MAXi-Q: A Tool to Enhance Questioning in ESL Classrooms
Many learners are passive when teachers pose questions to them in class (Walsh, 2017) even though it is a fact that answering those questions is a sign of understanding of what they have learnt (Heick, 2021). There are four main ways for questions to be asked in any class; the two most common ways would be teachers asking questions to their learners and vice versa. Learners asking questions to themselves and their classmates are two other possible ways nevertheless they are typically not widespread. Walsh (2017) asserts that learners learn better from inquiry, not interrogation; either they do self-questioning or they question their peers or teachers.
MAXi,-Q a tool developed to enhance ESL readers’ confidence to interrogate; ask questions to themselves as well as their classmates or teachers based on the texts they have read. Moreover, MAXi-Q is also a practical tool to be employed by teachers to enhance their learners' metacognitive skills. Below is MAXi-Q; the material to be given and explained to learners.
MAXi-Q is very practical in ESL reading classrooms. Based on the text or passage read, learners should be encouraged to either ask themselves, their partner or group members relevant questions. Learners should also be encouraged to focus more on HOT questions; applying, analysing, evaluating and creating. Leaners can exchange questions and answers too.
Surely, there are different activities which can be carried out using MAXi-Q. Initially, learners would need much guidance from teachers. Teachers must explain to them clearly about each level of the cognitive domains. It is absolutely fine if learners require extra time to understand and differentiate the questions in each level. in short, that should be the first phase of implementing MAXi-Q.
The second phase would involve learners' exploration of MAXi-Q. They may be put into groups first to formulate low level questions. It is recommended to start with group activities as that would offer learners the support that most of them need. When they are ready, learners can be asked to focus on higher level questions. Let them collaborate to formulate high order questions and answers. Presentations should be done and teachers can coach by giving comments on the quality of questions presented.
As time passes by, learners have to be more independent in asking questions. At that juncture, the implementation of MAXi-Q should reach its third and final phase. Here, learners should be able to ask more and more questions of various levels of cognitive domain. Learners should also show progress by being able to question themselves or their classmates relevant questions as they read a text, paragraph or passage.
To conclude, there is no one fixed way of implementing MAXi-Q as it depends on a number of factors such learners' level of proficiency and maturity. What really matters is teachers' willingness to put an attempt to implement MAXi-Q in their reading classrooms. Hopefully, success is achieved and ESL learners will not be passive readers like before; instead, they will be active readers who are able to significantly question themselves as well as others as they read.
Heick, T. (2021). An Updated Guide to Questioning in the Classroom. Retrieved from https://www.teachthought.com/critical-thinking/quick-guide-questioning-classroom/
Walsh, J. (20217). Students Learn from Inquiry, Not Interrogation. Retrieved from