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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

EwR Commentary - SUMMARY: How to Say Something in Reverse (Q&A versus A&Q)

Answer and Question (A&Q) Method
compared to traditional
Question and Answer (Q&A) Method

The idea that almost any statement that a person makes, is really just a question in reverse, will probably make some of you squint your eyes with confusion.  Consider the following hypothesis.  "When reversed, a question is an answer, and an answer is a question."  Let's look at this assumption a little further and (1) determine what the relationship is between a statement and a question, (2) understand why it is important to know how to construct a question, and finally (3) appreciate how this hypothesis can help non-native learners of English improve their second language skills.

In conclusion, second language learners can greatly benefit from this new recommended way of learning English if their goal is to learn how to sufficiently dominate the language in order to be an active participant, and not just a passive listener (or speaker), in a conversation.  This new second language learning strategy is the "Answer and Question" (or the A&Q Method).  It is contrary to the traditional Question and Answer (Q&A) Method of learning oral communication skills in English.

The non-native student will be able to initiate, continue, redirect, and end a conversation as an engaged speaker in a personal or professional verbal exchange with someone else.  The premise for this ability depends on the learner's capacity to formulate a question to an already existing answer, statement or thought.  In other words, they can think about a statement (e.g., I wonder if Mr. Smith would mind if I ask him a question.) and convert it into a question (e.g., Would you mind if I ask you a question Mr. Smith?).  This gives the second language speaker the power to control a conversation and become actively involved in it. 

All second language learners of English want to have the ability to be an active participant in a conversation so that they can accomplish their personal and professional goals and objectives. It is easier for a non-native person to answer another person's question using the Q&A Method, rather than using an already existing thought that they have in their own mind in order to ask the other person a question.  The latter is our recommended A&Q Method used in the new second language learning strategy.

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