As soon as the children could answer (verbally or non-verbally) we started asking questions. While this starts simply, "Do you want more broccoli?" It soon changes to helping them label the things around them, "Where is the book?" As they become more verbal, we start asking open ended questions, "What happened?" or "What would you like to do now?" This helps develop their expressive language, while the closed questions often allow a child to use only their receptive language.
I'm not sure I like this...
For example, if you have two blocks and ask "Which one is yellow?" They can point or just repeat yellow while showing you which one is yellow. You have given them all of the information. This is an example of receptive language. If you ask, "What color is this?" They must search their memory for the correct word. The first clue is color, so they think of all the color words they know, then they have to figure out what color it is and state the correct word. This is expressive language and it's a much higher verbal skill.
Where are we?
This is something most teachers have been trained to do because it doesn't come naturally. Especially if you are normally working with a group of students. There are always a few in the group who will answer quickly and you can move on. When dealing with students in small groups or one-on-one it can feel like a long time for no answer. In our world of constant noise, even a few seconds of silence seem to drag it out. Yet it is extremely important to wait. Those students who take longer to answer need these types of questions even more. I worked at a school where we set the goal to ask each child at least one question that would cause them to think for 8-10 seconds before they could answer each week. This is a great example of individualized education.