Asking questions to understand and remember
- The learners will be able to ask the right questions
- The learners will check for understanding
- The learners will be able to pay more attention to what they are reading since it stimulates him/her to find the answers
Research has shown that asking and answering your own questions helps you learning to understand and remember, and it makes you an active learner instead of a passive recipient of information.
Asking questions is a way:
- To develop the interest and motivation of learners to become actively involved in reading.
- To develop critical thinking skills. To review learning, and finally to comprehend what you are reading.
Asking good questions is central to learning and sometimes it can be more important than getting the answers, particularly when the questions encourage learners to think critically.
Ask questions to understand the text:
- What is the author is trying to say?
- What is the message of the text?
- How could this be explained to somebody else?
- What predictions do I have from this reading?
3.2 Do you understand what you read?
We ask questions for:
1.Knowledge: remembering information (what happens, where does it take place, who are involved, etc)
2.Comprehension: understanding meaning (What is the message of the text, what is the meaning of the paragraph? Can you explain what the author is trying to say?)
3. Application: using what you have learned in a new situation (What predictions do I have from this reading? How could this be explained to somebody else? Would I have done the same thing as…?)
3.3 More practicing
When you read something, like a newspaper, a book, an article or a job ad, you can think of questions before you read, while you read or after you read.
- Before you read you might ask yourself questions like: What will this article/story/ad be about? What do I know about the topic of this book/article/ad? What can I guess from the first look? (the title, the cover and back of a book, pictures in an article, is it a short or long text?)
- While you read you might ask yourself questions like: What will happen next? Is this text important to me? Is this making sense to me? Do I think it will be important to remember this?
- After you read you might ask yourself questions like: What have I learnt from the story/book/article? Is there something that I can do? Retell to yourself the most important events in the story from beginning, middle and end. What was the big idea? What will be the most important to remember? What did I learn that I can use?
3.4 Don’t forget
- You only get answers to the questions you ask.
- Questions unlock and open doors that otherwise remain closed.
- Questions are the most effective means of connecting with people.
- Questions cultivate humility.