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:
Keep questions simple.
Don’t use the target language in your question.
Don’t use new or unfamiliar language.
If possible, plan CCQs in advance.
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:
At first I was worried about making the transition from classroom to online teaching, now I can’t imagine doing anything else! There are lots of perks (and a couple of pitfalls) of online teaching.
Five perks of teaching online
I can work from anywhere (with internet). I’ve always had ridiculously itchy feet and hate being tied down to one place. Teaching online allows me to move anywhere I like, as often as I like. Whether it’s an impromptu week away or a six month adventure, as long as there’s internet, I can pack up and go!
I can work in my pyjamas (bottoms at least). There’s something so satisfying about being able to roll out of bed, pull on a blue t-shirt and be ready for work! As we can only be seen from the shoulders up I often teach in my PJ bottoms and slippers.
I can’t be licked or coughed on. Working with young kids in a regular classroom meant getting sick multiple times a year. I’ve been licked, coughed on and had all manner of bodily fluids wiped on me while teaching in a regular school. Now when the kids sneeze or cough at me I’m safe in the knowledge that they and their germs are thousands of miles away!
I don’t have to sit through any more staff meetings! My favourite birthday present last year was a mug which read ‘I survived another meeting which could have been an email’.
I can have a life outside of teaching. I used to spend so many unpaid hours planning lessons, making resources, marking homework, reading essays, communicating with parents and doing all of the millions of other extra things teachers are expected to do in their free time. Now, all my lessons are prepared so prep time is minimal and the only extra work I have to do is a short assessment after each lesson (I can do a day’s worth in 20 minutes if I don’t get caught up on Facebook)!
A couple of pitfalls
The culture shock. It can be difficult working for a foreign employer, especially when there’s a language barrier. Some things are done differently to how most people are used to it and it can take some time to adjust.
No after work drinks down the pub! There are some great online communities for online teachers (I help run a couple myself) but comparing stories and ranting online isn’t quite the same as doing it over a cheeky pint. I have been lucky enough to meet a few teachers in person but generally I’ve had to put more effort into making friends and meeting new people. I’ll make a post on how I do this in the future!
If you’re thinking about taking the plunge and teaching online you should definitely join our Facebook group ‘Travel and Teach Online FAQ‘. Myself and another teacher Kat (who also happens to have an awesome blog you can check out by clicking here) post lots of advice, tips and support for new and potential teachers.
And if you’re ready to apply today I’d really appreciate it if you used my referral link. It’s free for you and really helps me out!