Languages › English as a Second Language Teaching Question Tags A Lesson Plan to Help Students Share Flipboard Email Print Spyros Arsenis / EyeEm / Getty Images English as a Second Language Resources for Teachers Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary Writing Skills Reading Comprehension Grammar Business English By Kenneth Beare English as a Second Language (ESL) Expert TESOL Diploma, Trinity College London M.A., Music Performance, Cologne University of Music B.A., Vocal Performance, Eastman School of Music Kenneth Beare is an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and course developer with over three decades of teaching experience. our editorial process Kenneth Beare Updated February 15, 2018 If we want to ask for information we usually use the standard question form. However, sometimes we just want to keep a conversation going, or confirm information. In this case, question tags are often used to solicit input or confirmation to what we are saying. Using question tags well also promotes a keen understanding of the use of various auxiliary verbs. Aim: Developing active and passive knowledge of the use of question tags Activity: Gap-fill followed by sentence matching and, finally, an oral practice exercise to promote active usage of question tags Level: Pre-intermediate to intermediate Outline: Activate target area by asking students simple yes/no questions insisting on the correct use of the auxiliary verbs. For example: Do you play tennis? - Yes, I do. Have you been to England - No, I haven't. Introduce the idea of question tags by asking students questions using information that you already know about them. For example: You are studying English, aren't you? - He didn't go to New York last year, did he? Explain the usage of question tags to students and when they are more preferable than direct questions. Divide students into groups of 3 - 4 and have them complete the gap-fill exercise. Give each group the sentence halves (which you have cut into strips prior to the lesson) and ask them to match them. Correct the sentence matching as a class. Focus on pronunciation by demonstrating the different meaning indicated by a rising voice (asking for more information) and a dropping voice (confirming information). Practice using the question tag examples with both types of intonation. Ask each student to write his/her name on a piece of paper followed by five simple statements about him/herself. For example: I have been married for four years. I live in San Francisco. etc. Collect the statements and re-distribute the sheets to different students. Make sure that the students keep the sheets upside down until they are called on. Each student then uses the statements to form question tag questions asking the student who has written the statements. For example: You have been married for four years, haven't you? You live in San Francisco, don't you? Question Tag Exercises Put the following question tags in to the correct gaps. Each question tag is used only once. isn't it?, has he?, were you?, aren't you?, doesn't he?, do you?, is she?, didn't you?, did she? She didn't watch the film last night, ________ It's great to see each other again, __________ He comes every Friday, _________ You're married, __________ You went to Tom's last weekend, _________ You don't like tripe, ___________ She isn't much of a cook, ________ He hasn't lived here long, ________ You weren't invited to the party, __________ Match The Sentence Halves Sentence Question Tag They enjoy playing football She isn't thinking of moving He'll go to university She hasn't studied for very long Jack bought a new car last week They aren't serious You live in an apartment She doesn't speak Russian They won't shut up He isn't concentrating They hadn't visited you before This music is fantastic is shedoes shehad theydon't theywon't hedon't youwill theyhas shedidn't heisn't itare theyis he Answers They enjoy playing football, don't they? She isn't thinking of moving, is she? He'll go to university, won't he? She hasn't studied for very long, has she? Jack bought a new car last week, didn't he? They aren't serious, are they? You live in an apartment, don't you? She doesn't speak Russian, does she? They won't shut up, will they? He isn't concentrating, is he? They hadn't visited you before, had they? This music is fantastic, isn't it? Cite this Article Format mla apa chicago Your Citation Beare, Kenneth. "Teaching Question Tags." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/teaching-question-tags-3575681. Beare, Kenneth. (2020, August 27). Teaching Question Tags. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/teaching-question-tags-3575681 Beare, Kenneth. "Teaching Question Tags." 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