Skill of Questioning

Probing questions are those which help the learners to think in depth about various  aspects of the problems. By asking such questions the teacher makes the learner more thoughtful. The teacher enables the learners to understand the subject deeply. When the teacher asks questions to the pupils in the class different situations arise. They are:

The pupil may give no response,

The pupil may give incorrect,

The pupil may give partially correct response and

The pupil may give correct response.

To deal with such situations the teacher goes deep into pupil’s responses by asking  many questions about what he already knows and to lead him to the correct response. When the response is correct the teacher may help the pupil to go deep into the content by asking questions of how, why and sometimes of what types also. The skill involves a series of questions to go deep into pupil’s responses.

To deal out with different situations pointed out in the beginning let us discuss different techniques for different situations.



This technique means to go deep into the pupil’s response when it is incorrect or    no response. Then a series of hints or prompts are given to pupil through step by step questioning in order to lead the pupil to the desired correct response. Let us take the following example:

Teacher: Name a figure of speech.

Pupil     : No response

Teacher: e.g. they fought like cats and dogs.

Pupil     : simile

Seeking further information

This technique is used when the response of pupil is incomplete or partially correct. The teacher helps the pupil to clarify or elaborate or explain his initial response by asking more small questions or creating situation in which the pupil is made to think and respond.

Example-  Teacher: Name a figure of speech.

Pupil     : simile

Teacher: what is the function of a simile?


This technique involves asking the same question from another pupil. The main     purpose of this technique is to increase more and more pupil participation. When the situation is of no response or incorrect response prompting should be preferred to redirection.


Teacher: When do we write messages?

Ravi: No response

Shyam: When we fail to meet the person whom we expected to meet. (Redirection)


When the teacher asks the same question from the other pupil for comparison.

Increasing Critical Awareness

This technique is used when the pupil’s response is correct. The teacher puts higher order questions to stimulate the pupil to think beyond what the pupil knows. This involves the ‘how’ and ‘why’ and sometimes ‘what’ type of questions on the point under discussion.

Example –

  1. Why do we write messages?
  2. What are the features of a good message?

Micro-Lesson Plan

Subject: English                                                                                  Date:

Topic: Composition writing (message)                                      Class : VIII

Sl No.What is a message?Message is a very brief written communication. 
1Whom do we write a message?Family members, friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbours etc.Seeking further information
2Whom do we write a message?Family members, friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbours etc.Seeking further information
3State some common purpose for which messages are written.No responseIncreasing critical awareness
4Look at this message. What is the purpose of this message?
The purpose is giving informationPrompting
5What are the other purposes for which messages are written?Pupil 1: no response
Pupil 2: requesting, reminding
Pupil 3: instructing
6What expressions will you use for reminding?
remember (to).........Prompting
7Give some more expressions for reminding?- hope you haven’t forgotten......
- hope you do remember ........
- I’m sure you remember ........

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