First Advisor

Marjorie Terdal

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Applied Linguistics


Questioning, English language -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Foreign speakers



Physical Description

1 online resource (86 p.)


The technique of asking questions in the classroom has prevailed in first language classes for many years. This teaching technique has also been widely used in ESL reading classes. Though there has been extensive research about teachers' questions and students' responses in first language classrooms, there is a paucity of studies in second language classrooms.

This is a descriptive study of six experienced college level English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers and their discussions of the same reading selection with ninety-eight non-native speakers in each of their classes. Teacher-led discussions were audiotaped and twenty minutes of each class were transcribed and analyzed. Teachers' questions were coded according to Long and Sato's (1983) seven-category taxonomy of functions of teachers' questions. Students' responses were analyzed according to their mean length, syntactic complexity, and the use of connectives.


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