Being bilingual is not just about being able to speak an additional language. It also means that second language learners should be bi-literate and bi-cultural. Students need to be taught explicitly how to monitor their understanding of the texts in the target language. Most importantly, in order for transformative language learning and intercultural understanding to happen, they must learn how to ask high order thinking questions to connect with the author, the text, and their own experience. Learning questioning techniques enables students to develop their thinking skills and help them refine their language skills as they are constantly asked to extend their responses by providing examples and/or details. This is also a great formative assessment tool for teachers to monitor students' level of understanding of the content through reading and thus enhance the inquiry-based learning. We must equip students with strategies and teach them how to read on the lines, read between the lines, and read beyond the lines.
Q.A.R stands for Question－Answer Relationship. In my opinion, it is an effective reading strategy to help students take a deep dive into the reading texts by asking questions and providing answers. Questions are categorized into four different types and levels: Right There, Think and Search, Author and Me and On my own. There are different levels of thinking skills applied in this process. It is not uncommon for MYP language B teachers to spend hours and hours just to design a reading comprehension task. I have found that by using QAR strategy and follow some of the question prompts makes it easier and less time consuming. Additionally, using QAR questions to design reading comprehension tasks allows me to address all the strands required for the criterion of reading.
Questions are more closed and usually require short and factual answers.
Think and Search
Questions require students to use higher level thinking skills, such as making inferences, drawing conclusions, comparing and contrasting, explaining by giving supporting details, summarizing and so on.
Author and Me
Questions require students to use their prior knowledge in conjunction with what they read to generate answers. Questions might involve them to identify the author's writing purpose and intended audience, analyze how the information in the text is organized, interpret aspects of format and style, justify personal opinions by giving examples or details. For students with higher level of language proficiency, they might be asked to synthesize ideas, opinions and attitudes in the text.
On My Own
Questions encourage students to make connects with own experiences, attitudes, points of view and or global perspectives with the text.