Learning to respond to questions and also to ask questions are important skills that helps initiate and continue conversations. Answering questions requires receptive and expressive skills. 

When a question is asked, the learner needs to process the question and be able to formulate an appropriate response and then respond. 

There are two types of questions - open-ended or close-ended questions. 

  1. Polar or Close-ended  or Yes-No questions.  These can be responded to with a yes or a no, or even a mere shake of the head. Read more about it here.
  2. Open-ended questions develop verbal expression and cannot be answered with just a yes or no. 

While it is good to start with close-ended questions, the open-ended questions are the ones that develop verbal expression. 

Open-ended questions

You will find the relevant vocabulary under Advanced > Questions

Note:The above vocabulary is taken from Avaz India app

Open ended questions

Open ended questions establishes the foundation of conversational skills. It also requires intentionality to have a conversation. If you ask a question, it means you are expecting a response - it indicates an intention to engage in a conversation. 

Various ‘wh’ questions like ‘what’, ‘who’, ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ are used for asking open ended questions. Ability to respond to respond to Wh-questions require 20 or more words of expressive vocabulary so that they are able to combine words to respond - simple 2-word phrases can be formed.

The initial set of questions words that can be taught are: 

The following are more advanced concepts that can be taught after the above are understood. Teaching these concepts are not easy and require multiple repetitions and practice by creating many more opportunities. 

  • why 
    • Requires inferential skills
  • how  


Please note that asking too many questions is not good practice! Asking questions is more intimidating and adds more pressure to the learner, to respond. Instead, try using more comments, relating information etc.  and making it more conversational, without the learner feeling "tested". 

Related articles

Avaz FAQ - How to use teach Yes-No concept using Polar questions

Avaz Blog - When AAC Learners ask questions

Source: Internet

Teaching interrogatives - from PrAACtical AAC