Listening & Reading Comprehension, YES - Comprehension Questions, NO - Steve Kaufmann

I don’t think comprehension questions are helpful in language learning. They destroy the pleasure of reading or listening. Brazilian educator Rubem Alves agrees with me. I listened to and read his thoughts while learning Portuguese. I didn’t always fully understand but I thoroughly enjoyed the process and my Portuguese improved.

1 Like

“I’m allergic to comprehension question” - In general, you could say that an allergy is a overreaction of the body, when coming in contact with the thing, you are allergic of. Watching this video, I also thought Steve was “overreacting” a bit.

I also don’t like the feeling, when the comprehension questions are more about the content then about the comprehension, even more so because I’m not good at this. But I think, rightly ask, these questions can be helpful in language learning for two reasons:

First, the teacher needs to learn about the comprehension skills of the pupils to find the right material and to focus on the right kind of vocabulary.

Second and more important, comprehension questions are actually more about speaking. While speaking about a topic you’ve read or listened to just recently can help to maintain the new aquired vocabulary and transfer it into your active vocabulary. A good teacher would use comprehension questions in a way, that focus less on remembering details but in encouraging a discussion about the topic.

In general, I also would argue that sitting down with a teacher (or working with an app) should be more about active studying than about relaxed immersion. Otherwise you don’t need either of it. So reading an article in preparation of a lesson will always be different than just reading for fun. Both has its place in language learning.

(I’m studying English, so corrections are welcome)