What, Who, When, Where, Why, Which? Teacher Training #21

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Question words are always an interesting subject to teach students. While there are many aspects to question words, it is fairly simple to teach them. There are many question words in English. “Wh” words should be taught as a group. Although there are other “Wh” words, I will focus on just the six mentioned.

Teaching English can be a lot of fun for those who make learning easy. It is not just about games. Often, teaching or instructing in the classroom can be considered as an adventure. What, Who, When, Where, Why, Which? All extremely important words in English.

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One of the ways for students to comprehend easily is to find the bridge between different parts of grammar and vocabulary. This is where we use teaching techniques using antonyms and synonyms. If a student already knows a word in English from an earlier stage of study, why not find comparisons for a better understanding. The other idea is to offer easily understood examples in short statements.

Another important element when teaching students is to consider the different roles a word might play. This is not to confuse a student. It is to make sure the student knows he or she has more work to do. A teachers responsibility is to create a positive hunger for English and the way it works. When your students are hungry for more English, you are doing it right!

As with all forms of education, progress should always be the ultimate goal of the teacher and student. What, Who, When, Where, Why, Which are all question words essential to all students understanding of English.

What did he say to her?

Although, the “Wh” words are considered question words, we also use these very same words for “Positive and Negative” statements as well. Here are a few examples; As a question; “What did he say to her?. As a negative; “He did not tell me what he said to her”. As a positive; “What he told her was that he was happy”.

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These examples might be considered “Reported Speech”. The main idea is to introduce students to simple facts that relate to the “Wh” words. What level of English study should we do this at? It is for the teacher to decide.

As a secondary education, it is possible that a student knows bits and pieces of English grammar. The teachers job is to educate and fill in the gaps with the missing knowledge.

For early learners of English, it is better to stay focused on questions with the “Wh” words more than positive and negative examples or instruction. The main idea is to teach how and why the “Wh” words are commonly used. What, Who, When, Where, Why, Which?

What, Who, When, Where, Why, Which?

This gets us to the next point. How to connect “Wh” words with commonly known vocabulary. For teachers, this subject is rather simple, but for young learners, the subject of “Wh” words is often challenging. As a teacher, be patient and work with your student until he or she has a solid confidence when building sentences.

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The most complicated of the “Wh” words is probably “What”. It is commonly used to ask for information about something and used to confirm something. With “What” we can get into many collocations and phrases as well.

“When” is used to make a reference to time. “Where” is all about place or the position of something or someone. “Which” is used with choices when they are limited to just a few. “Who” is used to refer to people or a person as a subject. “Why” is used to ask for a reason.

A teacher has the responsibility to educate with the best means possible. Connecting generally known vocabulary with question words is the best way to find the connection to a students vocabulary.

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