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Making English Fun

50 ESL Conversation Topics for Adult Students.

For adult ESL learners, the ability to converse comfortably in English is not only a skill but a gateway to opportunities and connections.

In this article, we’re happy to share a carefully put together list of conversation topics and starters tailored for adults. You can also download this list this for your own use.

Perfect for teachers and learners alike, these starters promise to invigorate your English classes and practice sessions.

50 ESL Conversation Topics for Adult Students.

Conversation in Adult Language Learning

Conversation is the heartbeat of language learning, especially for adults. While grammar and vocabulary are the building blocks, it’s through conversation that these elements come alive.

For adult ESL learners, speaking and listening in real-world contexts is crucial. It’s not just about correctness; it’s about communication.

These learners often bring a wealth of life experience to their language journey, and conversational practice provides a platform to share these perspectives, making learning more relevant and engaging.

By focusing on conversation, we not only improve fluency but also bridge cultural gaps, build confidence and make friends.

How to Use Adult ESL Conversation Topics

Integrating conversation starters into your ESL curriculum can be both fun and effective.

  • Start by choosing prompts that resonate with the interests and experiences of your adult learners.
  • Whether it’s in a classroom, online setting, or a casual language meetup, these starters can kick off discussions, debates, and storytelling.
  • For beginners, you might opt for simpler, more direct questions , while advanced learners can tackle the more complex and open-ended ones.
  • Encourage students to ask follow-up questions, share personal experiences, and even challenge each other’s viewpoints.

The goal is to create a dynamic and interactive environment where every student feels comfortable to speak up and participate.

50 Conversation Topics for Adult Learners

Imagine starting your class with a question that sparks curiosity, debate, and personal reflection. That’s the power of a great conversation starter.

From discussing global issues to sharing personal achievements, these conversation starters are designed to cater to a wide range of interests and provoke thoughtful dialogue.

Be sure to download our full list to explore the variety of prompts we’ve put together for you.

Adult ESL Conversation Starters

  • What do you think are the most significant challenges facing the world today?
  • How do you balance work and personal life?
  • What’s your opinion on the impact of globalization?
  • Discuss a piece of advice that has been influential in your life.
  • What are the key qualities of a good leader in today’s world?
  • How has your perspective on life changed as you’ve gotten older?
  • What’s a book that profoundly affected your view of the world?
  • What do you think about the future of work and automation?
  • How do you stay informed about current events, and why is it important?
  • What role does culture play in shaping an individual’s identity?
  • Discuss a personal experience that shaped your beliefs.
  • What are your thoughts on the balance between security and privacy?
  • How do you define happiness, and what makes you happy?
  • What’s your stance on environmental sustainability?
  • Discuss a historical event that interests you and why.
  • How do you think technology impacts human relationships?
  • What are the essential factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
  • What’s your opinion on the education system in your country?
  • Discuss an artist, musician, or writer who has influenced you.
  • What changes would you like to see in your community or society?
  • How do you view the role of government in people’s lives?
  • What’s a significant personal challenge you’ve faced and overcome?
  • How has travel or living in different places shaped your views?
  • Discuss a movie or TV show that you think has deep social commentary.
  • What are your thoughts on the evolution of social media?
  • How do you approach conflict resolution in personal or professional settings?
  • What’s your perspective on the importance of mental health?
  • What are your hobbies, and why are they important to you?
  • How do you view the role of arts and culture in society?
  • Discuss a scientific discovery or technological advancement that excites you.
  • What’s your opinion on the relationship between wealth and happiness?
  • How do you think the concept of family has evolved over time?
  • What’s your stance on the importance of work-life balance?
  • Discuss a policy issue that you feel strongly about.
  • What’s your approach to lifelong learning and self-improvement?
  • How do you think language shapes our understanding of the world?
  • What’s a life lesson you’ve learned that you would share with others?
  • Discuss your views on the role of religion in modern society.
  • What’s an underrated skill that you think more people should learn?
  • How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?
  • Discuss an innovation you think will significantly impact the future.
  • What’s your opinion on the importance of cultural diversity?
  • How do you think aging populations will affect society?
  • What’s your perspective on alternative energy sources?
  • Discuss a personal success story and the lessons learned.
  • How do you approach making significant life decisions?
  • What’s your opinion on the current state of global politics?
  • Discuss a social movement that you find inspiring.
  • What do you think is the key to a successful relationship?
  • How do you think education will evolve in the next few decades?

Adult ESl Conversation topics

Facilitating Engaging Discussions

As a teacher, your role is to guide the conversation, ensuring it remains respectful and inclusive.

Encourage students to build on each other’s responses and explore different viewpoints. It’s important to create a safe space where students feel comfortable expressing themselves without fear of judgment.

Use these conversations as opportunities to teach nuances of language, cultural references, and varied expressions.

Benefits of Regular Conversation Practice

Engaging regularly in conversation practice can transform the ESL learning experience.

For adult learners, this practice helps in breaking down language barriers, building confidence, and enhancing real-world communication skills.

It’s not just about fluency; it’s about the ability to express thoughts, opinions, and emotions effectively in a new language.

Regular practice also sharpens listening skills and improves pronunciation , making it an invaluable tool in learning English

Creating a Community of Learners

One of the most beautiful aspects of using conversation starters is the sense of community it builds among learners.

Facilitate group discussions, pair activities, and even social events where conversation is the main activity.

Creating a community atmosphere helps in reducing anxiety and makes language practice a more enjoyable and supportive experience.

More ESL Conversation Topics

We have a selection of age / ability appropriate ESL Conversation Topics here on Making English Fun you can access below.

  • 50 ESL Conversation Topics for Kindergarten ESL Students
  • 50 ESL Conversation Topics for Grade School / Primary Students
  • 50 ESL Conversation Topics for High School ESL Students
  • 50 ESL Conversation Topics for Adult ESL Students
  • 200+ ESL Conversation Topics for ESL Learners

Our collection of conversation starters for adult ESL learners is designed to spark not just conversations, but also insights, laughter, and a deeper understanding of the world.

Whether you’re a teacher or a learner, we hope these prompts inspire you to engage in meaningful and enjoyable English conversations.

Don’t forget to download the full list and start exploring the endless possibilities of language learning today.

Additional Resources

For more resources and inspiration, visit our website. Whether you’re looking for teaching materials, language games, or advanced learning strategies, we’ve got you covered.

Join our community to keep up with the latest in ESL education and to share your own experiences and insights with fellow language enthusiasts.

  • https://allesl.com/esl-conversation-topics/
  • https://www.verbling.com/discussion/28-esl-discussion-topics-for-adults-that-everyone-has-opinio
  • https://www.fluentu.com/blog/educator-english/esl-discussion-topics-for-adults/

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Making English Fun!

esl topics for adults

I have been a teacher of English for over 15 years, in that time i made hundreds and thousands of resources and learnt so much i think its worth sharing. Hopefully to help teachers and parents around the world.

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150 ESL Conversation Starters and Questions (The Essential List)

Do you want your students to be excited to speak with you in English?

Do you want to make sure you always know where the conversation is going and what to say next?

You need engaging content, interesting conversation starters, and questions that really reel them in.

Join our mailing list to receive a free ESL teaching resource every week.

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This list of 150 ESL conversation starters will give you everything you need to make sure you always have something interesting to talk about and never run out of things to say!

150 ESL conversation starters essential list for lessons

Why Every Teacher Needs a List of Starters

Conversation topics for adults and teens, conversation topics for kids, conversation topics for beginners, weird and funny conversation starters, controversial conversations topics, additional tips for your conversation lessons, final thoughts.

If you want to improve your student’s speaking ability you need to master the art of conversation. You need to know how to get your students speaking , move the conversation forward, provide feedback and make it all feel natural. You also need engaging topics and that is where this guide comes in.

One of the problems that can face a teacher is knowing what to talk about. What do you do when you’ve finished talking about work, the weather and then realise that only 5 minutes have passed!

This guide has everything you need to make sure you never run out of topics and most importantly you always have something interesting to say.

It is a good idea to pick a particular topic for a class (or even have your student pick if you want more engagement from them). Once you have that topic then move through the questions, trying to get as much from each one as possible. 

Browse our ESL teacher resources section for more tips and printable lesson materials.

Adults and teens usually know more about advanced topics than children (politics, religion, etc.) That being said, knowing more on these topics doesn’t necessarily translate to being able to speak about these things easily so don’t assume they can do everything. Be aware of your student’s level and be prepared to reframe a question if they are struggling to understand. 

  • Where do you work?
  • Do you enjoy your job?
  • Do you use English for your job?
  • Tell me about your last job.
  • What do you think is the most difficult job in the world?
  • What do you think is the easiest job in the world?
  • Where would you work if you could pick any job?
  • Would you still work if you won the lottery?
  • Do you think robots will replace all of the jobs in the future?
  • Which kind of job should have the highest salary?

In this post, you’ll get 20 topics and activities for Business English lessons.

