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English Language Learners (ELL) in the Mainstream

Part Four: Let's Put it All Together

Questioning Techniques

English Language Learners can answer all question levels from Bloom’s Taxonomy if questions are carefully worded and/or certain non-traditional response accommodations are in place. Listed below are some questioning strategy suggestions and sample questions for each taxonomy level.

  • Questioning strategies:
    • Respond with thumbs up/thumbs down
    • Manipulate pictures, objects, or realia
    • Draw the answer
    • Respond orally with a “think aloud”
    • Use “yes/no” flash cards
    • Act out an answer [e.g. science experiments]
    • Use numbered cards or a number wheel to respond to multiple choice questions or mathematics problems
    • Develop questions with embedded answers [e.g. Is the capital of the U.S. Washington or New York?]
    • Provide word banks of single words or phrases
  • Question Samples for Content Using Bloom’s Taxonomy: Below are samples of three questions for each taxonomy category. The first question could be used with primary ELLs, the second with middle elementary grades, and the last with middle and high school students.
    • Comprehension
      • What did Goldilocks taste?
      • What are the names of the nine planets?
      • Which branch of U.S. government makes laws?
    • Analysis
      • Why did Baby Bear cry when he went into the living room?
      • Describe what Mars looks like.
      • Explain the job of President of the U.S.
    • Application
      • Do you think Mama Bear was angry when she saw Goldilocks in their house?
      • Take the names of the nine planets and group them according to gas giants and rocky surfaces.
      • People in your town want to shop on Sunday, but the stores are always closed. Explain the steps in changing this law.
    • Synthesis
      • What do you think Goldilocks’ mother will say to her when Goldilocks gets home?
      • What could happen if a meteor hit the Earth?
      • How is a family like a government?
    • Evaluation
      • Why do you think Goldilocks went into the house of the three bears?
      • Do you think there is life on Mars?
      • Do you agree or disagree with the Second Amendment?