Asking Questions ESL Games, Activities and Worksheets

Information Line Up

ESL Asking Questions Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this fun asking questions game, students line up in teams as quickly as possible, according to a series of instructions. To do this, students ask each other 'Wh' questions to establish the correct line up. Divide the students into equal teams of six to eight. The students line up in their teams, according to the criteria you call out. For example, if the criteria was 'Line up as quickly as possible by age', the students need to ask each other the question 'How old are you?' The first team to line up correctly scores three points. The second team gets two points. The third team scores one point. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Questions, Questions, Questions - Printable Version

ESL Question and Answer Practice Activity - Reading, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

In this free question and answer practice activity, students complete questions with question words and then ask and answer the questions with a partner. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. The students look at the incomplete questions and read through the example short answers. The students then complete the questions with the question words at the top of the worksheet using the short answers to help them. When the students have finished, review the correct answers with the class. Next, divide the students into pairs. The students then take it in turns to ask each other the questions, writing down their partner's answers in the spaces on the worksheet. Students also ask follow-up questions to gain more information where possible. Afterwards, the students report back to the class on the things they found out about their partner.
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Questions, Questions, Questions - Interactive Version

ESL Question and Answer Practice Interactive Breakout Room Activity - Reading, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

Here is a free interactive PDF version of the above activity for English teachers working online. In the breakout room activity, students complete questions with a range of question words and then ask and answer the questions with a partner.
 

Yes or No

ESL Yes/No Questions Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

This rewarding yes/no questions game helps students to master yes/no questions and short answers with the verb 'to be' and 'do'. This game can be used to practice asking and answering yes/no questions in the present simple, present continuous and with 'going to'. Give each group of three a set of short answer cards, which they shuffle and deal out evenly. The first player picks one of their cards and thinks of a yes/no question that will yield the answer on the card. The player then directs the question to another student in the group. If the student gives the same short answer that is on the card, the player wins and discards the card. If not, the player keeps the card. Players take turns proceeding in this way. The first player to get rid of all their cards wins the game.
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Answer the Previous Question Game

ESL Questions Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this amusing questions activity, students play a game where one student asks a series of questions and the other student answers the previous question each time. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Student A asks Student B the questions on their worksheet. Student B's task is to delay their answer to each question until the next question is asked. For example, if Student B's first question is 'Where do you go swimming?', the student doesn't reply. If the second question is 'Where do you cook?', the student replies to the first question, e.g. 'In a swimming pool'. The aim of the game is to answer all ten questions in this manner. When the students have finished, they swap roles. Afterwards, the students create their own list of ten questions and play the game again with different partners.
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Ask the Right Question

ESL Asking Questions Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 40 minutes

In this free asking questions teaching activity, students play a game where they guess 'Wh' questions from answers written by other students. Divide the students into groups of three and give each student a set of questions. The students write down a one or two word answer for each question. When the students have finished, they cut the worksheet along the dotted line so the questions and answers are separate. One student begins by placing their answers on the desk for the other two students to see. These two students read the first answer and take it in turns to guess the 'Wh' question. The first student to guess the question scores one point. If the two students are having problems thinking of the right question, the student who wrote the answer gives them a clue, e.g. 'It’s a question about learning, etc...' This process continues until all three students’ questions have been guessed correctly. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Question Crossword

ESL Wh Questions Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

In this asking questions activity, students create 'Wh' questions in order to elicit answers in a crossword. Divide the students into two groups (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Both groups have the same crossword, but Group A has the words across and Group B has the words down. Working together, the students write down questions that would elicit the words and phrases on their crossword. When the students have finished, they pair up with someone from the other group. Students then take it in turns to ask their partner for a question to one of their missing words or phrases, e.g. 'What’s the question for 1 down?' Their partner then asks them the question for that word or phrase, indicating the number of words in the answer, e.g. one-word answer, two-word answer, etc. The student then tries to guess what it is. If the student guesses the answer successfully, they write in the missing word or phrase on their crossword. If not, their partner continues to ask more questions until they are able to guess the answer. When the students have finished, they compare crosswords to check their answers.
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Interactive Questions Crossword

ESL Wh Questions Interactive Breakout Room Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

This is an interactive PDF version of the above activity for people who are teaching English online. In the breakout room activity, students create and ask questions in order to elicit answers in a crossword.
 

Questions for me

ESL Asking Questions Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

In this engaging asking questions activity, students ask and answer questions using various structures. This activity can also be used as an icebreaker on the first day of class. Divide the students into large groups and have each group sit in a circle. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Students write their name at the top of the first column and give the worksheet to the person sitting on their right. This person thinks of a question that they would like to ask the student whose name is on the worksheet. The students write their question on the worksheet by completing one of the unfinished questions or by using the empty spaces at the bottom of the worksheet to write their own question. When students have written a question, they write their name next to it. Students then give the worksheet to the person on their right and repeat the process. The activity continues until the students receive back their own worksheet. The students then find the person who wrote each question and answer it. Finally, students give feedback to the class on what they found out about their classmates.
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Secret Identities