  • Do you listen to music?
  • When did you start listening to music?
  • Do you play a musical instrument?
  • What do you think the future of music will be like?
  • If you could meet any musician, who would it be?
  • Why do people like music?
  • If you could erase a musical genre, which would it be?
  • Do you think musical success comes from working hard or luck?
  • What was the first album you bought?
  • Have you ever downloaded music illegally?
  • What is a holiday?
  • Do you often go on holiday?
  • Where did you last go on holiday?
  • Where would you like to go on holiday next?
  • Do you prefer relaxing or having an adventure on your holiday?
  • Is it weird to go on holiday by yourself?
  • What is the best food you’ve eaten while on holiday?
  • Can you imagine what holidays 500 years ago were like?
  • Would you like to go on holiday to space?
  • What do you think the future of the holidays will be like?
  • What is technology?
  • What do you think of when you hear the word ‘technology’?
  • How has technology changed in the past?
  • How has technology changed your life?
  • Could you live without technology?
  • Find the full list of technology questions here

In order to engage a child in conversation, you have to enter their world. What is fun for them? What do they like to do? Using words/phrases like “wow”, “That sounds tasty”, “Awesome” can show you are listening to them and make things more fun which will get them saying more!

  • Do you have a pet?
  • What do you think pets do in the day?
  • What do pets eat?
  • Are cats better or dogs?
  • What is the best name for a pet?
  • Would you like a pet spider?
  • Would you like to be an animal? Which one?
  • Why do we have pets?
  • Do you prefer cute or fun pets?
  • What is the best present for a pet?
  • Do you like school?
  • What is your favourite subject?
  • What is your least favourite subject?
  • Who is your favourite teacher?
  • Why do people have to go to school?
  • Do you like homework?
  • What would you do if you were the headteacher?
  • How could schools be more fun?
  • How long are the summer holidays?
  • Can you learn and have fun at the same time?
  • What is your favourite movie?
  • Who is your favourite character?
  • Who is your least favourite character?
  • Do you like disney movies?
  • What was the last movie you saw at the cinema?
  • How often do you watch movies?
  • Do you wish you could live in a movie?
  • Why do you watch movies?
  • Do you prefer reading books or movies?
  • Do you watch any movies in English?

Keeping the topics simple for beginners is a must at the start. Talking about their hobbies and family can help as these are areas they may have already experience in talking about. If a student is really struggling then giving them phrases to use such as “I like …” can help get the ball rolling.

  • What do you like to do?
  • Do you do any sports?
  • What types of movie do you like?
  • Do you play video games?
  • What do you usually do with friends?
  • Is learning English a hobby or work?
  • Do you have any unusual hobbies?
  • Do you have enough time for your hobbies?
  • What is a common hobby?
  • What do you think is a boring hobby?
  • Do you live with your family?
  • How many people are in your family?
  • Are you close with your family?
  • How often do you see your family?
  • What do you do with your family when you see them?
  • Is your family important to you?
  • Which is more important, friends or family?
  • Who is the weirdest person in your family?
  • Are families less important nowadays than in the past?
  • What would happen if we didn’t have families?
  • Where do you live?
  • What is there to do in your city?
  • What is your place like?
  • What is your neighbourhood like?
  • Are there any parks near where you live?
  • Have you ever lived elsewhere?
  • How many rooms does your place have?
  • If you moved, where would you like to live?
  • Would you prefer to live in the city or country?
  • Would you like to live abroad?

Use information gap activities to help your students practice speaking: read our guide.

Nobody wants to speak about the same mundane topics, especially if they’re an advanced student. Being able to mix it up is a great attribute to have as a teacher. Not only will you have memorable lessons with these conversation starters but it will really test the ability of the students to think about topics they aren’t used to (instead of rolling off easy answers about familiar topics.)

Zombie Apocalypse Plan

  • What is your zombie apocalypse plan?
  • Who would you take with you?
  • What would be your weapon of choice?
  • What would you do if a friend got bitten by a zombie?
  • What would you do if you got bitten by a zombie?
  • What food would you take with you?
  • Do you think governments should have a zombie apocalypse plan?
  • Do you think everyone should have a zombie apocalypse plan?
  • Is a zombie outbreak a likely scenario?
  • Why do you think there are so many movies and TV series based on zombies?

Superpowers

  • If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
  • What do you think is the weirdest superpower in comic books?
  • Are some superpowers too powerful?
  • Would you like a superpower where you could turn things into gold by touching them?
  • What is the weakest superpower in a comic book?
  • Have we already seen every kind of superpower possible in a comic book?
  • Are there some people in the real world that have superpowers? (doctors etc)
  • Would you like a superpower where you could turn things into chocolate?
  • Would it be better to be super strong or super smart?
  • Would you like the power to travel through time?
  • If you were granted 3 wishes what would they be?
  • Is wishing for more wishes cheating?
  • Should there be any other rules for people granted wishes?
  • Have you seen any movies with a magic lamp?
  • Do you think there is a better object that could house a genie?
  • Why are we interested in stories of people having wishes?
  • Have any of your wishes come true in real life?
  • Do you make a wish when you blow out the candles on a cake?
  • Is it bad luck to tell someone what your wish is when blowing out the candles?
  • What other ways do people make wishes?

These are topics that you need to be careful with and use your judgement based on the student’s background. You need to wait until you know a student to find out what material is appropriate for them. That being said, If used correctly, then these can be really interesting and get the student thinking about “real issues”. 

Death Penalty

  • What do you think about the death penalty?
  • Do you know which countries still use the death penalty?
  • Why do you think some countries use the death penalty?
  • Do you know of any famous executions?
  • Should the death penalty be outlawed?
  • If we removed the death penalty then what punishment should replace it?
  • What is the most humane form of execution?
  • What would your “last meal” be?
  • Does the fear of the death penalty reduce crime?
  • How has execution changed over the years?
  • What is abortion?
  • Should abortion be legal?
  • Why do you think some people are “pro choice”?
  • Why do you think some people are “pro life”?
  • What do you think of abortion in cases where the baby was conceived due to rape?
  • What do you think of abortion in cases where the Mother’s life is in danger (due to being pregnant)?
  • Should the father “get a say” in the matter of abortion?
  • What advice would you give to a family member who was thinking of getting an abortion?
  • Should people be allowed to protest against abortion?
  • What do you think the future laws on abortion will be?
  • What is corruption?
  • Is there corruption in your country?
  • Why does corruption exist?
  • Would you consider taking a bribe?
  • Would you consider offering a bribe?
  • Are some types of corruption better than others?
  • Which countries have the most corruption?
  • Which countries have the least corruption?
  • Are there any stories of corruption that you can remember?
  • Is it possible to get rid of corruption entirely?

Get a list of 110 “Would you rather” questions for your conversation lessons.

Here are some additional tips to make sure your students are getting the most out of their conversation lessons and will be excited about coming back for more. Some of these will take time to internalize and get right but be aware of them and experiment to get them just right.

Don’t feel like you have to stick rigidly to the list of conversation starters. If a question takes you down a different conversational thread then go with it. The important thing is that the student is talking, you can always return to “the script” later.

Correcting a student immediately can often be useful, but in conversation, it can really kill the flow as well as a student’s confidence if done too often. A good idea is to make notes of any major problems and then mention them after a particular section instead. On top of this, try not to interrupt a student once they are speaking. For each answer, try to milk everything out of them that you can before you have “your turn to speak”.

As well as the frequency of correction, consider the amount being corrected. Don’t feel like you have to correct EVERYTHING. Especially if a student is starting out and is a bit nervous. Pick a few problems areas and focus on that, if you mention too many things at once it can be overwhelming and can really lower a student’s confidence.

Be strict when a student gives you short answers. If a student gives you an answer like “yes” then force more out of them with “yes… because” or “no… but”. The idea is to get them using the language more.

Try to inject some personality when using these ESL conversation topics. It should feel more like a conversation rather than a robot giving an interview.

Some students will struggle with certain subjects as they just don’t know enough about the topic. If it’s a bit of a challenge then push through but if they can’t even talk about a topic in their native language then it may be an idea to move on to another subject.

Allowing a student to pick a topic can be a great way of engaging them more. This also has the added benefit of helping a younger student (such as a teenager) feel more empowered as they can make their own decisions.

Get 18 statesman tips on giving great conversation for teens and adults in this post.

There you have it!

All you need to make sure you never run out of things to say. Get these printed out as your go-to cheat sheets and bookmark this page so you can easily come back to them for future classes.

Hopefully, these ESL conversation starters and questions will spark your own ideas for topics you can use in class. If you are teaching one-to-one, you could even write niche topics especially for that student’s interests (e.g skateboarding, knitting or chess).

Remember, match the topics to the student’s level, keep it fun and once they start talking don’t get in the way!

3 thoughts on “150 ESL Conversation Starters and Questions (The Essential List)”

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Very interesting! Thank you.

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This is very useful for our speaking club. Thank you.

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Glad to hear, enjoy! :)

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All ESL

101 ESL Conversation Topics to Break the Silence

101 esl conversation topics

ESL Conversation Starters

Looking for that missing element that will help your ESL conversation classes sparkle, shine and speak English?

