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The ability to ask and answer questions plays a crucial role in our ability to understand language and communicate effectively. Questioning skills refers to our ability to collect and give information. These skills are central to our ability to learn. Deficits in questioning skills impact all areas of language (semantics/vocabulary, social skills, syntax, etc.). If a student does not have proficient questioning skills, he/she will have difficulty participating in classroom discussions, taking tests, and interacting with peers. Additionally, the National Reading Panel states that instructing students in question-answering helps students to learn more as they read. (Click here to see the report.)
Toddlers begin to develop questioning skills between the ages of 18 and 24 months. Simple yes/no, what and where questions are the first to develop. As they get older (31-41 months), children begin to produce who, when, and why forms. By the age of four, most children are able to understand and use most question forms, including which and how.
Here is a list of Super Duper® materials to improve your student's abilities to ask and answer questions. Click here to see research articles that support targeting questioning skills to improve a student's ability to communicate.