Evidence-Based Learning at School

iQuestion – uAnswer

In this method the pupils think of questions about a text or text extract on their own. Then they ask a partner their questions and the partner answers. The questioner decides whether or not the answer is right. This can also be used with two groups who take turns to ask each other questions. The pupils’ activity level is significantly higher and they practice asking questions in the foreign language – a quick revision before starting turned out to be sensible. Their engagement with the text is also more intensive. A few questions and answers can be presented to the class and discussed by way of example. This method is suitable for very many subjects.

I used the iQuestion – uAnswer method in 7th, 8th and 9th grade English classes and in a 10th grade German class. I found that:

  • In the first lesson when the method is used, you should expect not to have enough time for answering the questions. The method has to be explained, groups formed, questions answered, etc.
  • Before using the method I did a quick revision and visualisation of questioning techniques and tenses
  • Then the pupils, in groups of 2, formed their questions and wrote them in their copy books. At the same time the class was divided into two large groups, 1 and 2, each with different parts of the text.
  • Then each team of two had to answer questions from their counterpart team in the other group and write their answers in their copy books. These answers were then evaluated by the questioners and I checked them at random for correctness.
  • This method can also be used for individual work, so the pupils only exchange and answer questions with their neighbour.

As soon as this method is familiar, it is useful in all lessons and with any text. I found it very efficient and motivating, the pupils’ activity level was significantly higher and they seemed to cope well with this method.

I like this method because, on the one hand, the pupils can revise forming English questions (which they always find difficult), and on the other hand, they must engage more intensively with their text. My impression was that they mastered the contents of the text better.
The pupils enjoyed working with iQuestion – uAnswer and they were clearly having fun thinking up amusing questions. I also had the impression that they were more content and assured in their text work than when practicing questions in teacher-led or whole-class sessions. Their activity level and productivity was noticeably higher.

Anton Glaser