Leading an engaging ESL conversation class isn’t something you can just pull off at the drop of a hat. But these tricks can help you go from zero to ESL hero. As a matter of fact, the one big secret is having…

Ready? Drumroll, please.

101 ESL conversation topics from a hat.

101 ESL Conversation Topics From a Hat

How many times have you been in an ESL conversation class and just couldn’t get your students to speak?

In the classroom and in everyday life, we need conversation starters or ice breakers to end the silence. Arguably, there’s nothing stranger than silence in a conversation class!

Here’s how you do it:

Before you start the school year, dedicate some time to preparing a list of free talking topics (see below).

First, print the conversation topics below. Second, cut each topic and put them in a hat. Finally, have them attached to your hip whenever you’re in need.

You can either open the whole classroom for discussion or have them speak in pairs. Furthermore, these ESL conversation topics are great for filling in any extra time at the end of the class or ice breakers at the start of a lesson.

And if you’d like more free ESL activities for your classroom, don’t forget to check out our other lists to engage your students in English. All are free and can be used for any purpose.

  • 43 Free ESL Worksheets that Enable English Language Learners
  • 13 Free ESL Lesson Plans to Master Your ESL Classes
  • 67 Free ESL Games to Teach English Like an All-Star

Either way, the goal is to get them practicing in English.

Culture Differences for Kids

  • High schools (Do students wear special school attire like uniforms? Can students drive to their high school? Can students drink water in class?)
  • Country work ethic (How long are typical work hours? Do students work after graduating?)
  • School clubs (What unique school clubs are there? Which club are you in? Why did you choose that club?)
  • Holidays (What is your favorite holiday? What type of food do you eat on specific holidays?)
  • Jobs (What jobs exist? Is it easy to get a job after graduation? Is it easy to find a job now?)
  • Pop culture (Who are pop culture icons in your home country?)
  • Video games (Do you play video games? What types of video games are popular?)
  • Parenting and punishment (What kind of punishment have you received at school or home? Do you believe in physical punishment?)

Culture Differences for Adults

  • Restaurant tips (Are tips at restaurants common? How much is a reasonable tip?)
  • Work dinner parties (Do wives and husbands attend work parties?)
  • Gestures (What are some unique gestures (thumbs up, middle finger, etc) in your country?)
  • Gift exchange (When you travel, is it common to exchange gifts? How about Christmas or any other holidays?)
  • Living with parents (How old do kids live with their parents?)
  • Greetings (How do you greet in your country? Do you bow or do handshakes?)
  • Safety and crime (Do you think your neighborhood is safe? What kind of crimes happen in your area?)
  • Punctuality (How often are friends late? How about buses and trains? Is it rude being late?)
  • Food and health (What is a typical meal? How healthy is it? Are gyms becoming more popular?)
  • Sports (How do sports players show respect after a game? Are there any unique sports in your country?)
  • Multiculturalism (Is your country multicultural? Is multiculturalism a good thing?)
  • Gender discrimination (Do women and men make the same amount of money for doing the same job? Is there much gender discrimination in your home country?)

If you…

  • If you had one wish, what would it be?
  • If you were rich, what would you do?
  • If you could be a celebrity for a day, which celebrity would you be?
  • If you were the principal at school, what would you change?
  • If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
  • If you were on a deserted island, what would you bring and why?
  • If you could be any animal for a day, what would it be and why?
  • If you could have any superpower, what would you pick and why?
  • If you could pack only 3 items for your next trip, what would they be?
  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  • If you could travel to the moon, would you like to go?
  • If you win the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
  • If you owned an island to yourself, what rules would you implement?
  • If they could pick a Halloween costume to dress up as on Halloween, what would it be?
  • If you could be born at a different time period, when would it be?
  • If you could change the past, would you do it?
  • If you could make a movie, which celebrity would you pick as yourself?
  • If you found a large amount of money, what would you do?
  • If you could change anything about your country, what would you change?
  • If you could be born in another country, which one would you pick?
  • If you could do your dream job 10 years from now, which job would you choose?

Have you ever…

  • Have you ever traveled out of your home country?
  • Have you ever cried when watching a movie? If yes, which one?
  • Have you ever experienced culture shock?
  • Have you ever wanted to get a tattoo or piercing?
  • Have you ever laughed so much that it made you cry?
  • Have you ever been lost and couldn’t find directions?
  • Have you ever fallen in love? If no, do you want to find love?
  • Have you ever won a trophy? If yes, which competition did you win?
  • Have you ever read a book that changed your life?
  • Have you ever been to Disneyland or an amazing theme park?
  • Have you ever had a dream that felt like it was real?
  • Have you ever seen something supernatural or paranormal?
  • Have you ever ridden a horse?
  • Have you ever had imaginary friends when you were young?
  • Have you ever had to go to the hospital?
  • Have you ever been outside your home country?
  • Have you ever experienced a natural disaster?
  • Have you ever owned a pet?
  • Have you ever donated anything to the poor?
  • Have you ever seen a car accident?

Would you rather…

  • Would rather be very intelligent or very good-looking?
  • Would you rather have a pet dog or cat?
  • Would you rather grow up going to school in your home country or another one?
  • Would you rather be a professional athlete or a celebrity actor?
  • Would you rather live forever or until 100 years old?
  • Would you rather live in the mountains or on the beach?
  • Would you rather bungee jump or skydive?
  • Would you rather be rich or find true love?
  • Would you rather walk backward or talk backward for the rest of your life?
  • Would you rather explore the oceans or outer space?
  • Would you rather live in an apartment or a house?
  • Would you rather be invisible or super fast?
  • Would you rather live in a country that is always cold or hot?
  • Would you rather live in the city or a small town?
  • Would you rather be a jack-of-all-trades or master one?
  • Would you rather ride an elephant or swim with dolphins?
  • Would you rather be rich and depressed or broke and happy?
  • In the past or future, when would you rather travel?
  • Would you rather eat rice or bread with every meal?
  • Would you rather use the internet or books as your main source of information?

Controversial

  • How do you deal with stress?
  • What is the best advice you have ever received?
  • Do you think aliens exist?
  • Is climate change real?
  • What age is best to start dating?
  • What personality traits do you want in your boyfriend or girlfriend?
  • Have you ever had a problem with bullying?
  • Are girls smarter than boys?
  • In the future, how many children do you want to have?
  • What makes a good teacher?
  • Who was your hero when you were a child?
  • What is the worst purchase you have made?
  • Would you rather know how you die or when you die?
  • What was the best holiday you’ve been on?
  • Is there any strange food in your country?
  • What are some inventions you hope to see in the future?
  • What is the most embarrassing moment of your life?
  • Would you ever try online dating?
  • What is on your bucket list?
  • Do you believe in any religions?
  • When was the last time you cried?

With 5 Minutes Left, What Do You Do?

All things considered, 101 ESL conversation topics from a hat is a fantastic end of the class time filler.

When you run out of things to do, pull out the hat and pick a topic. Otherwise, your class would just be sitting there twiddling their thumbs.

Strangely enough, a lot of teachers don’t equip themselves with back-up activities.

Now, you don’t have to sweat it out and watch the clock tick until the bell rings.

28 Comments

Thank you so much for sharing the topics.

I am a senior citizen trying to revive my teaching skills. You did it for me.

I’m glad I found this. Thank you so much!

Very useful.

There are many valuable questions here, and some which are inappropriate for some students. I think it is part of the teachers job to know their students and choose topics appropriate to their age, gender, culture etc. On the whole there are many inspirational topics to choose from here as a springboard to develop your own, perhaps more relevant, questions while still appreciating the efforts and work of the original source.

On the whole, very useful. I have taught in Asia for 20+ years. On the whole, STFU about love and dating. You come across as a lech. Plus countries like China and Japan do not need any more Western cultural poison.

thank you… thank you… so much… it’s really very helpful…

Very hepful! Thank you!

Sorry but “Is climate change real” is NOT a topic for conversation! It’s like saying ‘Is COVID real’ !!!! I’d suggest instead, ‘How do we deal with climate change’

Very helpful thanks for taking the time.

Great material! Thanks a million!

Thanks for the ideas of the topics and questions. All of them can help me a lot in my conversation class.

Thank you very much, this is very useful for my classes 🙂

Great questions.

As for potentially inappropriate questions, I would hope that every teacher has enough sense to decide what is appropriate or not for their students depending on age, maturity level, cultural norms/taboos, class dynamic, etc.

I’ve had classes where I would never think of asking some of these questions, and I’ve had classes where we’ve probably discussed all of these topics along with issues that are way more controversial. And those were some of my best classes.

Consider your class and use your best judgement.

Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for your work, splendid to liven up conversation in class. Thanks for the kindness of your generosity to share this. I believe it is crucial to be thankful and to contribute, and not just criticize. Thanks again

While there are some useful questions here, I’d be wary about asking questions regarding love and dating, as well as outdated gender ideology that reflects one’s own personal biases. For example, the gender wage gap has been debunked by all credible economists. 5 minutes googling will reveal to you why some men and women earn more than other men and women, and it’s nothing to do with gender. So with that and similar questions you’re bound to come into conflict with students with traditional conservative feminist views on wage differences, or ruin the group dynamic of a class of mixed gender students.

Wow……Mind blowing questions…..My ESL classes are gonna be fun-filled hereafter

These are wonderful and diverse topics to break the ice in a ESL class. Thank you for great selection of topics.

This is so amazing thank you so much!

These questions were so helpful, I would love to read more topics if any. Thank you

I loved it! thank you so much, I’ve been learning English for 9 months and my skill at talking has been improving every day more thanks to these topics

Depending on your class, age and level of maturity, I agree the questions about love and dating could be inappropriate. But of course, every situation is different.

I find most of these questions helpful and interesting, so I thank you for that, but there are questions that I think are inappropriate to ask your students, particularly the questions about love, dating, and crying. I also found multiple grammar errors in this article. For example:

“Have you ever had imaginary friends when you were young?” “In the past or future, when would you rather travel to the ?”

I was talking with a 12 year old in KSA whose younger 8 year old brother had gone to a farm earlier in the day. It turns out he goes to this farm every day.

Kids Love animals.

ask if You had a farm,

what kind of animals would You have? describe the animals. describe their behavior. what color is each animal? size? what would You feed each animal?

This is a good place to start. just my idea.

Nice organized and interesting ideas. Thank you

I found these tips very useful and interesting. I will be using some of your suggestions. Thanks.

They are very useful questions. Thank you and I hope there are more

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26 Engaging ESL Conversation Topics for Adults 2024

esl topics for adults

Discover a diverse array of 26 engaging ESL Conversation Topics for Adults tailored for adult learners in 2024. From sharing travel experiences and discussing favorite books to exploring social issues and personal growth, these topics are thoughtfully curated to encourage meaningful discussions, enhance language proficiency, and provide adults with a dynamic and enjoyable language learning experience. 

Definition of ESL for Adults

English as a Second Language ESL Conversation Topics for Adults is a dynamic process aimed at helping individuals whose native language is not English achieve proficiency in the language. It’s a journey that goes beyond language acquisition, encompassing cultural understanding and effective communication.

People also ask

Significance of Tailored ESL Topics

Understanding the unique needs and interests of adult learners is crucial for ESL educators. Tailoring topics to align with the experiences and goals of adults enhances engagement and accelerates language mastery.

26 Engaging ESL Conversation Topics for Adults

  • Travel Experiences
  • Technology and Gadgets
  • Hobbies and Leisure Activities
  • Cultural Celebrations
  • Favorite Books and Movies
  • Current Events and News
  • Daily Routines
  • Food and Culinary Adventures
  • Health and Wellness
  • Career and Professional Development
  • Personal Achievements
  • Learning a New Language
  • Future Goals and Aspirations
  • Family Traditions
  • Memorable Life Events
  • Environmental Awareness
  • Social Media and Networking
  • Childhood Memories
  • Art and Creativity
  • Social Issues and Advocacy
  • Relationships and Communication
  • Science and Discoveries
  • Festivals and Celebrations
  • Personal Growth and Reflection
  • Unique Travel Destinations
  • Balancing Work and Life

26 The Importance of ESL Topics for Adult Learners

1. introduction to esl topics:.

Understand the significance of ESL (English as a Second Language) topics for adult learners.

2. Targeted Language Acquisition:

ESL topics cater to the unique language needs and goals of adult learners.

3. Cultural Relevance:

Incorporate topics that resonate with the cultural experiences of adult learners.

4. Practical Language Application:

Focus on topics that allow immediate application of learned language skills in real-world scenarios.

5. Professional Development Emphasis:

Integrate ESL topics that enhance professional communication skills and career prospects.

6. Lifelong Learning Mindset:

Encourage a mindset of continuous learning through diverse and intellectually stimulating topics.

7. Relevance to Daily Life:

Select topics mirroring the daily experiences of adults, fostering meaningful language connections.

8. Business English Proficiency:

Include topics related to business communication, etiquette, and industry-specific language.

9. Effective Workplace Communication:

Develop ESL topics addressing communication challenges in the professional environment.

10. Networking and Small Talk Skills:

Enhance adult learners’ ability to engage in networking and small talk through targeted topics.

11. Cultural Fluency Exploration:

Explore ESL topics that promote cultural fluency, helping adults navigate diverse social settings.

12. Understanding Idiomatic Expressions:

Include topics to familiarize adult learners with idiomatic expressions for effective communication.

13. Customizing Complexity Levels:

Tailor topics to balance complexity, challenging learners without overwhelming them.

14. Success Stories Integration:

Showcase success stories of adults advancing in their careers through ESL proficiency.

15. Personal Growth Narratives:

Highlight instances where ESL learners experience personal growth and increased confidence.

16. Lifelong Learning Advocacy:

Advocate the concept of ESL as a lifelong learning journey for continuous enrichment.

17. Technology Integration:

Utilize online platforms, language apps, and virtual language exchange programs for convenient learning.

18. Role-playing in Professional Scenarios:

Implement role-playing activities simulating real-world professional scenarios.

19. Debates and Discussions:

Engage adults in debates and discussions to encourage critical thinking and articulate expression.

20. Real-world Simulations:

Create simulations such as job interviews and restaurant scenarios for hands-on practice.

21. Balancing Complexity and Accessibility:

Strive to balance topic complexity, ensuring challenge without discouraging participation.

22. Analogies and Metaphors Usage:

Infuse ESL lessons with analogies and metaphors to enhance understanding and engagement.

23. Supportive Learning Environment:

Establish a supportive environment with flexible scheduling, peer collaboration, and personalized feedback.

24. Technology’s Role in Learning:

Acknowledge the role of technology in ESL learning, promoting online platforms and language apps.

25. Highlighting Cultural Diversity:

Emphasize the celebration of cultural diversity through ESL topics and discussions.

26. Conclusion and Ongoing Encouragement:

Conclude by encouraging adult ESL learners to embrace the enriching journey of language acquisition.

Characteristics of Effective ESL Topics for Adults

Relevance to daily life.

Topics that mirror the daily experiences of adults, such as work, family, and social interactions, resonate more profoundly, making the learning journey more meaningful.

Professional Development Focus

Incorporating topics related to professional development, workplace communication, and industry-specific language equips adult learners with valuable skills for career advancement.

Lifelong Learning Themes

Encouraging a mindset of lifelong learning through diverse and intellectually stimulating topics ensures that adult learners remain engaged and motivated throughout their ESL journey.

Top ESL Topics Tailored for Adult Learners

Business english and workplace communication.

  • Navigating Business Meetings: Effective communication strategies in professional meetings.
  • Business Etiquette: Understanding cultural norms in the workplace.
  • Email Correspondence: Crafting professional and concise emails.

Conversational English for Social Settings

  • Casual Networking: Engaging in informal conversations at social events.
  • Expressing Opinions: Developing the ability to express opinions clearly.
  • Small Talk Mastery: Initiating and sustaining small talk in various contexts.

Cultural Insights through ESL Topics

  • Celebrating Diversity: Exploring cultural festivals and traditions.
  • Understanding Idioms: Grasping idiomatic expressions for effective communication.
  • Cultural Awareness in Communication: Navigating cross-cultural communication challenges.

Making ESL Learning Interactive for Adults

Role-playing in professional scenarios.

Simulating workplace scenarios through role-playing activities enhances practical language skills and boosts confidence in professional interactions.

Debates and Discussions on Relevant Topics

Engaging adults in debates and discussions encourages critical thinking and strengthens their ability to articulate thoughts and opinions.

Real-world Simulations

Creating real-world simulations, such as ordering in a restaurant or participating in a job interview, provides hands-on practice for adult learners.

Addressing the Complexity of ESL Topics for Adults

Balancing complexity and accessibility.

Selecting topics that challenge without overwhelming is essential for adult learners. The balance ensures continuous growth without discouraging participation.

Customizing Complexity Levels

Tailoring complexity levels based on individual proficiency allows educators to meet the diverse learning needs within an adult ESL classroom.

Success Stories in ESL Learning for Adults

Career advancement through esl mastery.

Showcasing success stories of adults who have advanced in their careers through ESL proficiency provides motivation and inspiration.

Personal Growth and Confidence Building

Highlighting instances where ESL learners have experienced personal growth and increased confidence reinforces the transformative power of language learning.

Lifelong Learning as an ESL Journey

Emphasizing that ESL is a lifelong learning journey encourages adults to view language acquisition as a continuous and enriching process.

The Role of Technology in ESL Learning for Adults

Online learning platforms.

Utilizing online learning platforms for self-paced learning and accessing resources tailored to adult ESL learners.

Language Learning Apps for Convenient Practice

Incorporating language learning apps into daily routines for convenient and consistent language practice.

Virtual Language Exchange Programs

Participating in virtual language exchange programs connects adult learners with native speakers, providing valuable language exposure.

Incorporating Analogies and Metaphors in ESL Topics for Adults

Simplifying complex business jargon.

Using analogies to simplify complex business terms and industry-specific jargon enhances understanding for adult learners in professional settings.

Enhancing Cultural Understanding Through Metaphors

Metaphors aid in explaining cultural nuances, fostering a deeper understanding of the cultural context within ESL topics.

Making Learning Enjoyable for Adults

Infusing ESL lessons with analogies and metaphors adds an element of enjoyment to the learning process, making it more engaging and memorable for adult learners.

Creating a Supportive ESL Learning Environment for Adults

Flexible scheduling and learning paths.

Recognizing the varied schedules of adult learners and offering flexible learning paths accommodate their individual needs.

Peer Collaboration and Networking

Encouraging peer collaboration and networking opportunities within the ESL community creates a supportive learning environment.

Personalized Feedback and Progress Tracking

Providing personalized feedback and tracking progress acknowledges the individual efforts of adult learners, fostering a sense of accomplishment.

Tailoring ESL Topics for Adult Success

Customizing ESL Conversation Topics for Adults ensures a targeted and effective language learning experience that goes beyond linguistic proficiency, encompassing cultural understanding and practical application.

Encouragement for Adult ESL Learners

Adult ESL learners are encouraged to embrace the enriching journey of language acquisition, recognizing the impact it can have on their personal and professional growth.

FAQs ESL Conversation Topics for Adults

Can adults with different professional backgrounds benefit from the same esl topics.

Yes, ESL topics can be adapted to suit diverse professional backgrounds, ensuring relevance and applicability for all adult learners.

How can ESL educators address the diverse language proficiency levels in adult classrooms?

Tailoring complexity levels, providing personalized feedback, and offering flexible learning paths help address diverse language proficiency levels among adults.

Are there specific ESL topics that can help adults in job interviews?

Topics like effective communication, professional etiquette, and common interview questions can prepare adults for job interviews in English-speaking environments.

How can technology enhance ESL learning for busy adult learners?

Online learning platforms, language learning apps, and virtual language exchange programs provide convenient options for busy adults to practice English at their own pace.

Is there a recommended frequency for adult ESL learners to practice outside of the classroom?

Consistent practice is key. Adult ESL learners are encouraged to incorporate daily language practice, even if it’s just a few minutes, to reinforce their learning and enhance proficiency over time.

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ESL Conversation Topics

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Esl conversation topics.

Discover thousands of questions on a variety of different conversation topics designed to encourage engaging discussions and help improve the speaking skills of English learners around the world.

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Browse Conversation Topics By Level

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Unlock the Power of Conversation

Discover a world of conversation possibilities with thousands of questions designed specifically for ESL teachers. With a wide range of topics, split into beginner , intermediate , and advanced levels , you're sure to find something that suits your needs.

Explore different ways to encourage discussion with your students while improving their overall ability including topics based on various subjects, grammar points , vocabulary , media and more. All our conversation topics and suitable for teens and adults.

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Engage Adults and Teens with Dynamic Discussions

If you're looking for something a little different to add to your conversation classes, or if you want to just add a little fun and unpredictability, then our random conversation generator is the perfect add-on to any class.

Debates topics are also a great way to add some variety to your classes. Explore our list of over 250 debate topics or use our random debate topic generator . Want to make it even more interesting? Set the parameters and tell them if they have to argue for or against each topic regardless of their own personal views.

esl topics for adults

Check Out The Latest ESL Conversation Topics

five brown wooden boats

Comparing Holiday Destinations

  • Have you ever visited any one these places? If so, what were they like?
  • Why do you think these destinations a popular with tourists?
  • Which destination would you most like to visit?
  • Which destination would you least like to visit?
  • View More...

esl topics for adults

Rock climbing

yellow sunflower in close up photography

Running a marathon

esl topics for adults

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people rowing on a lake

Entertainment

landscape photography of black mountain

Environment

runner tying his shoes

Food and Drink

woman in black tank top and black leggings lying on black and white floral area rug

Law and Order

man and woman sitting in front of folding table in front of cafe with green awnings

Relationships

woman wearing white scoop-neck long-sleeved top over green trees during daytime

Spirituality

basketball court

Inatlantis Blog

73 ESL Discussion Topics for Adults

esl discussion topics for adults

Achieving fluency in English is a common goal for many adults taking ESL (English as a Second Language) classes. The best way to learn to converse in English is to talk about things that you are familiar with, and that you would normally discuss in your native language.

ESL speaking activities will be more fruitful if learners share their own personal experiences and opinions on the topics discussed.

Below are 73 conversational topics to look at and use:

  • Burnout – 6 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Career Planning – 6 ESL English Conversation Questions
  • Communication – 11 English Discussion Questions
  • Entrepreneurship – 8 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Innovation – 8 ESL English Conversation Questions
  • Job interviews – 9 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Leadership – 10 English Discussion Questions
  • Managing People – 6 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Marketing – 9 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Productivity – 11 English Discussion Questions
  • Public speaking – 8 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Startups – 6 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Unemployment – 4 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Work-Life Balance – 9 English Discussion Questions
  • Personal Branding – 10 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Cryptocurrency – 10 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Atomic Habits – 6 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • The 5 AM Club – 7 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • The 80/20 Principle — The Secret to Achieving More with Less
  • The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
  • Ancient Egypt – 11 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Dinosaurs – 9 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Humankind and Sapiens – 4 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Renaissance – 7 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • A Beautiful Mind (Movie) – 6 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Cast Away (Movie) – 5 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Catch Me If You Can (Movie) – 4 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • I Am Legend (Movie) – 9 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • The conjuring (Movie) – 4 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • The Exorcism of Emily Rose – 6 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • The Godfather – 4 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • The Others (Movie) – 4 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • The Revenant – 4 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Unbroken (Movie) – 4 ESL English Discussion Questions

Psychology:

  • Anxiety – 5 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Attitudes & Behavior – 8 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Fear – 6 ESL English Discussion Questions

Science fiction:

  • Aliens & extraterrestrial lifeforms – 5 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Apocalypse – 6 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Time travel – 6 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Adoption – 16 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Aging – 9 English Discussion Questions
  • Annoying things – 17 English Discussion Questions
  • Artificial Intelligence – 9 English Discussion Questions
  • Change – 13 English Discussion Questions
  • Encouragement – 16 English Discussion Questions
  • Friendship – 7 English Discussion Questions
  • Love – 9 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Happiness – 11 English Discussion Questions
  • Meaning of Life & Reasons for Living – 10 English Discussion Questions
  • Motivation – 33 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Personality – 19 English Discussion Questions
  • Procrastination – 6 English Discussion Questions
  • Single Life – 6 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Stereotypes – 13 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Success and Failure – 10 English Discussion Questions
  • The supernatural – 6 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Gambling – 15 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Gaming – 12 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Social Media – 19 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Poverty – 11 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Metaverse – 9 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Football (Soccer) – 11 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Gen Z – 12 ESL English Discussion Questions

Public figures:

  • Steve Jobs – 9 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Jeff Bezos – 10 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Bill Gates – 10 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Mark Zuckerberg – 11 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Donald Trump – 12 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Elon Musk – 12 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Cristiano Ronaldo – 14 ESL English Discussion Questions
  • Lionel Messi – 15 ESL English Discussion Questions

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esl topics for adults

Spice Up Your Conversation: Creative ESL Topics for Adult Learners

ESL questions for conversation

The ability to keep the conversation going, especially with strangers, is an exciting skill. If you know how to engage your interlocutor and always find something interesting to discuss, hats off! If you still can't find an appropriate chat topic in English, don’t worry. We’ve prepared a list of exciting subjects and ESL questions for conversation. So, make yourself comfortable as we are about to start.

Tips for Mastering Any Conversation

English speaking is one of the most complex skills, requiring much practice. That is why many ESL learners are afraid of having casual conversations. It's commonly believed that your accent or lack of vocabulary shows your lack of skills (spoiler: they don’t). 

Yet, many people still prefer to chat online or even avoid everyday conversations with English speakers. If you recognize yourself, don’t worry! We’re about to resolve this issue. Firstly, look at these simple tips to help you feel more confident in casual dialogue:

  • Prepare to make mistakes. We won't lie to you – you'll inevitably make mistakes in the early stages of studying English. But it’s not a bad thing at all - only those who do nothing can avoid mistakes entirely. Warn your interlocutor that English isn't your native language before starting the conversation, and we're sure they'll gladly help you find the right words in any situation. 
  • Fake it till you make it. You need to become as confident as possible (even if you don’t feel like that at all). Consider it a way to practice for conversations and your life in general. Don't stop the conversation flow even if you get uncomfortable, use hand gestures and try to adopt confident body language.
  • Become a good listener.  Don’t forget that a conversation usually includes at least two people. Pay attention to your interlocutor, ask questions to understand them better, make eye contact, and do everything to show your engagement in the dialog.
  • Practice beforehand.   Practice makes perfect. Learn new words and prepare for ESL conversation topics to strengthen your speaking skills,  read books out loud, and do your best to take your English to the next level. 

These tips might look simple and obvious to some ESL learners, but they're pretty valuable. After implementing them in your daily speaking routine, you'll see the results much sooner than expected. And if you already feel confident about your speaking skills but still need help choosing the best conversation topic, keep reading. We have something for you. 

Best Conversation Topics for Adults 

In some cases, finding the best subject to discuss is challenging, especially when you need to talk to someone you don’t know well. That is why we’ve created a comprehensive guide to the best topics for adults to discuss. You can find them all below.

Hobbies and Interests

Let’s start simple. If you have a conversation with someone and want to know more about them, you can ask them about their interests. It is a great way to understand the person and see if there is any common ground. You can start by asking these ESL conversation questions:

Do you have any hobbies?

What is your favorite activity?

What do you like most about your hobby?

Do you have enough time for your hobbies?

Do you want to try something new?

How did you find out that you like this particular hobby?

What do you think about the importance of hobbies in general?

Also, to keep the conversation going, you should say something about your hobbies and interests. There's no standard structure for such conversations. 

However, here are a few phrases that can be useful:

My hobby is…

I like doing…

I’ve been interested in … since …

Unfortunately, I don’t have time for my hobbies.

I don’t have any hobbies now, but I’m looking for something new to try. 

I think hobbies are really important.

Work and Career

The following great discussion topics for adults are related to the work field. If you know about your interlocutor’s workplace, you can ask some conversation questions for ESL related to their job. And if not, you can try and find out more about it. 

Here are some examples:

Are you currently working somewhere?

What is your dream job? 

Do you like your job?

What is the best place to work in your city/country?

What careers are the most demanded nowadays?

Do you prefer remote or office work?

What is your work schedule?

And to maintain the conversation, you must provide some information related to this discussion. Here are some things you can say:

I really enjoy my job. 

My dream job is…

I prefer remote work because…

I work from 9 to 5.

I think the best place to work in my country is… 

In my opinion, the most demanded careers today are…

Food and Cooking

Talking about food is among the best and probably the simplest English topics. It requires simple vocabulary and no correct or incorrect opinions – you can just share what you like. It's one of the easiest topics for adults to discuss since there are a lot of things to explore – recipes, food shows, restaurants, national cuisine, and much more. 

Here are some questions to start with:

What do you prefer to eat for breakfast?

What is your favorite meal?

What meals are popular in your country?

Do you prefer Indian or Italian cuisine?

Do you know the best Thanksgiving turkey recipe?

What do you think about Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant?

And the variety of answers is also impressive. As mentioned, you can share your own thoughts depending on the question being asked. Here's what you can say:

I like eating … for breakfast.

I prefer Italian cuisine. 

The most popular national meal in my country is… 

My favorite meal is…

I prefer take-out food instead of cooking. 

My mom makes the best turkey sandwiches. 

Pop Culture

This is one of the trendiest English topics for students. And just as the pop culture itself, it's very extensive. You can discuss movies, TV shows, music, actors, juicy rumors about celebrities (we don’t condone gossiping, but we won’t judge), and much more. 

You can start by asking these questions:

Who is your favorite actor?

Have you seen the new Avatar movie? What do you think about it?

Do you like listening to this song?

Are you  team Selena or team Hailey? (please, be careful with this one)

Have you heard about this celebrity drama?

Do you watch TV regularly?

What streaming services do you prefer to use?

And again, you need to respond according to the context and your thoughts about the question. We can provide only a few examples of appropriate answers:

My favorite actor is…

I think this movie is a masterpiece. 

I like movies directed by David Fincher. 

I don’t watch TV at all. 

I prefer Netflix or HBO.

No, I haven’t heard about it. Can you spill the tea?

Weather and Nature

You might be surprised because it sounds boring to many people, but the  weather is a perfect icebreaker for any conversation. You don’t have to  reinvent the wheel – just look around and try to get something to discuss, like the current weather conditions. 

Here are some things to ask:

It is cold outside, isn’t it?

Do you prefer summer or winter?

Have you heard that tornado warning? 

What climate is typical for your home country?

The best thing about this topic is that you don’t always have to ask questions to start a conversation. Just state something simple, and that will be enough. For example:

Oh, it’s raining cats and dogs. 

I prefer to stay in bed and watch TV on days like this.

I was born in a tropical climate, so Canadian winters are a real challenge for me.

I like spring more than summer.

Current Events

Almost all  adults like to watch or read the news. Hence, discussing it is an excellent topic for any conversation. Just remember to stay polite and avoid subjects that can be controversial or offensive to your interlocutor.

If you don’t know how to start such a conversation, here are some examples:

Have you read today’s news?

Do you know anything about that car accident on 5th Ave?

What do you think about that article in Forbes?

Do you watch the news on TV or online?

Do you prefer online articles or newspapers?

You can discuss any events and express your own opinion about them. And if the subject is unfamiliar, you can ask your interlocutor to tell you more. 

I heard it was a terrible accident, but luckily, everyone was okay. 

No, I haven’t heard about it. Can you tell me more? 

I don’t like reading newspapers, but I watch the BBC from time to time. 

I think this article is really compromising. 

One of the most exciting conversation topics for adults is traveling. It is a great way to encourage your interlocutor to tell something interesting and learn more about different countries. 

Here are some questions to help get the conversation started:

Have you ever traveled abroad?

What was your favorite trip?

What is your dream travel destination?

What is the best place you’ve ever visited?

Do you prefer to travel alone or with a group?

Do you like adventure travel or relaxation?

What is the most unusual thing you’ve experienced while traveling?

To keep the conversation going, you can share your own travel experiences and opinions. Here are some phrases to help you with this:

I love traveling because…

My favorite travel destination is…

I prefer to travel alone because…

The most interesting thing I discovered while traveling is…

I prefer relaxation travel because…

Culture and Society

Another great way to gain insights into different perspectives and worldviews is to discuss countries and social issues. It can also help build empathy and understanding between people from different backgrounds. 

Here are some questions to ask to start the conversation:

What is your favorite cultural tradition?

What do you think is the largest social issue facing your country?

What is the most significant cultural difference between your country and others?

Do you prefer living in a big city or a small town?

What is your opinion on the role of social media in society?

What do you think is the hardest challenge that young people face today?

And, of course, you can share your thoughts about the discussion topic. Here are some examples:

I think the biggest social issue facing our country is…

My favorite cultural tradition is…

I prefer living in a big city/small town because…

I think young people today face challenges such as…

I think the biggest cultural difference between my country and others is…

Dreams and Goals

This topic can be incredibly inspiring and thought-provoking. It can unite people, as everyone has unique aspirations and desires for their future. It's a powerful way to get to know someone deeper and learn a lot about their personality, values, and passions. 

You can start with these questions:

What is your biggest dream?

What do you want to do in five years?

What is your main goal right now?

How do you motivate yourself to reach your goals?

What is your main inspiration?

What were your dreams as a child?

This topic can lead to a very in-depth conversation. And to maintain it, you also need to share your thoughts and feelings. Some of these answers might be helpful.

My biggest dream is…

My goal is…

I believe that my life in five years will be…

My main inspiration is…

The main things that motivate me are…

When I was younger, I dreamed about…

Love and Romance

The last topic on our list is pretty controversial, so you need to be careful when mentioning it in a conversation. Even though love is beautiful, you can’t be sure what other people think or experience about it right now. Therefore, avoiding personal discussions is important (unless your interlocutor wants to talk about it). 

Instead, you can ask these questions:

What do you think love is?

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Is it possible to be too young/old to love, in your opinion?

What do you think about love languages?

What is your favorite love story?

Like the previous topic, this one is also great for engaging in long, meaningful conversations. You can learn more about a person after you know how they feel about love. And, of course, don’t forget to share your thoughts about it. 

Here are some possible answers:

I think that love is…

I believe in love at first sight. 

I believe that people of all ages can experience different forms of love.

I think it is essential to understand your partner’s love language.

My favorite love story is about Noah and Allie from The Notebook.

Inappropriate Conversation Topics to Avoid

Congratulations! Now you have enough subjects to discuss on different occasions. Yet, there are still some topics that may be considered off-limits. Some of them can cause conflict, while others might be offensive or even rude. Here are some topics to avoid in your next discussion.

  • Personal Finances. Talking about one’s money is often inappropriate, especially if the person didn’t bring up this topic. Don’t ask your interlocutor about their salaries, loans, the amount of money in their bank accounts, etc.
  • Politics . It is another controversial subject that can cause many conflicts. People have the right to different political views, which is alright. Yet, sometimes such discussions can become a little too heated. Therefore, we recommend avoiding this subject.
  • Religion.   This is a delicate subject for many. People have different beliefs, and in some cases, it can cause many misunderstandings. It's better to avoid this topic when you’re not sure if the other person will respond positively to it.
  • Sexual preferences/experiences.   It might be obvious, but some people (unfortunately) still forget about it. No matter what language you speak – don’t discuss your interlocutor’s sexual life. Unless, of course, they're comfortable with it or bring it up first.
  • Health issues.   The final topic on our list is also very important. Avoid discussing illnesses or health problems of the person you are talking to. It might be a sensitive subject, and you can unintentionally offend your interlocutor. 

You’ll avoid many unpleasant situations if you don't discuss these subjects in your ESL-related conversations. Just remember to always stay polite and do your best to make both you and your interlocutor feel comfortable.

Discuss All the ESL Conversation Topics in Promova Conversation Club

The best way to practice all the topics mentioned in this article is  to discuss them with someone. It can be your family member, friend, or stranger. But if you don’t have the opportunity to communicate with English speakers, don’t worry! We're happy to invite you to the  free Promova Conversation Club . You can discuss these and other topics with people from different countries and master your speaking skills in a friendly environment.

Promova also offers a lot of options for students with different needs. For example, you can learn  grammar , vocabulary, and other essential skills in personal or group lessons with our professional tutors. Just pass a quick  test to determine your fluency, and enjoy your study.

Finally, our convenient  mobile application is available for iOS and Android devices. It is a perfect option for those who prefer studying alone. You can install it on your phone or tablet and enjoy hundreds of engaging and useful lessons. Find what works for you and become fluent on your terms!

To sum up, we can say that there are many things you can discuss with other people. Whether you are taking ESL conversation lessons for adults or just trying to learn something new, these topics should help you practice and improve. And don’t forget to share your favorite subjects for discussion with fellow learners in the community!

What should I do if I’m nervous or anxious about conversing with native speakers?

Feeling this way is completely normal, especially if you’re still learning the language. To overcome it, remember that everyone makes mistakes, and ‌a native speaker will likely be understanding and patient. Take a deep breath, stay calm, and focus on what you want to say. And if you know the subject beforehand, you can practice a bit at home to feel more confident.

How can I maintain the conversation if I'm not too savvy with the topic?

If you're not familiar with the subject, it's okay to admit it and ask questions. Showing interest and curiosity can make for a more engaging conversation. Ask the native speaker to explain concepts or terms you're unfamiliar with, or ask for their opinion on a particular topic. They'll appreciate your efforts to learn and understand.

How to overcome language barriers in group conversations?

If you are engaged in a group conversation with non-English speakers, try to be patient. Speak slowly and clearly, and avoid slang or idioms that your interlocutors might not know. Also, don’t forget to encourage others to speak up if they don't understand. It'll make them feel more comfortable and confident.

Is it normal to ask someone to repeat themselves if I don’t understand them?

Sure! It's much better to ask for clarification than to pretend you understand and risk miscommunication. Just politely ask them to repeat what they said or to speak more slowly. Don't be shy - ask for help if you're still having trouble! Remember that the goal is communicating effectively and understanding each other, so don't be too hard on yourself.

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24 Excellent ESL Conversation Questions for Adults

When you’re having a conversation with a fellow ESL student, it can sometimes be challenging to get started. Even if you and your classmate are great conversationalists in your native language, you may have trouble coming up with questions to ask each other that will lead to more than just a one-sentence response in English. The next time you’re stuck coming up with a good conversation starter while practicing your English, try picking something from this list of 24 ESL conversation questions for adults (update: here are another 84 conversation questions ). You can even print the questions out so you can easily reference them. Each one is designed to spark a discussion between you and your speaking partner that will go well beyond a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Check out the 24 conversation questions below:

esl topics for adults

Daily life questions

What’s one thing in your home you couldn’t live without? Why?

If you had $5,000 that you had to spend today, how would you use it? (You can always raise or lower the dollar amount in the question.)

What are you going to do after class today? (If your conversation partner gives a short answer like “Watch TV” or “Study,” ask a follow-up question like “What are you going to watch?” to get him or her to elaborate.)

How do you cope with stress? (Or “How do you relax after a busy week?”)

What is the most challenging part of your job or your studies? What is the most rewarding part?

If you could live anywhere in the world for one year, where would you live and why?

Can you think of a time when a failure actually worked out well? Tell me about it.

Hobby/interest questions

What was the last movie you saw at the theater? Tell me about it (without spoiling the ending).

What is one thing you’ve never done but would like to do?

If you had to give up your cellphone, your computer, or your TV, which one item would you choose to give up and why?

If you could only eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If you were going on a twelve-hour flight and the only entertainment you could bring was a book, what book would you choose? (Ask your conversation partner to tell you a little about this book and why it would keep him or her entertained.)

If you could meet one musician, living or dead, who would it be? (If your partner is not particularly interested in music, choose another category, like authors or scientists. The idea is to get your partner to talk about someone he or she admires without asking a question quite as broad as “If you could meet anyone, who would it be?”)

Opinion questions

A note on opinion questions: Asking your conversation partner how they feel about certain current events may be a good way to start a lively discussion, but make sure you are respecting one another’s ideas and not attacking each other’s ways of thinking, even if you disagree.

Do you think marriage as an institution is outdated? Why or why not?

How do you think technology, such as smartphones and social media, has changed the way we interact with people?

What is your opinion about legalizing marijuana?

Do you think US colleges are effective (or even necessary) in preparing students for professional careers? (If your conversation partner did not go to school in the US, ask them what they think about their home country’s education system.)

What do you think would happen if the drinking age in the US was lowered to eighteen? (This might lead your conversation partner to talk about the drinking culture in their own country, especially if they grew up somewhere with a lower drinking age.)

Do you think it’s possible to have a happy family and a successful career at the same time? (Your conversation partner may be able to talk about their personal experiences.)

What is your opinion about violence in TV, movies, and video games?

Miscellaneous questions

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? (If your conversation partner is still in school and has never had a full-time job, they may still be able to talk about a summer or weekend job.)

If you could open up your own amusement park, what would it be like? (Encourage your conversation partner to get creative and pretend they have as much money as they need.)

Do you enjoy spending time on your own? (If your partner answers yes, talk to them about what they like to do on their own. If they say no, ask what they do to keep from spending too much time alone.)

If you were making a movie about your life, which actor/actress would play the part of you? Why did you choose this person?

Keep in mind that this is just a small sampling of questions. For even more conversation fun, check out these 84 additional questions . You can always elaborate on each question as needed or come up with your own questions in order to keep your conversation flowing.

If you’ve found these questions helpful, please share this guide with a friend.

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Comments on this post (13 comments)

Joana avelar says....

esl topics for adults

Thanks a lot for sharing. I’de like to have more ideas for speaking topics for adults.

On April 01, 2019

Rob says...

esl topics for adults

I love you guys

Lisa says...

esl topics for adults

Thank you for such great ideas,they were a great help.

Marcia Lagoa says...

esl topics for adults

Thank you for sharing. I really liked them.

Maral says...

esl topics for adults

Thanks for sharing your colourful ideas! Best

On December 18, 2016

Wasiela Kenny says...

esl topics for adults

Thanks very much for all these ideas, it’s going to be a great help.

On November 01, 2016

jolie says...

esl topics for adults

Thank you, it’s very helpful.

On October 03, 2016

Jennifer says...

esl topics for adults

Thank you for putting these up for our use, but I think it would be more helpful if these were arranged by topic or by grammar point and less random, thereby eliciting the grammar or vocabulary we’d spent the hour teaching.

On September 26, 2016

Saimon ishak says...

esl topics for adults

Thanks a lot for your some ideas.

On September 24, 2016

Niyitegeka Marie Agnes says...

esl topics for adults

it is helpful ,thanks

On April 27, 2016

Leopoldo Ibarra says...

esl topics for adults

Thanks a lot for giving such wonderful ideas. Blessings to all of you for your generosity.

On March 11, 2016

Sheila says...

esl topics for adults

Thanks for posting this. Great to incite my students, young and old, to talk. Sometimes we can spend 10 minutes on one question. Speaking about theses subjects makes them more at ease and increases their confidence!

On October 21, 2015

Nilceia Cruz souza says...

esl topics for adults

Thanks for all the hints you have sent me. These 24 questions

will help me with conversation classes, for sure. Have a great

and blessed career. I really enjoy reading the texts you send

and also getting your hints about any subjects related to the

English language and to teaching English. Have a great life!

On October 19, 2014

Leave a comment

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ESL Speaking

Games + Activities to Try Out Today!

in Activities for Adults

ESL Conversation Activities for Adults | ESOL Speaking Activities Adult

Are you trying to figure out what to actually do in your English class for adults? That’s a good question. The good news is that you’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for ESOL speaking activities for adults conversation! Here are some of my favourite ESL conversation activities for adults.

Because spoken English is different from written English , you will need unique and fun activities to help students improve their English speaking and conversation skills.

ESL-conversation-activities

ESL conversation activities

Let’s get into the best ideas for adult conversation and ESOL speaking activities to try out with your students. We hope you love them!

ESL Conversation and Speaking Activities for Adults

If you want to make your English conversation class as interesting, engaging, and fun as possible for the students, you’ll need to check these out. They’re guaranteed to get your students speaking English in the most painless way possible! They range from warm-ups to fun games to anything else you might need.

Check out these activities below. Clicking on the title will take you to the article with all the information. How to set it up, resources needed, etc.

conversation classes for adults

Speaking class for adults

#1: The Small Talk Game

Small talk is important in the English language, but it’s an often-overlooked skill. Part of the reason people think that others aren’t great at English when they really are quite capable is that they lack the ability to make small talk.

I’m not sure why we don’t teach it more in our classes. Perhaps it’s because the textbook doesn’t really focus on it? Maybe it’s hard to teach students to do it well?

