Multi-Level Response

What is Multi-Level Response?

Multi-level response is a useful strategy to employ with English learners. Many teachers have more than one level of language learners in their classrooms, each with their own requirements of differentiation. Multi-level response allows the teacher to serve all levels of language learners by requiring them to answer different types of question depending on their level.

The following is a quick guide for how to approach questioning techniques for this multi-level population:

Beginning: Ask yes/no questions, students point when asked "Where is the ____?" or "Show me the ____?"

The teacher in the following video is working with Beginning students and asks yes/no questions to check for understanding during her lesson. Listen to how she asks a more complicated question: What's the weather like here?but then follows it up with a yes/no question, Is it hot? that students are able to answer. She then expands on the yes/no answer and asks them to repeat what she has said, thereby extending their response and requiring them to practice expanding their language skills.

Early Intermediate: Students can be asked either/or questions. One or two word answers to be expected.

In the following video segment we watch Irma using questions beginning with the word what. Although this phrasing is used with Intermediate and Early Advanced students, by expecting only a one-word response Irma has modified the question so that students are successful. Students repeat the desired vocabulary of first, second, third etc. and Irma helps them form the rest of the response.

Intermediate: Questions should include "Why?" or "How?" prompts. Students will answer in phrases or short answers.

Early Advanced: "What would happen if...?" or "Why do you think...?" are great prompts for this level of English learner. Students will be able to answer in complete sentences with a variety of different vocabulary

Advanced: Students will have native-like fluency and should be able to answer most questions asked of them