Good techniques for eliciting?

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Good techniques for eliciting?

Post by SergeGan » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:05 pm

Hello everyone,

I was wondering if anyone can help me with eliciting responses from my students. I want to find a better way to get students to give out their answers. I might be doing something wrong, but I don't get the answers I'm looking for.


Sally Olsen
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Post by Sally Olsen » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:02 pm

How great! I find it really boring when teachers ask questions and there is only one possible answer. I feel like I am just parroting the teacher when I really want to think and use the vocabulary I am learning as best I can.

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Getting responses

Post by alawton » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:24 pm


I think we all have that problem.... I like to get my students in the habit of knowing that everytime I ask a question I am going to follow it up with a "why" or "when". After a while, students know that I am not just going to let it go with a one word answer. Good luck!

Drew Lawton

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Some suggestions for eliciting responses

Post by Patrice » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:21 am

I think before eliciting students’ responses, you could try to involve students in the class first. Helping students to create a comfortable learning atmosphere, it will, then, lower students’ learning anxiety. Besides, I suggest that you should find out the reasons why students tend to be quite. Are they nervous? Is the question you ask too difficult or easy for students? (You can evaluate students’ level by giving a written test) Or, is it due to their cultural background? (For example, in the eastern culture, students show their respect to teacher by keeping quiet in the classroom)

Thus, if you really want to solve the problem, you should take different aspects into considerations. Any variety might cause this result, less responses from students: students’ personality, current level, cultural background or learning environment, ect.

But, I want to remind you that even though students didn’t like to give you responses, it doesn’t mean they are not thinking. These students may just need some encouragement to push them speak up their answers.

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Post by EH » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:41 am

Try using open-ended questions more, and yes/no questions less.

My favorite response to an unsatisfying student utterance: "Hm... tell me more."

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Post by longshikong » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:27 am

If the above generalizations are not what you wanted, it's because you generalized about the problem. Try being more specific about the problem:

1. What level are your students and how many in your class?
2. What's the stated purpose of the course/students and is there a discrepancy there?
3. What stage of your lesson are you referring to and what questions are you asking them?
4. How much pair and groupwork do you typically do with them?
5. How much are they/you used to teacher- or text-centric classes?
6. If it's oral English, why are they not asking the questions?

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Motivation, Curiosity, Content Mastery

Post by andrewgessman » Tue May 29, 2012 4:35 pm

In classes and/or scenarios where you might try teaching academic content (such as science or social studies), eliciting student responses could be accomplished as they traditionally are in K-12 general education... Adult students learning content and ESL simultaneously could be easily motivated by generating or building on their previous interest in whatever academic content you might be inclined to teach. Also because there is concrete "stuff" to be learned in content-based ESL settings, students necessarily will be more focused on the particularities of the content, which could induce them to ask more questions, offer ideas/opinions, etc.

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