Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

You are here:

Guess the questions (Nation, 1989)

Students read a text and try to guess the questions that will be asked from clues.


  • To encourage students to read a text closely and thoughtfully
  • To practise question formation


  • Information distribution – shared
  • Student arrangement – individual (or pairs/groups)
  • Student focus – meaning (language accuracy to a lesser extent)
  • Language modes – reading and writing
  • Can be amusing!



Write selected words on the board and tell students that these words will be part of the questions, or answers to questions, about the text that they are going to read.

Students read the text and write down the questions they think the teacher will ask.

Students tell the teacher what questions they thought of and compare these to the teacher’s questions. The questions can then be answered.

Teacher considerations

The words you select to put on the board can be key verbs or nouns, but not question words (the students can guess the question words).


Present the words in a list, where each pair of words comes from one question (to make it fairly controlled and easier), or list the words randomly.

Vary the student arrangement to increase the amount of interaction by having students work in pairs and/or groups.

This could lead into the Ask and Answer technique.

Change the kind of words you give as clues.


Students have to think deeply to complete the task, a key feature of an effective learning technique.

Evaluation of the task

Can students come up with sensible questions?


  • Nation, I. S. P. (1989). Language Teaching Techniques. English Language Institute Occasional Publication No. 2. (p. 77).

Site map