Respond to a Survey

This is a self-paced activity, in which students read questions or statements and select the most appropriate answer from a list of options. This way, students are not required to produce language, but are still able to express their own opinions using only the interpretive mode. This activity can serve as a springboard for cultural comparisons, interpersonal tasks, and presentational tasks later in the lesson or unit.


  1. The teacher distributes the survey to each student

  2. The teacher guides the students through the survey one question at a time, providing gestures, explanation in the target language, and other scaffolding as necessary. 

  3. Students complete the survey

  4. The teacher collects the survey results to review and possibly use in future lessons. 

Adaptation for Online/Distance Learning

  1. Synchronous (whole group) — The teacher shares their screen and displays questions one at a time using a polling software or app. The class progresses through each question one at a time, pausing after each question to review and discuss the results. 

  2. Synchronous (students complete independently) — Students are given a time limit to complete the survey on their own devices. Students may pair or work in small groups to predict the most likely class response. When students return from the breakout rooms, the teacher displays the results and can lead the class through an analysis and discussion of the results. 

  3. Asynchronous — Students complete a survey outside of class, then results are used as discussion starters or conversation prompts before working with other texts that provide additional information or insights on the topic. Students make connections based on new learning and indicate if their original survey response has changed giving reasons for their choice based on evidence in the new texts. 

Helpful Tips

  1. It is recommended that teachers use electronic platforms to conduct survey activities when possible, so that graphics (such as charts showing responses) can be generated and used later in the lesson or unit.

  2. The following question types can be used in the survey:

    • simple yes/no questions
    • multiple choice questions
    • questions requiring students to rate or rank a list of items
    • questions asking students to indicate to what degree they agree or disagree with statements or opinions


  1. The teacher can add an element of presentational writing by including open-ended response options, or response options with partially written sentence frames (e.g. "I completely agree because..." or "I partially agree, but..." )


  1. Survey (paper or electronic)