and/or future with going to.
Information Line Up - Mixed Tenses
ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
Teaching students to communicate effectively is very important. This ESL activity teaches students to ask questions and work together in order to achieve a goal. Students have to line up in teams as quickly as possible according to a series of instructions. The students have to ask each other questions to establish the correct line up.
Interview Me - Past and Present Simple
ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 30 Minutes
Teach or revise question words and personal information questions with this engaging activity. First, students work alone and complete questions using various question words. Students then pair off and ask their questions. Student A asks all their questions to student B. Then they swap roles. Students also ask follow-up questions. When the activity is over, each student tells an interesting fact about their partner to the class.
Question Time - Wh- Questions
ESL/EFL Matching and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 20 Minutes
Below is a link to a great activity that teaches students about wh- question formation. In the first part of the teaching activity, students work in pairs. The students practice the correct use of auxiliary verbs in wh- questions through a matching activity. The second part is a communicative mingling activity, which provides the students with fluency practice in using wh- questions.
Question Words - Wh- Questions
ESL/EFL Writing Activity - Elementary - 20 Minutes
Here is a link to a handy worksheet for reviewing or teaching question words. Students begin by completing questions with question words. After completing each question, students write the answer. Next, students are presented with ten answers. Students must write a question for each answer. Finally, students answer a list of general questions.
Tell me more - Mixed Tenses
ESL/EFL Writing Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
This is an excellent activity for practicing question structures. The teacher starts the activity by writing a simple sentence on the board, e.g. The report is on the desk. The students are then told that they are feeling very inquisitive and want to find out as many details as possible about the sentence. The students' task is to write down as many questions as they can think of about the sentence, e.g. What is the report about? Who wrote the report? Why is it on the desk? Etc. The teacher makes up the answers to the questions as the activity progresses. This encourages the students to come up with more questions about the sentence. This ESL activity can also be played as a game with students in teams and a points system. Also, you can change the tense of the sentence on the board. The possibilities are endless.
Guess the Question - Question Formation
ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 Minutes
In this challenging pairwork activity, students practice question formation. The class is divided into pairs and each student is given a copy of the worksheet. On the worksheet are five question categories: home, free time, music, family and the Internet. Each category consists of five questions that contain missing words. The students work together and decide what the missing words are in each question. The students complete the questions in pairs. After that, the teacher checks the answers with the class. Students then take it in turns to choose a topic and interview their partner. When the activity is over, students give feedback to the class on their findings.
I Know You - Wh- Questions
ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 20 Minutes
This teaching activity is ideal for teaching or practicing Wh- question formation. Students are divided into groups of six. Each student writes two questions and answers about their group members using different question words. Players compete with one another within their groups. They take turns drawing a slip and reading the question. Whoever knows the answer puts their hand up and answers. If they are correct, they win the slip.
ESL/EFL Lesson - Pre-intermediate - 1 Hour
If you are teaching your students how to make indirect questions, this lesson will come in handy. This lesson will also help to demonstrate to students why we use indirect questions. The lesson includes two written exercises based on the subject of money. In the first exercise, students complete each indirect question using the correct structure. In the second exercise, students write the words of each indirect question in the correct order.
Mike's Life - Mixed Tenses
ESL/EFL Reading, Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 Minutes
This intriguing teaching activity helps students practice forming questions to find out missing information. The class is separated into two groups. Each group is given a text with different information missing. The group members have to come up with the questions they need to ask to complete the text. When they have finished, each student is paired with someone from the other group. The students sit back to back so they can't see each other's text. The students ask each other their questions and complete the text with the answers.
ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 Minutes
In this entertaining interview activity, students practice forming questions with different question words. Students then ask and answer interview questions as mystery celebrity. Each student starts off by thinking of a famous celebrity and keeping the name a secret. The students are then handed a copy of the interview worksheet. Each student uses the question words and prompts on their worksheet to create ten interview questions. Once the questions have been checked, the students break into pairs and give interviews to each other as a mystery celebrity. At the end of each interview, the interviewer guesses which famous celebrity their partner is pretending to be. When everyone has finished, some pairs do their interviews in front of the class for the class to guess.
