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What is an ICQ? Teaching techniques for giving instructions in the classroom.

We've all been there. We ask students to do an activity, perform a task or answer and exercise, and they start doing something completely different from what we wanted them to.

Giving effective instructions can be a challenge, that much is true. However, besides conveying the message clearly, it is extremely important to check whether students understood the instructions, so we can avoid having to interrupt students to redirect them or rephrase instructions.

ICQs can be a useful technique to prevent this kind of problem and help us know whether clarification of the instructions is needed. In this video, we include the definition, examples and tips to use ICQs to make your instructions more effective.


ICQs is an acronym that stands for Instruction-Checking Questions. They are questions we frequently use to check whether students grasped what they are expected to do in a certain activity or task.

They are often needed because students may misunderstand instructions or feel too embarrassed to admit they are not following in front of their peers. The rationale for using them is therefore very similar to the reasons why we use CCQs (although they check different things).

Check the video below for examples and 4 useful tips to implement ICQs in your lessons.

I hope this post and video are useful to help you improve effectiveness of your instructions. Please subscribe to our blog and YouTube channel to ensure you receive the latest updates.

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