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Adding complexity through one-question interview

Bar graph shows 9 students (5 women, 4 men) have a garden. Seven students  (5 women and 2 men) do not have a graden.

Hello colleagues, One of my favorite teaching activities over the last few years is one I learned from my friend and colleague Betsy Parrish. Betsy wrote the ESL Pro issue brief and developed the online module, "Meeting the Needs of Today's Adult English Learners." The focus of these materials is on enhancing the complexity of our teaching to support and accelerate learners to reach their important goals. You may recall that Betsy was a guest discussion leader not long ago.

I've implemented Betsy's one-question interview, which is featured in the ESL Pro online course, with every class I've taught over the last few years from super advanced, highly-skilled immigrants to beginners. In every case, the activity has been hugely successful in supporting learners to collect data, work together to create a graphic representation of their data, and then present their graphs to the whole class.(See the example below of a beginning level student-created graph on the question "Do you have a garden?)

Betsy recently uploaded a blog about the one-question interview technique, which offers several great examples of how to implement this activity. I'm certain that you will find Betsy's blog a real treat!

Please share your reactions to the one-question interview technique and let us know what questions, if any, you have. It would be great to hear how teachers are using this technique or other similar techniques that support learners to work with graphic information.

I can see the one-question interview being implemented in any adult education classroom, e.g., math, science, social studies, ELA, ESL --even a class on career exploration. When learners create graphs and present their findings to others, they truly understand how to interpret them. What do you think?

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition and Teaching & Learning CoPs


Bar graph shows 9 students (5 women, 4 men) have a garden. Seven students  (5 women and 2 men) do not have a graden.