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Concept questions for vocabulary..

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  • littlemisscelta
    Participant
    12 October, 2008 at 17:19
    • Total posts: 1

    Please could you tell me what a good concept question for vocabulary would be?

    For example, I want to teach the word ‘sensible’. I thought of the following question (after describing a man that is sensible):

    Is he daring/risky?
    Does he make good choices?

    But I don’t know if this really makes sure if they understand the word sensible of not.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    LittleMissCELTA

    Lucy P
    Participant
    10 November, 2008 at 19:02
    • Total posts: 3

    Reply To: Concept questions for vocabulary..

    An easy way to deal with vocabulary CCQs is to look the word up in a dictionary. Then base your questions on what the dictionary says.

    Lucy P

    tamzin
    Participant
    9 December, 2008 at 16:15
    • Total posts: 10

    Reply To: Concept questions for vocabulary..

    The problem with those CCQs is that the vocabulary in them is too complex – learners are unlikely to understand daring/risky if they don’t understand sensible. Your questions are on the right track, as they do test the concept of the word sensible quite well, but you need to be careful that the language of the CCQs isn’t higher level that the actual target language.

    andreclips
    Participant
    27 May, 2010 at 16:25
    • Total posts: 1

    Reply To: Concept questions for vocabulary..

    These are a few useful tips for making CCQs:

    1- Never use the target language (the structure / word being checked).
    e.g. To check the present continuous sentence "They are playing volleyball." do not ask "Are they playing volleyball now?", "Is it happening at the moment?" or "What are they doing now?".

    2- Ask yes / no questions or give two or three options.
    e.g. "Did the game start in the past?" "Is the game finished (or in progress)?", instead of "When did the game start?"

    3- Identify the main aspects of meaning.
    e.g. Action which started in the past (1) and is in progress now (2).
    (notice how these have both been checked in 2)

    4- Use a grammar book (tenses, functions, etc.) or dictionary (nouns, adljectives, etc.) to pinpoint the meaning and create your CCQs based on that.
    e.g. priority: the thing which you think is most important (1) and that needs attention before anything else (2).
    Possible CCQs: "Is it something important or not really?", "Are you going to do it before or after the other things?"

    5- Use CCQs before "explaining" the meaning. In this way you will elicit the correct meaning from students who understood or already knew the concept. You do not even need to "explain" anything if you get them right.

    6- Plan your CCQs in advance. It can be difficult to come up with them in class, especially for complex concepts. With practice though, you will be better able to do just that when some unexpected word or structure arises.

    Sorry about the long post but CCQs have become one of my main teaching tools so I thought it might be worth it. I hope it helps.

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