Why are some ESL students AFRAID to ask QUESTIONS in class?

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This is an interesting point to think about and the answers will vary depending on what culture you are dealing with.

As mentioned in previous posts on this blog, if you are dealing with Asian students there is a high likelihood that they will not want to ask questions because culturally it is considered

–             disrespectful to question the teacher

–             a sign that you may not know something so you will be ‘losing face’

–             considered a ‘geek’ or a ‘nerd’ and uncool

If you are teaching Middle East and African students, for sure they will ask something if they don’t know, even if it is to practice their English. But if there are some students who don’t ask it could be due to these things:

–             too shy because (if they are a female) they don’t want the boys to think she is…

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2 thoughts on “Why are some ESL students AFRAID to ask QUESTIONS in class?

  1. Great point to discuss. I get so frustrated by students who ask their colleagues questions before consulting me, especially when they are actually talking to me. It’s a weird concept really. I remember asking my teachers questions at school, but I guess a lot of it comes down to worrying that you’re going to ask a silly question that everyone knows the answer to and people making comments…happens a lot in my classes. Happy New Year by the way.

    • Yes, happy new year to you too!
      That continuous fear of being wrong, these days I never think about it….not that I’m right all the time by any means but more because I don’t really care what people think, I just need an answer!

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