Question formation is especially tricky for Spanish speakers given that they don’t use an auxiliary verb in their own language and subsequently don’t change the word order between statements and questions, a simple rising intonation suffices.
I do a simple activity called Guess the Question with my YLs to practise question forms and although I adapt the question each day to incorporate new language and structures we see in class, I’m still finding the activity a little limiting as learners are quick to ask the simpler questions, such as What’s your favourite…? and What time do you…? but struggle to think of more complex structures or more abstract questions.
In order to encourage them to focus on question structure, I’m going to do a similar activity to Guess the Question but as a pair activity rather than whole group and with another slight twist. This time, one learner will have a card with a question on one side and starter-answer on the back, e.g. What time did you go to bed last night? / Last night, I went to bed at… They’ll hold up the starter-answer to their partner and read out the completed sentence, then help their partner to identify and form the question. The reason for also including the start-answer is that they’re still in the first stages of exposure to the past tense and I want the focus of the activity to be on question formation rather than whether they can correctly conjugate the verb to answer the question. However, after a few practices in this way, hopefully I’ll be able to take away the starter-answers.