How to Handle the Fear of Asking Questions

16 Oktober 2015 | Dibaca : 869x | Oleh : Bambang Irawan
written by Siti Suwarni1444964835416 “Do you understand? Do you get the point? Any questions? These are the usual questions the teacher states after explaining the new material. But unfortunately, the common respond given by the students is quietness. Why? Do many students have problems to ask a question? According to the last post “Everybody can be a Teacher”, It was stated that one of weaknesses faced by the students in that activity is some students have no enough ability to make a good question. It’s normally because they rarely ask questions even some of them think that silence is better. What’s wrong with them? Well, based on the observation, the condition is caused by some factors. First, inside factors; like fear or anxiety. They are afraid to get a ridicule from their friends. They are also  ashamed to be assumed as a foolish student, and feel worried that the teacher will be angry. Sometimes they are shy to come in front of the classsroom to do the exercise. In fact,  those conditions may be caused by the low self-confidence. Moreover, the eagerness to learn of some students is minus so that they tend  to ignore the lesson. In other cases,  It’s possible that they haven’t understood about the explaination yet, and they don’t know how to aks a question. It can be stated that a silence has many reasons. Another one is outside factors which come from the teacher and the surrounding area. The teacher’s character like bad-tempered  or indifferent  can influence the students to be afraid of asking questions. And a ridicule from their friends can make a traumatic experience. So far, a comfortable situation is a must to be created in order to support the students for asking questions. How to handle this condition? A certain practice should be given to the students to guide them to have a courage to ask questions. These activities below can be one alternative to overcome the problem.
  1. Exploring information. In this step, the teacher gives the short explanation by giving a picture, a short video or interesting things related to the topic. The text books can also be used for this activity.
  2. Focusing in one point. The teacher can give a statement for example “ A notice is useful to warn people to do or not to do something”.
  3. Discussing and taking a note the result. The students are divided into some groups or work in pair and they have to discuss about the pictures and write some statements as much as they can.
  4. Producing questions. In this step, the students are guided to make some questions based on the statements they made by using WH Questions such as “What is the meaning of the picture? Why is the notice made? Where can the notice usually be found?”
  5. Selecting the good questions. In this case, the selection refers to the topic is being learnt and the grammatical form.
  6. Both teacher and students discuss together about the difficulties they got during the process. Making a good question gramatically is the hardest matter, so doing more practice is better as long as they learn English.
Furthermore, to motivate the students to ask questions, the teacher can give a reward, like an extra/additional score for the students who ask questions. One score is given for unrelated question to the topic and two for a good one.While for the passive students, the teacher may give a question, one for the false answer and two score for the true one. The questions in this case are to develop their understanding not to test the students. Why asking question is a crucial ability for the students? Nowadays, many passive students are found in the classroom, indicated by the  quietness, lack of eagerness, uncreative and hard to concentrate. Meanwhile, Albert Einsten stated that “Jenius itu adalah anugrah bawaan lahir setiap anak manusia. Kebodohan itu adalah hasil bentukan sistem manusia dan pola asuh yang keliru”. From this quote, it is known that everyone is smart, but the environment and uncorrect system can decline their brightness. Einstein also added that smart child is not to whom can answer many questions which the answers are noted in the book, but to whom ask everything as many as they can. If the students don’t want to ask questions, it means that they lost their brightness. Do you agree?
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