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Yes-No Questions as a Research Tool

Submitted by Lester John A. Cajes, Las Piñas National High School, Philippines

Students perform better when they realize that what they are learning is relevant to their current needs and interest. For instance, teaching the structure of yes-no questions to students of a research-oriented program can be integrated with making a survey form or a questionnaire. In this case, the students will find it highly necessary to learn how to write accurate questions to be able to come up with presentable survey tools that will not only enhance their research but also impress their survey respondents who might be their peers as well. Here are the steps.
  1. Present examples in class, and let the students discover the pattern in formulating yes-no questions. Let them transform statements into questions and vice versa for further familiarization.
  2. Let the students think of a topic that they may use in an actual research, e.g., study habits, choosing friends or peers, school club preference.
  3. Ask the students to work in groups (3 to 4 members look fine) and draft questions that will let them gather information as regards their chosen topic. Then, they have to decide on whether their target response is a simple “yes or no” or a range of options, e.g., never, seldom, often, and always. Remind them to make their questions clear and concise. They should also avoid using negative markers such as “not” and “never” to avoid making their respondents confused.
  4. Collect their drafts and give comments on their content and grammar. Let them revise until all the questions become accurate and appropriate.
  5. After finalizing the questionnaire, ask the students to prepare for the actual survey. Have a brief discussion on the lines or spiels and procedures that have to be observed. Once ready, send them to the battlefield; let them conduct the survey.
  6. Finally, let the students use graphs or tables to present the data they have gathered. Then, they interpret such figures in linear form. At this point, they have to make sure that the information is properly transcoded from linear form to non-linear form or vice versa. Well, that’s another language skill for them to refine. See, this activity lets you hit two birds (even several birds) with one stone.