Opening Statements - Wh- Questions
ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 Minutes
Students work in teams during this teaching activity. One student gives an opening statement. The teams must try to find out as many further details as possible by asking Wh-questions. For each question a student asks, they receive one point for their team.
ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 Minutes
This teaching activity helps students to practice question formation. In the activity, students correct the mistakes in a set of questions. Then, they ask and answer the questions with a partner. The class is divided into two groups (A and B). Each member of the group is given a corresponding worksheet. The worksheet contains twelve questions, but seven of the questions are grammatically incorrect. Students work together with someone in their group to find the seven mistakes. After that, each student pairs up with someone from the other group. The students then take it in turns to ask and answer questions about a friend or relative. When everyone has finished, students give feedback to the class about their partner's friend or relative.
Questions for Me - Mixed Tenses
ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 35 Minutes
This communicative task will teach students how they can ask and answer questions utilizing different question structures. The students are put into large groups and given a worksheet each. The students pass along the worksheets and write questions they would like to ask the person whose name is at the top of the worksheet they have received. They can choose to write their own question or complete an unfinished question. When the task is complete, the students go around the class and answer the questions.
That's the Right Answer - Wh- Questions
ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 35 Minutes
Through this entertaining group activity, students learn how to ask Wh-questions using a mixture of tenses. To begin the activity, the class is broken up into groups of four, and each group is handed a set of cards. The cards have an assortment of words and phrases on them. One student starts by picking up a card and asking a question that will make someone else in the group answer with the word or phrase on the card. The student, who answers with the word or phrase keeps the card and wins one point. The next student picks up a card, and so on.
The question is ... - Wh- Questions
ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 20 Minutes
This pairwork activity can be used to review of wh- questions. The class is divided into pairs and each student is given a corresponding worksheet (A or B). Student A starts by reading out the first answer on their worksheet. Student B listens and tries to guess the question which is on Student A’s worksheet in brackets. If Student B guesses incorrectly, they keep trying until they manage to guess the question correctly. Student B then reads out their first answer and Student A tries to guess the question which is on Student B’s worksheet. The students continue to take turns until all the questions have been guessed.
What's the question? - Wh- Questions
ESL/EFL Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 Minutes
This enticing activity makes an excellent review of question forms. Before you begin, you will need to prepare a list of answers to question forms you want to review. The teaching activity revolves around a game where the students will be given an answer and they have to come up with the correct question. The class is split into two teams. One player from each team comes to the front of the class. You read an answer to a question and ask the two players, "What's the correct question?" The first player to respond with the correct question wins a point for her or his team.
The Job Interview - Mixed Tenses
ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 45 Minutes
In this teaching activity, students create job interview questions. Then, they play the role of an interviewer or a candidate in an interview. First, students decide on a job they would like to apply for. The class is then split into interviewers and candidates. Each student is then given a copy of their respective worksheet. The students sit together in their groups. The interviewers discuss and decide on the salary, hours of work, etc. for the job. The candidates decide on the ideal criteria for the candidate to have, e.g. age, work experience, etc. The students then use prompts on their worksheet to create job interview questions. The interviewers and candidates are paired together. The students then role-play the job interview asking and answering the questions. The interviewer’s task is to decide if the candidate is right for the job. The candidate’s task is to find out as much information as possible to decide if they want the job.
Questions Tic Tac Toe - Wh- Questions
ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 40 Minutes
Reinforce your students' knowledge of what, when, where, why and how questions with this fun and imaginative teaching activity. Students are divided into four teams and shown a large Tic Tac Toe grid with a different question word in each square. Teams have to ask and answer questions using the question words in the squares. Teams win squares by asking questions correctly. The first team to get three squares in a row wins.
Teaching resources for asking questions are available on the pages below: