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Here you can find a long list of English discussion topics for students learning English as a second language, (ESL).
With so many chat ideas to choose from, these ESL chat topics are great for the classroom or everyday.
The topics provided below can be used for beginner, intermediate and advanced students! Just choose the right level of simplicity or complexity for your students based on your knowledge of their skills. You can even combine sample questions any way you like.
Why use English Conversation Topics
While you can read through textbooks, games or online websites, conversation is one of the most important aspects of English-based language. Conversational speaking helps students because they have to think about the topics and words in their head before they say them.
Discussions and discussions are also good for helping students learn about specific topics. The more they use these topics in conversation, the better they will find when speaking in full conversation as they progress in their English language skills. Language is the way we think and process information. When students use different speech topics, they add information to their memory and access old memories to validate their conversations.
English Conversation Class Topics for Teaching
Everyone has some interests, and everyone loves to talk about them. Recreation can be lustful, too, you know. Some simple questions you can ask include:
- What are your hobbies?
- Why do you like your hobbies so much?
- How often do you do these hobbies?
- How long have you been doing these hobbies, and how did you get started?
- What hobbies did you used to have, but now do not?
- Is it important to have hobbies? Why/why not?
Television is one of those topics that everyone has an idea of. Ironically, while most programs are viewed on computers and tablets, television is still a hot topic for classmates. TV will allow you to display native English forms and provide a good context before entering the interview questions. Good questions include:
- How often do you watch TV?
- Should everyone have a television in their home?
- What is the best way to watch television: On a television set, computer, tablet or phone?
- What television programs are popular in your country?
- What do you think will be the future of television?
- What is your opinion on television?
- If you had your own TV show, what would it be like?
If your readers enjoy reading on TV and other traditional content, you should try a media-focused app. Websites and apps teach English real videos, including clips from TV shows, news segments and markets.
As people grow older, their amount of time grows, so it is a practical topic that everyone has something to say. You can ask questions like these:
- How much free time do you usually have?
- How important is time to you?
- If you had more free time, what would you do?
- “Time is money.” Do you agree or disagree? Why?
- How do you feel about time that is wasted?
As people get older, they begin to enjoy a good night’s sleep. This topic is usually a favorite of all. Some example questions are:
- How much sleep do you usually get?
- Why do some people sleep well while other people do not sleep well?
- What do you do when you have trouble sleeping?
- What time do you usually go to sleep? What time do you usually get up?
- Have you ever slept in a strange place that was not a bed?
Everyone loves music and many people feel very powerful about it — especially when it comes to the music they love (or hate) so much. Some simple questions you can ask can be:
- What types of music do you like/dislike?
- How do certain kinds of music make you feel?
- What types of music come from your country?
- What’s your favorite song/album/artist?
- What music is popular in your country right now?
Listening to music with English lyrics can be a fun activity to keep students busy, and start conversations. Displaying music videos with subtitles will help readers remember the vocabulary they hear in the song.
6. First Dates
Unless you are teaching in an area where premarital sex is an option, talking about the first days makes everyone interested. We are all here. You can ask questions like these:
- How many first dates have you had?
- How do you feel about first dates?
- What is a common first date like in your country?
- What is the best/worst first date experience you’ve ever had?
- What makes a good first date in your opinion?
Most people are working and there is a lot they can say about it. I mean, if you spend about a third of your waking hours at work, you may have a lot more to say. Some good questions are:
- What work do/did you do?
- How do/did you like the work?
- What is your dream job?
- What work is common in your city/area/country?
- What is your general view about work? Why?
Everyone feels a certain way about the accident. Some are prone to dangers, while others are dangerous. Talking about accidents seems to be the talk of the town. You can ask questions like these:
- What is your definition of risk?
- Are you a risk taker? Why/why not?
- What are the advantages/disadvantages of taking risks?
- What risks do you come across in your work/life?
- What risks have you taken in your life?
