On average teachers give learners 0.9 seconds to answer a question that they ask to the whole class. This is not an effective strategy for EAL learners because they need more time to process the question, then think of the content needed to answer the question and then think of the language needed to answer the question.
From my perspective, and the views of others, EAL learners should be give between 3 – 10 seconds wait time before responding to a question.
Try it, next time you ask a question in class, allow more wait time and see if you get more learners wanting to answer!
Wait time is a crucial strategy to use when questioning EAL learners.