If you’re eliciting questions, write the main word or topic of the question on the board along with a question mark, e.g. name? – What’s your name? or from? – Where are you from? This is also a good ice-breaker for first classes. You can elicit a set of personal information questions then have students mingle asking and answering them so they get to know each other.
Don’t come in empty-handed
If you’re trying to elicit information, especially with higher-level classes, prepare a list of questions to ask about the topic before the class begins. For example, in a class about Shakespeare, you want to see how much students know about the man and his works before you launch into your reading text about him. Ask questions such as When did he live? Where was he born? What was his theatre called? What plays did he write?
Hand over the reins
Instead of eliciting yourself, ask a student or two to come to the board and lead a class brainstorm around the topic. It may be easier for some of the quieter students to contribute to if the stage is led by peers.