English Language Learners (ELL) in the Mainstream

Part Four: Let's Put it All Together

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A variety of types of questions and questioning strategies can be used with English Language Learners to promote content knowledge. Using Bloom’s Taxonomy [1956] of question types with a variety of alternative response strategies, ELLs can demonstrate content knowledge. Bloom’s Taxonomy consists of the following six types of questions and key question words:

  • Knowledge: The student reports on what factual information he/she remembers with question words, such as: who, what, where, when, tell, show, name, label, list, describe, collect, and identify.
  • Comprehension: The student demonstrates that he/she understands the meaning of content information with question words, such as: retell, summarize, discuss, describe, estimate, and contrast.
  • Application: The student uses information to show he/she can work with the information, with question words, such as: demonstrate, illustrate, give an example, explain the relationship, change, solve, and modify.
  • Analysis: The student uses information to cluster it into groupings, identify various components, recognize patterns, or break it into parts, with such question words as: explain, classify, separate, divide, connect, order, compare, select, and outline.
  • Synthesis: The student uses information to draw conclusions, combine ideas and information from several sources, generalize from content information, with such question words as: combine, rearrange, plan, create, rewrite predict, and suppose.
  • Evaluation: The student can compare and asses the value of evidence, theory and ideas, with such question words and phrases, as: measure, decide, rank, measure, select, and “what do you think about…?”.