There are several ways to encourage communication using questions. As a teacher, I love asking the follow-up question technique. If my student constantly gives me 1-7 word responses (with no open-ended answers), I would either create an easy task or have them read out loud. Normally when a student is closed, it’s because they lack confidence. I would encourage all teachers NOT to pressure them by continuing to ask the same question, putting them in an even more uncomfortable position and taking away the little bit of confidence they have.
Also, long pauses and awkward atmospheres is another horribly-sure-way to destroy a student’s confidence. So, let’s go over some of these ways to help.
I didn’t hear what you said about…..
Can you say that again?
Can/could you repeat that?
Could you explain that a bit more?
Let’s go back to what you said previously, (ask them another question on a part of their story they showed a lot of enthusiasm on) what made you do that?
What do you mean by that?
I especially love these. “What’s your favorite travel? Once I traveled to Bali and had the most amazing vacation ever!” (because they heard Bali, they heard the keyword which will prompt them to talk about an emotional memory).