English as a second language – Basic questions

Basic questions for learners of English as a second language

When students start to learn English as a second language, there is a set of basic questions in English they need to master. All language courses start with these questions, but many people struggle to learn them. It is necessary to learn these by heart. However, you also need to be able to vary them a bit.
To help you teach or learn these questions I have devised the following activities: a mind map showing the basic questions for students of English as a second language, a worksheet with several communicative and drilling exercises, a song to help in memorising the questions and an online quiz. If you like the activities, please do not hesitate to comment below.

Basic question – song

I love starting lessons with something interesting. Students like songs, so I start the lesson with a simple song containing all the basic questions students of English as a second language need to learn.
Ask the students to listen to the song and complete the following worksheet:
Song lyrics fill-in

Play the song twice and then play the song on a whiteboard and ask the students to check their answers.

Basic question – mind map

Ask the students to have a look at this mind map and deduce the meaning of the questions – using the lyrics and the mind map.
Basic questions for learners of English as a second language

Ask the students to work in pairs and ask each other these questions.

Basic question – worksheet

The following worksheet contains several activities. First ask the students to find the questions for the fields a-g (students should only write the letters next to the questions below). Check their answers and tell them to ask you the questions and complete the table with your answers.
Ask them to find the questions for fields 1-7. Check their answers. (It is best to display the correct answers for both groups).
Have your students work in pairs (worksheet A and worksheet B). Ask them to ask the questions and complete their worksheet.
The next task is pure text manipulation. The students should fill in the missing words.
In the third exercise, students should put the words into the correct order to form questions.
In the fourth exercise students are given the answers, and have to write the questions.
In the last exercise students should write the questions using different pronouns.

Basic questions – communicative activities

Basic question – online quiz

In the following online quiz the students should first put the words into the correct order to make questions.
Then they should complete the questions. The online quiz is in HTML5 so it will work on all mobile devices. Students can practise wherever they like.

Basic questions – online quiz

The second online quiz is in Flash and will play only on desktops. The aim of the game is to choose the correct question and then hit the opponent.

Basic questions – En garde game

Basic questions – download

More often than not I teach in classrooms with no internet connection, so I realize that it is important to be able to use the activities offline too. You can download the online quiz, the game, and the picture here and use them offline.

Simple questions

(Visited 959 times, 2 visits today)


  1. It's great to see mindmaps here! This is my site, take a look, please: http://www.grammarmindmaps.com/
    18/03/2015 at 9:12 pm
  2. mansooor
    it is exelent if it may you sent me a vido like that
    18/03/2015 at 10:33 pm
  3. Elizabeth
    There is a mistake In 1st paragraph: '...you also needS...'
    19/03/2015 at 2:46 am
  4. Ian
    If I didn't have the internet, I would learn english reading many books and talking a lot with people.
    19/03/2015 at 9:02 pm
  5. I love English language
    19/03/2015 at 9:19 pm
  6. Nguyen Anh Co
    19/03/2015 at 11:57 pm
  7. Rekha Radhakrishnan
    Looks useful & interesting. Would love to do
    20/03/2015 at 3:02 am
  8. Steven Jansma
    Hi, Can we share electronic and print copies of your graphic organizers? They're amazingly well-done!
    20/03/2015 at 9:18 pm
  9. Anonymous
    very good to learn from this way.......................................
    21/03/2015 at 8:24 am
  10. Zdenda
    Sure, you can share the resource at this page as long as you do not claim you have created them or as long as you do not try to sell them. If you provide a link to this site I will be grateful to you. Zdenek
    24/03/2015 at 7:31 am
  11. Zdenda
    Thanks for spotting it. I will correct it.
    24/03/2015 at 7:33 am

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.