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What is a CCQ?

CCQs are questions used to check whether students understood the meaning of a given lexical or grammar item.

In this video, we provide a detailed definition, examples and classroom tips to help you plan and deliver more effective lessons.

More examples of CCQS:


When we are dealing with lexical items (words or chunks of language), it is important that we focus on the key concepts behind the word are tackled and that we avoid asking questions that focus on aspects that are not essential to the understanding of the word, ambiguous information or characteristics that are shared by other words with similar meaning.

Context: “The two countries reached a ceasefire last year.”

Meaning: a temporary suspension of fighting; a truce (Oxford online dictionary)

Possible CCQS:

  • Are the two countries part of a conflict? (Yes)

  • Are there battles happening now? (No)

  • Did the countries agree to stop the conflict? (Yes)

  • Has the conflict been suspended or ended completely? (suspended)

Context: “Michael Jackson’s Thriller is one of the greatest hits of his career.”

Meaning: a great success (Merriam Webster Online Dictionary)

Possible CCQs:

  • Was the song Thriller successful? (Yes)

  • Are there many songs as successful as Thriller? (No)

Context: “As far as I’m concerned, happiness is more important than money.”

Meaning: according to what someone thinks or feels (Cambridge online dictionary)

Possible CCQs:

  • Am I describing a fact or giving an opinion? (giving an opinion)

  • Is it my own opinion or am I talking on behalf of a group? (my own opinion)


Checking understanding of grammar requires understanding of the function the structure has in the particular context of use we are dealing with. Remember it is important not to use the grammatical structure in our CCQs.

Context: “We have visited many countries together.”

Meaning: The present perfect is used here to describe an action that happened a number of times from a moment in the past until the present.

Possible CCQs:

  • Are we talking about actions that happened in the past or that will happen in the future? (in the past)

  • Did we go to only one country together? (No)

  • Did the action happen a number of times? (Yes)

Context: “I’m not as tall as John.”

Meaning: Not as tall as is being used to here to compare heights and say that Tom is taller than I am.

Possible CCQs:

  • Am I comparing my height to John’s? (Yes)

  • Is John taller or shorter than I am? (taller)

Context: “I’m meeting my mom for dinner later on”

Meaning: The present continuous is being used here to describe an arrangement that is planned for the future.

Possible CCQs:

  • Do I have plans for later? (yes)

  • Does my mum know about it? (yes)

  • Did my mum and I agree to do something together? (yes)

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Rubens Heredia is an Academic Coordinator, CELTA and ICELT tutor at Cultura Inglesa São Paulo and one of the co-founders of What is ELT?

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