Food may be a global issue and everyone would like to talk about what they eat. This is also a good topic for beginners because vocabulary is often very simple. You can use questions like these:
- What is your favorite food? Why?
- What food comes from your country?
- How do you feel when you eat food?
- What foods do you dislike? Why?
- Where do you usually get food from?
Whether students are a motivated group or not, inspiration is a good topic you can discuss to motivate your students. Some example questions are:
- How motivated are you in general?
- What motivates you to do things?
- What is the best motivator to succeed?
- What do you do when you feel demotivated?
- What is a good way to motivate others?
Beauty in one of those topics is often more focused on women than men. However, anyone can appreciate beauty in all its forms, and anyone can see the importance of the concept of beauty in our culture, communities and our morals. In addition, men may surprise you with a concern about discussing beauty, appearance, and grooming.
This makes it a good topic to discuss to get some opinions and various views within a group of students. You could ask questions like:
- What is “beauty”?
- What/who do you consider beautiful?
- What does “inner beauty” mean to you?
- Do you consider artificial beauty (cosmetic surgery) to still be beauty? Why/why not?
- How do you feel about the emphasis that people put on beauty these days?
- What would you tell your children about beauty?
Crime may not be on the top of people’s lists of favorite topics but it’s something that’s talked about. Depending on your adult students’ life experiences, it may be something that has affected their lives. Learning to discuss it could help your students out in the long run. Good discussion questions are:
- Is crime a big problem in your city/country?
- Have you ever been a victim of crime?
- What crime is common in your city/country?
- What would you do if you noticed a crime being committed?
- How is the law enforcement in your city/country?
Everyone loves love and many people have experienced firsthand what they would like to talk about. One of those global topics that keeps the conversation going. Even in the absence of romantic love and heartache, students can talk about family love with their parents and children, and love between friends. Questions like these are good:
- What is love?
- Who/what do you love?
- What good/bad experiences have you had with love?
- Can you be too young to be in love? Why/why not?
- How do you feel about love?
We all have goals and talking about them makes us more motivated to do something about it. Sharing goals is also a good thing to help make it happen. A good set of questions is:
- What are your current goals in life?
- How do you plan to reach your goals?
- How often do you set goals for yourself?
- What goals have you set and achieved in the past?
- How do you feel when you reach your goals?
We all have dreams, sometimes every night, and talking about them is a good topic for class discussions as it encourages students to be smarter and smarter. Good questions for this article include:
- What kinds of dreams do you have?
- What do you think dreams mean?
- How much of your dreams do you remember? Why?
- What is your opinion on premonitions? Are they real?
- What are examples of memorable dreams you have had?
As well as food, everyone loves to talk about restaurants and favorite restaurants. Some students may even be able to relate to their choices and ideas. Good questions include:
- How often do you go to restaurants?
- What is your favorite restaurant? Why?
- What do you usually order at a restaurant?
- What is the restaurant experience like in your country?
- Have you ever worked in a restaurant?
- If you owned a restaurant, what kinds of food would you serve?
Cooking is another topic that may allow for interesting conversations. Most people in many lands make good cooking. A few good questions could be:
- In your home, who usually cooks?
- How often do you cook?
- How well do you cook? What can you cook well?
- What are the advantages/disadvantages of cooking?
- What food would you like to learn how to cook?
Recipes can be a fun way to introduce readers to a variety of recipes and recipes. And in addition to the written recipes, there are tons of recipe videos on the web if you want to work on listening and understanding.
If there is a topic that everyone likes in depth, it should be money. People like to talk about money. Well, at least they didn’t go down without explaining themselves first. Good questions include:
- How well do you manage your money?
- Why do some people have money problems?
- What are some good ways to make money?
- What would you do if I gave you $20/$2,000/$2,000,000?
- How often do you save money? Why?
This is a personal favorite for many. Shopping is thriving and brings happiness to some people. They just love to buy! Some feel powerful in another way — very few people are completely neutral in this issue. A few good questions are:
- Do you enjoy shopping? Why/why not?
