TESL Canada Journal, Volume 23, Issue 2, 2006

A Report of an ESL Classroom Observation in Two Language Schools in Auckland

Hong Yang


This article reports an empirical study of classroom observation of two general English lessons that examined the effects of teachers’ referential questions on learners’ responses in two ESL classrooms. The study found that in both classes, the teachers asked many more referential questions than display questions, contrary to earlier findings. Moreover, the teachers’ referential questions elicited longer and syntactically more complex utterances from the learners. The reasons for this are discussed in the light of the objectives and pedagogic tasks of the lessons. Findings confirm the value of teachers’ referential questions on learners’ responses and are discussed in the context of the characteristics and functions of both referential questions and display questions.


Language education

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18806/tesl.v23i2.52

ISSN: 0826-435X
Online ISSN: 1925-8917 

TESL Canada Journal is indexed in CBCA Education (Canadian Education Index), EBSCO, ERIC, The Gale Group, and H.W. Wilson