5 Ways to Check for Understanding

yes yes yes

How many times have you heard this from clients when they don’t even understand the question?

Assertive communication is a critical soft skill in the U.S. workplace. Many clients don’t understand this U.S. cultural assumption or may even value conflicting behaviors related to saving face or agreeing with authority figures.

Especially during new hire orientation and training, asking questions is expected. It’s important to reinforce this  new skill before client job retention depends on it.

You may talk about the importance of asking questions in your job readiness activities. But, sometimes it’s hard to be sure clients really get new information in class or individual meetings.

Click here for a list of 53 techniques to check for understanding and help reinforce client ability to utilize this important U.S. workplace skill.

Here are five examples that could help client retain information, practice assertive communication and build their English skills, too.

1. Red, Yellow, Green

Provide color cards in your job readiness class or in your office for individual meetings.  (Use construction paper or write the words in colored ink.) Explain that clients can hold up the cards whenever they aren’t sure or don’t understand.  You can prompt them to use the cards to check understanding in class.  When they understand how that works, you can have the cards available elsewhere in your offices to help them communicate. This could even help with front desk communications.

2.  3-2-1

When you want to check understanding of a topic, assign clients to tell you 3 things they learned, 2 things that were interesting and 1 question they still have.  They can answer together in a classroom setting or you can assign the task as homework for higher skilled clients and check their answers in your next one-on-one meeting.

3.  Sketch

Ask clients to draw a picture of new information.  No English required. For example, ask for drawings of “good” and “bad” appearance in a job interview.

4.  5 Words

Ask clients, “what are five words you learned?”  Using this question in a classroom setting could be a great way to blend an audience with different English skills and help everyone improve their vocabulary.

5.  1 Word

pick one new word you learned and (write or tell) what it means.  Assigning clients with stronger English skills Higher’s How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions eLearning course? This technique would be a great way to check to see if they completed the assignment.


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