This activity emphasizes to students that each question is valid and worth more discussion by incorporating each question raised during section.
Goal: To address all questions that students bring up during lecture, and to encourage students to ask more questions in class. The idea is to create an environment that fosters more questions and discussion by remembering everyone's question and addressing them in section.
There are no prerequisites for the activity. Students were encouraged to email the TF with any questions they have from the two lectures that occur before section. Students often ask questions that do not get addressed fully due to time constraints. Sometimes the questions are very interesting but too remote from the topic that is being discussed that lecture, and sometimes there is not enough time to get to expanding on everyone's question. Therefore, the TF takes note of every question that students ask, and makes sure to address them in section with interesting discussion to follow.
- Prior to section, the TF makes a list of questions that students ask and tries to place them in relevant parts of the slides prepared for the particular section.
- For example, in the third week's lecture discussing presuppositions, a student asks if the interpretation of the definite article can be flexible. Because the class is not covering interpretations of the definite article at that time, the student is given only a partial answer to that. The TF then records the question and adds it in the section of that week with an example sentence that could spark a discussion. The TF also notes the name of the student that asked the question to allow him or her to elaborate if need be.
- Through casual discussion, students would discuss the questions and be asked to connect them back to the material covered in class.
- The instructor encourages teachers to try this activity as it is simple and has many benefits, including creating a balance between the range of students in class – some who are extremely vocal and others who aren’t.
- The biggest challenge, notes the instructor, is incorporating the questions into section. Sometimes it is necessary to save a question for the future, especially if it is highly relevant for the material to be covered later in the semester.
Submitted by Dorothy Ahn, Linguistics