When students start to learn English as a second language, there is a set of basic questions in English they need to master. All language courses start with these questions, but many people struggle to learn them. It is necessary to learn these by heart. However, you also need to be able to vary them a bit.
To help you teach or learn these questions I have devised the following activities: a mind map showing the basic questions for students of English as a second language, a worksheet with several communicative and drilling exercises, a song to help in memorising the questions and an online quiz. If you like the activities, please do not hesitate to comment below.
Basic question – song
I love starting lessons with something interesting. Students like songs, so I start the lesson with a simple song containing all the basic questions students of English as a second language need to learn.
Ask the students to listen to the song and complete the following worksheet:
Song lyrics fill-in
Play the song twice and then play the song on a whiteboard and ask the students to check their answers.
Basic question – mind map
Ask the students to have a look at this mind map and deduce the meaning of the questions – using the lyrics and the mind map.
Ask the students to work in pairs and ask each other these questions.
Basic question – worksheet
The following worksheet contains several activities. First ask the students to find the questions for the fields a-g (students should only write the letters next to the questions below). Check their answers and tell them to ask you the questions and complete the table with your answers.
Ask them to find the questions for fields 1-7. Check their answers. (It is best to display the correct answers for both groups).
Have your students work in pairs (worksheet A and worksheet B). Ask them to ask the questions and complete their worksheet.
The next task is pure text manipulation. The students should fill in the missing words.
In the third exercise, students should put the words into the correct order to form questions.
In the fourth exercise students are given the answers, and have to write the questions.
In the last exercise students should write the questions using different pronouns.
Basic question – online quiz
In the following online quiz the students should first put the words into the correct order to make questions.
Then they should complete the questions. The online quiz is in HTML5 so it will work on all mobile devices. Students can practise wherever they like.
The second online quiz is in Flash and will play only on desktops. The aim of the game is to choose the correct question and then hit the opponent.
Basic questions – download
More often than not I teach in classrooms with no internet connection, so I realize that it is important to be able to use the activities offline too. You can download the online quiz, the game, and the picture here and use them offline.