Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.


  • active listening
  • speaker
  • issue
  • deepen (as in “deepen understanding”)

  • answer
  • comprehend
  • understand
  • topic

  • ask
  • “wh”+ how questions
  • information
  • question/questioning

  • Question generation and response supports classroom conversations and discussions as well as active listening—skills appropriate for all grades and content areas. 
  • Listeners must recognize when they are confused or when information is lacking in order to ask and answer questions to receive help or to obtain additional information. 
  • Students’ metacognitive skills are supported by learning to ask and answer questions. This, in turn, promotes comprehension and deeper engagement with class discussion across contents and grades 
  • When students ask and answer questions they learn to focus on details and integrate background knowledge with new knowledge. 
  • More advanced skills of analysis, making inferences and forming opinions are supported by the prerequisite skill of answering and asking questions. 
  • The skill of distinguishing relevant and irrelevant information in what is heard by asking and answering questions supports the ability to summarize, orally and in writing, in subjects such as science, social studies, and mathematics.

  • What skills must students acquire to be able to ask and answer questions about what is being said by a speaker? 
  • What strategies can teachers implement to promote active listening and attention to key ideas and details by students when they are listening to a speaker (whether that speaker is the teacher, a guest lecturer, or a TV or radio commentator)? 
  • What questioning techniques can teachers model (and teach students to use) so that students check their understanding as well as extend and deepen their knowledge and engagement about a specific topic or issue presented by a speaker? 
  • What strategies can teachers use to ensure that students, when asked higher level questions, respond with higher level answers.

Go to SL.1.3 to see skills mastered prior to this.
Go to SL.3.3 to see the progression of related skills.