- What is your favorite shop? Why?
- In your city, where is a good place to go shopping?
- How do you feel about online shopping?
- How do you think shopping will be like in the future?
Everyone is making plans and discussing them can even influence the class to start making their own plans! A few examples of questions include:
- How often do you plan things? Why?
- What are your plans for (________)?
- What are your plans for your English?
- What do you think of this quote? “Having no plan is a plan to fail.”
- Do you have any back-up plans?
Books make a good topic for discussion because most people enjoy a good book.
As you read, your mind overflows with new ideas, feelings, ideas, and thoughts. Books also empower and educate people, so that your adult readers can believe in the value of books. It can be very satisfying for adult learners to share how they feel about learning. Some questions to ask yourself are:
- Do you like books/reading? Why/why not?
- What kind of books do/did you like?
- What is your favorite book? Why?
- What was the last book you read?
- Do you believe reading books/literature is more important than reading stuff online? Why/why not?
Now comes a topic that most men may like, but we are still ready for classes as female audiences increase. Some students may have children who enjoy sports! A few good examples are:
- Do you like sports? Why/why not?
- How often do you exercise/play sports?
- Did you play any sports as a child?
- What sport/physical activity is popular in your country?
- What is your opinion on professional sports?
Life talks take place in all languages and English is no different.
Practicing conversations about life is a good topic to talk about because everyone has their own ideas and thoughts on a topic that is ubiquitous. You can ask questions like these:
- What is the meaning of life?
- How is your life going up to this point?
- What do you think happens after life?
- What important life lessons have you learned?
- If tomorrow was your last day to live, what would you do?
Learning is natural — it surrounds us, even in the face of ignorance. Our brains are designed to absorb, filter and store information. Conversation about reading can stimulate learning English among students! A few relevant questions are:
- How important is learning? Why?
- Besides English, what are you currently learning?
- What things are you good/bad at learning? Why?
- What would you most like to learn?
- What is the most difficult part of learning? Why?
Like television, talking about movies is a topic that can be discussed by everyone. I mean, who doesn’t watch movies? A few good questions to ask yourself can be:
- What was the last movie you saw? How was it?
- What is your favorite movie? Why?
- How are the movies in your country? What are the best ones?
- How often do you watch movies in English?
- If there were a movie about your life, what kind of movie would it be? Why?
Games are fun and everyone enjoys fun, right?
But in all honesty, talking about sports makes the conversation more oriented in the past, giving students a wonderful sense of anticipation. Some simple questions can be:
- What is your favorite game ever?
- What games did you play as a kid?
- What games are popular/came from your country?
- How competitive are you when it comes to games?
- What games do you still play now? Why?
The year is 2022 and you can’t go a day without talking about computers. The biggest topic that readers can discuss is a few things, which may be related to real life! Good questions for this might be:
- Describe your computer at home/work.
- What do you usually use a computer for?
- Do you like computers? Why/why not?
- What was the first computer you ever had like?
- What do you think will be the future of computers?
Even if no one likes to talk about problems, for example, everyone talks about their problems to other people! Problems are actually a good topic to discuss as they can help others relate and come up with solutions as well. A few good examples of questions are:
- How do you deal with your problems?
- What problems do you come across in your work or life?
- Do you feel that problems are opportunities? Why or why not?
- What was the last problem you solved and how did you do it?
- “Problems don’t matter. Solutions do.” Do you agree or disagree?
So that is a list of discussion topics you can use with your classes. Depending on their level of competence, you may feel free to make questions easier or more difficult.
The main topics are those that are spoken in the students’ native language (everyday objects) and the best questions are often opened as opposed to something that can be answered in a word or two.
It is also best to avoid topics that may offend students such as death, sex, politics, and religion — but that certainly varies from class to class.
These topics may inspire you to come up with your own, as you will begin to understand your readers at a deeper level and know what works and what does not.