I'm having a hard time not using "do you understand?" Although some students will admit they do, most of them won't.

It's hard for me to determine whether or not they understood what I said.

According to the article I've mentioned before:

"Nor should you expect students to ask questions in class if they don’t understand something. A former student of mine told me: “In China, a student who asks questions is considered a pain in the neck.” Check understanding by asking students to paraphrase or write questions they have in groups."

I understand this is this person's opinion but do you think it's true?

It's true that my Chinese students seldom ask any questions at all.

The thing is, I'm always available for them if they have questions, even in my free time. I would really wish they would ask me more things but they don't.

Sometimes I teach something and they say they understand but when I ask them later I find that they didn't. How can I avoid this? How can I evaluate their understanding of what I'm saying? Is there any effective way to do this?

Would it be better to form team and write questions in groups? Has anyone tried this?

I really understand your situation.I think one reason for their not asking questions may be that they were grown up as shy childeren or they are afraid of you.Emotion: stick out tongueAskingdo you understandagain and again is realy boring.My suggestion to you will be that first ask them why they don't ask questions, second do group work and make a competition between the groups to have the nice present you will give to them in the end.Emotion: smile
I agree that asking "Do you understand" is repetitive and boring. When I'm in the heat of the moment however, I don't always realize it. I'll definitely try to ask them to work in groups more.

I'm aware of it now. I've completely stopped asking "do you understand" and I think this change is for the best.
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i think that the best way is to make the pupils do an activity which proves without doubt that the lesson was understood and the objective reached
i think you should somehow know your students. You may use questions as "Is there any doubt?" or "Is it clear?" and you can also base your class giving enough examples and rules so that they are clear and have no doubts. [H]
To avoid the question:" Do you understand?", I think we should have an overall view of our class.When teaching, you need to make eye contact with your students because you should enforce them to join with your explanation.It has been said: "Eyes are the windows of the soul." If you feel there is something suspicion of wrong in their faces, especially in their eyes, you have to ask them at once by implicit questions about understanding of your teaching.These questions may be W-questions or interview with yes- no questions. It depends on the situation of your class.
For communicative approach method,"Simon says" game, an activity of TPR( total physical response) could help us easily to find who doesn't understand our lesson immediately in checking comprehension step. Besides, there are a lot of other techniques for checking your students instead of asking them:"Do you understand?":Matching pictures, True-false statement, Multiple choice,Ordering statements, Mapped-dialogue, Gap-fill ,Retelling, Jumbled titles,Questions basing on these cues or answers etc....
One thing I like most is "Slap the board" game. I divide the class into groups. The weakest students will have the chance to join in the competition. Everyone will be interesting in learning because it's very easy to slap the board. There is no mistake at all when they don't write anything. However, this technique will make a lot of noises and the headmaster is always against these business noises because its ravage on speaceful atmosphere of some lecturer's surrounding classes.
In conclusion,we should ask our students at the end of every part of the lesson and also after a difficult concept with some implicit questions which appropriate to all kinds of students; the cleverest, the normal and the weakest students.If you use communicative approach method, all of its techniques contain a variety of questions which are suitable with all kinds of students.
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This is a problem that all teachers struggle with and it has an answer! The idea of concept checking is something that I always tell my colleagues about. This article explains it all far better than I can!

I hope you find this useful it has certainly improved my teaching and made life much easier for both myself and my students! And Chinese students don't ask questions its true, so really it is up to you to ask them! Good luck


I don't understand your question. Rule one for teachers is to NEVER make use of a sentence like this. You should NEVER ask students if they understand or not..... Wrong verb..... If you are a teacher, in a Chinese context, I'm not impressed.....