Improving Teachers’ Questioning in Teaching of Reading Texts in Chinese Based on the Six Types of Reading Comprehension Processes

CHEONG, Choo Mui
LIAO, Xian
ZHU, Xinhua

International Journal of Chinese Language Education; June 2017; Issue No. 1; p.73 - 98

Department of Chinese Language Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong
Chinese Language Program, Columbia University
Chung Hwa Book Co. (H.K.) Ltd.

Questioning is one of the important elements in the teacher talk, but ironically, there is insufficient evidence to prove that the questions gain much effectiveness. Using the ‘Six Types of Reading Comprehension Processes’, we are interested to find out if teachers asked more questions that are of higher-order thinking, i.e., summarizing, elaborating, evaluating and creating than low-order thinking like retrieving and explaining, would enhance the reading performance of the students. Five secondary schools in Hong Kong participated in this experiment which included a professional development seminar on improving questioning technique in teaching of reading using the six types of reading comprehension processes. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected through lesson observations, reading pre-test & post-test, teacher & student interviews, and teacher & students survey. Through this experimentation, we found that: (1) Teachers asked more higher-order thinking questions and increased in the wait time given to the students, but the total number of questions asked in class remains high; (2) Students like higher-order thinking questions as they find them challenging and giving them the flexibility and space to provide different answers; (3) When there is a change in the teachers’ questioning technique, the students are able to detect it, and they are more enthusiastic in answering the questions, as compared to their counterparts in the control group; (4) In the reading post-test, the total score and sub-score of the higher-order thinking questions of the experimental group is significantly higher than the control group.

Teacher questioning technique Six Types of Reading Comprehension Processes Cognitive levels Higher-order thinking


2520-7733 (Print); 2521-4241 (Online)

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