3. Reading – Interactive Categories

a. Read these three dialogues. What goes wrong with the communication here?

A: Could you tell me what you are doing?
B: Yes, I could.
A: Great!

Teacher: Can anyone tell me the past participle of ‘fight’?
Student: Yes, my aunt can help you with that. She’s good at grammar. Do you want me to call her?

A: Morning! Cold today, isn’t it?
B: Not particularly.
A: Ah, sorry. My mistake.

b. Discuss:

  • (i) How should the respondents have answered earch of these questions?
  • (ii) What do these types of question have in common?
  • (iii) Can you think of a category name for each of these question types?

Answers to parts 3a and b: here.

Now let’s return to our text and read about the five ‘Interactive Categories’ (from ‘Phatic Question’ to ‘Reflective Question’).

c. With a partner, brainstorm another question or questions in each of the five categories.

d. Change partner and ask your questions. Your partner’s task is to respond in an appropriate way to these questions.

e. Change partner again and ask the same questions. Your partner’s task is to misunderstand the purpose of the question (as in the dialogues above).