ESL Yes/No and Wh Questions Activity - Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this fun asking questions activity, students ask yes/no and 'Wh' questions in order to find out their secret identity. Divide the students into pairs and give each student a card. The card shows their partner's secret identity. The students' task is to ask their partner yes/no questions to determine what famous person or character they are. The students then take it in turns to ask their partner yes/no questions in the first person, e.g. 'Am I male?' 'Am I good at sports?' 'Do I play football?' Etc. Their partner replies 'yes' or 'no' accordingly. This continues until one of the students correctly guesses their secret identity. That student is the winner. Students then move on to practice 'Wh' questions. A new secret identity is stuck on the back of each student. The students then go around the class asking their classmates one 'Wh' question each to find out their new secret identity, e.g. 'What do I do?' Students are not allowed to directly ask who they are. Students move around from partner to partner until they are able to guess their identity. When this happens, they sit down. Afterwards, review the most effective questions students used to find out their secret identities and give feedback.
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The Question is... Printable Version

ESL Asking Questions Activity - Reading, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 20 minutes

This free asking questions activity is ideal for pre-intermediate students. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Student A starts by reading out the first answer on their worksheet to Student B. 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. Student B then reads out their first answer and Student A tries to guess the question. The students continue taking it in turns to read out answers until all the questions have been guessed. Alternatively, you can make the activity more competitive by seeing which student can complete all the questions in the fastest possible time.
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The Question is... Interactive Version

ESL Asking Questions Interactive Breakout Room Activity - Reading, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 20 minutes

Here is a free interactive PDF version of the above activity for people who teach English online. In the breakout room activity, students listen to a set of answers and try to guess the questions being asked.
 

What's the question?

ESL Asking Questions Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 20 minutes

Here is a simple asking questions game to practice question forms. Before class, prepare a list of answers for questions you want to review. In the activity, students play a game where they are given an answer and have to race to come up with the correct question. Divide the students into two teams. One player from each team comes to the front of the class. Read an answer to the two players. The first player to respond with the correct question scores a point for their team. Then, two new players come to the front of the class and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
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Get it Right

ESL Asking Wh Questions Game - Speaking Activity - Intermediate (A2-B1) - 30 minutes

In this entertaining questions game, students ask 'Wh' questions in order to receive a specific answer. Give each group of four a set of cards, which they shuffle and place face down in a pile on the table. The first student begins by picking up a card and asking a question that will make someone 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 score one point. If no one answers correctly, the student keeps asking questions until someone says the word or phrase. The next student then picks up a card and so on. The student with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
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Guess the Word - Printable Version

ESL Asking Questions Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (A2-B1) - 30 minutes

Here is a free asking questions game that helps students practice asking questions with a variety of question words. In the activity, students have ten minutes to ask questions to their partner to elicit as many words as possible from their worksheet. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. The students go through the words on their sheet and think of possible questions. When everyone is ready, a ten-minute time limit is set. Student A then asks questions to their partner to elicit as many words from their worksheet as possible. When Student B says a word from the worksheet, Student A puts a tick next to the word. If Student B cannot guess the word after a few questions, Student A puts a cross. After ten minutes, the students stop and swap roles. The process is then repeated with Student B asking the questions. When everyone has finished, pairs add up their points. The pair with the highest combined score wins the game.
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Guess the Word - Interactive Version

ESL Asking Questions Interactive Breakout Room Activity - Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (A2-B1) - 30 minutes

This is a free interactive PDF version of the above game for people teaching English online. In the breakout room activity, students ask questions to a partner to elicit as many words as possible from their worksheet.
 

Opening Statements

ESL Asking Questions Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this challenging questions game, students practice asking questions to find out further details about an opening statement. Give each group of six a set of cards. Each group comprises of two teams (A and B). A student from Team A picks up a card and reads the opening statement on the card to Team B. Team B then has two minutes to ask the student as many questions as they can to find out further details about the opening statement. The student replies to the questions with short imaginary answers. Team B scores one point for each question. After the two-minute time limit has been reached, the teams swap roles and a member of Team B gives an opening statement. This process continues until all the cards have been used. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Stop Thief!

ESL Past and Present Simple Questions Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this situation-based questions worksheet, students take on the role of detectives and practice making questions in the past and present simple. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin with a gap-fill exercise where they complete questions about a robbery with words from a box. The students then indicate whether the questions are in the past or present simple. Next, students unscramble answers to the questions and match them to the questions from the first exercise. Students then move on to complete witness questions with three words using the witness's answers to help them. Afterwards, students write five past or present simple questions of their own to ask the thief they have caught. The students then practice their questions with a partner by taking it in turns to be the detective and the thief. Finally, have the students role-play their questions and answers to the class and give feedback.
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Stop Thief! Interactive Worksheet

ESL Past and Present Simple Questions Interactive Worksheet - Reading and Writing Exercises - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

Here is an interactive PDF version of the above worksheet for English teachers who are working online. In the interactive worksheet, students complete a variety of online exercises to practice past and present simple questions.
 

The Job Interview

ESL Asking Questions Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 60 minutes

In this asking questions activity, students create job interview questions. Students then role-play a job interview and practice asking and answering the questions. The students begin by deciding on a job they would like to apply for. Next, divide the students into two groups, interviewers and candidates. Give each student a corresponding worksheet. The students sit together in their groups. The interviewers discuss and write down the details for the job, e.g. salary, hours of work, etc. The candidates discuss and write down the ideal profile a candidate should have for the job, e.g. the person’s age, work experience, etc. The interviewers then write down job interview questions for the items listed on their worksheet and the candidates write down questions to ask during the interview. After that, pair the interviewers and candidates together and they begin the role-play. 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. When all the pairs have completed the job interview, the interviewers say what qualities they were looking for and if they found the right candidate. The candidates say what they thought of the job and if they would like to do it. Finally, pairs act out their role-plays in front of the class and the class votes for the best candidate from the interviews.
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