Acronym time – What are ICQs and CCQs?

Do you understand?

This is probably the most used (and least useful) question asked in the EFL classroom. However most of us, myself included, are guilty of using it. Ask any student ‘Do you understand?’ and you’re most likely going to get a yes and a nod of the head in response. Delve a little deeper and you’ll probably find in reality they have no idea what you’re talking about! This is where ICQs and CCQs come in.

ICQ stand for Instruction Checking Question and is pretty self explanatory. ICQs are questions we ask to check the students understand our instructions. While I think these are most important for group teaching (it’s a lot more difficult to correct misunderstandings after you’ve sent 15-30 students off to do their thing only to realise they didn’t understand your instructions)  it’s always best to check the student knows exactly what they should be doing before they start a task!

CCQ stands for Concept Checking Question. CCQs are questions we ask to check the student understands the language we are studying in class.

Here are a few key things to consider when asking CCQs:

  1. Keep questions simple.
  2. Don’t use the target language in your question.
  3. Don’t use new or unfamiliar language.
  4. If possible, plan CCQs in advance.
  5. Ask yes/no questions or questions that require short answers.

Here is an example:

I visited my aunt in Australia last year.

CCQ 1 – Am I in Australia now? No

CCQ2 – Was I in Australia in the past? Yes

CCQ3 – Who did I meet in Australia? Your aunt

CCQ4 – Did I see a kangaroo? We don’t know

I hope you found this post useful and if you prefer to learn about ICQs and CCQs in video form, you can watch my video here:


You may also like