Whatever the case, help out your students with one of my top ESL conversation games for adults.

You can get students practicing it while having fun with this game. I like it so much because there’s an element of competition to it that keeps things interesting. However, it’s best for intermediate to advanced students because it requires maintaining a conversation about a variety of topics for a set period of time.

The way it works is that each team tries to talk about a certain topic for a certain amount of time. If successful, they get to mark that square off on the board and it’s kind of like tic-tac-toe.  It’s a nice way to start getting students to have longer conversations in English.

Learn more about it here: Small Talk Activity .

#2: The Cocktail Party for Adult ESL Learners

This is another small talk conversation activity for adults that gets student mingling and mixing in an ESL class for adults. It’s great at replicating real life. Students will be having conversations just like they would at a cocktail party. Give your students confidence that they can venture out into the real world and use English!

Find out more here: The Cocktail Party ESL Activity for Adults .

101 ESL Activities: Games, Activities, Practical ideas, & Teaching Tips For English Teachers of...

#3: The Hobby Unit-A Fun ESL Conversation Activity

I’m so, so weary of the hobby unit because I’ve taught it so many times. Here’s an interesting activity I do that gets my students engaged, asking follow-up questions, and talking together. Student-centered language teaching at its best!

I like this activity as well because you can use it with pairs, or groups of 3-5. It’s flexible and can be adapted to most levels, ages, and class sizes.

esl-conversation-activities-for-adults

ESL Conversation Activities for Adults

Nee more ideas for teaching free time activities? Have a look here:

Hobbies ESL .

#4: Role Plays, an ESL Speaking Activity for Adults

If you teach beginner students, it can be a little bit difficult to do some of these conversation activities that are mentioned in the list. They simply don’t have the grammar and vocabulary skills necessary to engage in a conversation beyond the very basic facts. Many ESL conversational games are just beyond their reach.

Something you can do to help your beginners is to use role-plays in class. These will help them to have short conversations, build some confidence, and also get creative. The best ones have a number of possibles ways that students can answer.

They are also perfect for a huge variety of topics and they can really help your students improve their sentence building . Before speaking, students can get a bit of practice with writing essays .

A quick tip: if you anticipate using these role-plays from semester to semester with multiple classes, make some cards with the details of each role-play on them and laminate them.

They can make an excellent review before a final exam as students have to work in a group through a few of them together. It’s a simple activity that’s ideal for any age of student with a few guidelines.

#5: How to Plan a Conversation Class

A common question that newbie foreign ESL teachers have is how to plan a lesson. You may ask around at work and not get a single satisfying answer. Perhaps nobody really seems to know? It can seem overwhelming, but it’s actually not that difficult.

Teaching ESL is not easy, especially if you want to do it well. However, a good class starts with a good plan, and they can help you bring some order out of the chaos that’s possible if you don’t have this in place.

I often plan my own classes based around a topic that is in the news. Here are 6 samples to check out and see how I do it.

Or, consider using some of these ESL news articles .  One of my favorite sources is Breaking News English, who regularly provide graded language articles of the most recent current events, along with activities and questions to discuss that go along with them. They also contain some nice questions and answers for vocab, grammar, etc.

#6: Find Someone Who Bingo

This ESL warm-up game is an excellent way to get students moving around the class and getting to know each other. You can use it as the beginning of the semester on the first-day of class, or later on for an energizer if the students are low energy.

Students walking around with their Bingo Card, having fun while speaking English with lots of different partners? This activity will help to create some buzz about your lesson and around your school. Students love to play this TEFL  game. The main point is to have students find out more about each other.

Love it! I’m sure you will too. These are usually the best kind of ESL conversation activities.

More details here about this activity that helps with students getting to know each other: Find Someone Who Bingo .

#7: Just a Minute for Adult ESL Students

If you ask your students in your ESL classroom, many of them will mention speaking fluently in English as their top priority in your class. However, many of the exercises we do focus a lot on accuracy.

Just a Minute is a speaking activity that focuses exclusively on speaking. It’s a nice warm-up at the beginning of class that’s best for intermediate to advanced level students.

The way it works is that you write a bunch of words on the board. Then, students will have to talk about one of them (chosen randomly) for a full minute, or two minutes (depending on the level).

It’s easy to turn this into a conversation activity by requiring the people “listening” to ask 2-3 follow-up questions once the person is finished speaking. You can learn more about this English speaking activity here in this short video:

#8: Dialogue Substitution

Ask your adult students what they want to do in your class and they’re often say speaking or conversation. If they’re intermediate or advanced level, this is easy enough to make happen.

However, if students are lower level, it can be difficult to design activities and games to get them speaking that aren’t too difficult.

Basically, you take a dialogue as you might find in your textbook and then leave key elements out. Put students into a group or pair and they can work on it together.

Sounds right for your students? You can learn more about it here: Dialogue Substitution Activity . It’s one of my favorite English-speaking activities for adults who are lower-level language learners.

#9: Find Something in Common

Another one of my favorite ESL adult activities is this simple one where students have to find some things in common with someone else. It’s best as an icebreaker on the first day of class when students don’t know each other that well.

Do this at the end of the semester and it’ll likely be far too easy. Students could probably do it without even talking to each other. So, keep this ESL conversation idea for the first class or two.

esl-conversation-games-for-adults

ESL conversation activities for adults

#10: Partner Conversation Starters

This is another one of those activities ideal for adult beginners who want to get some practice with speaking or conversation. The way it works it that you give students the first few lines of a conversation and then they have to work with a partner to complete it.

Once they’re made their conversation, they have to memorize and present it to the rest of the class. It’s a fun way for students to get a little bit creative but has enough structure for beginners. Your students will be able to speak with confidence!

Check out these ESL Discussion Topics here: Partner Conversation Starter ESL Activity .

#11: The Expert, One of My Favourite ESL Activities for Adults

If you teach intermediate to advanced level students, then you’ll want to consider trying out “The Expert.” It’s an interesting conversation activity for adults that’s ideal for the first or second day of class to use as an icebreaker.

The way it works is that students think of a few topics that they’re experts in. Then, they narrow down the choices to things that they think other people might be interested in. After that, students have mini-conversations with a few different people in the class about those things.

You can find out more about this Icebreaker here: The Expert ESL Speaking Activity .

esl-class-for-adults

ESL speaking activities for adults

#12: ESL Interactive Activities

If you’re looking for some more ESL conversation activities for adults, then you’re seriously want to consider trying out some of these interactive activities. They’re designed specifically to get students talking to each other and with you.

You can learn more about them here: Interactive ESL Activities and Games .

Oh, and of course, you can use lots of videos and pictures for this style of activity, which students always love. Get creative because the sky’s the limit!

#13: Small Group Discussions

If you ask students what they want to do in speaking classes, they’ll often say “free-talking.” This isn’t ideal for lower-level students because they often don’t have the language skills to do this. For higher-level students, it’s not ideal either because it doesn’t really push them to use new grammar or vocabulary.

If you are going to have some free talking time in your class, it’s best to have a bit of structure. Here are a few tips for making sure this time goes smoothly: ESL Small Group Discussion Tips .

39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For English Teachers of Teenagers and Adults Who Want...

  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Bolen, Jackie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 138 Pages - 05/30/2015 (Publication Date)

#14: Would you Rather?

I’m sure you’ve done would you rather informally with friends. You can use it to choose between two positive things like ice cream or cake, or two bad things like how you might die. Try it out with your students too to create some fun, interesting discussions and conversations.

Find out more details here about one of the best ESL adult activities: ESL Would You Rather .

#15: Task-Based Learning Activities

For speaking classes, there are a ton of task-based learning projects you can do. The major advantage to them is that they give students some freedom to learn what they want to learn. This increases motivation and chances are, students will discover some new vocabulary that you would have never thought to teach them!

You can find out more about this style of teaching here: Task-Based Learning for ESL .

In particular, one grammar point that I like to use this style of activity is making predictions about the future. Students can select a general area like transportation, the economy, work, etc. and then make some predictions about what life will be like in those areas in 25 years from now.

#16: Making Predictions Conversation Activities

Who doesn’t like making some predictions about the future, right? They can lead to some super interesting discussions and there are also a ton of fun activities and games you can do with them. And these often turn out to be some of my favorite ESL conversation activities.

Here are some of our top recommendations for ESOL speaking activities related to predictions: Making Predictions Activities and Games.

esl-conversation-games

ESL Conversation Games and Activities

#17: Talk about Social Issues English

If you’re looking for an idea for a class, then we certainly have a good one for you right here! Most students really enjoy talking about what’s happening in the world around them and this lesson has the potential to create lots of interesting discussions and conversations.

The better news is that it’s a complete plan that’s suitable for a 1-2 hour class so you can just print it off and take it to class. Yes, it really is that easy. Here it is: Social Issues ESL Conversation.

#18 ESL Conversation Activities: Present Perfect For and Since Activities

I love to teach the present perfect using for and since. There are just so many fun ESL conversation games for adults that you can do with this grammar point.

If you want to see some of the best recommendations, check out the following resource: Present Perfect For/Since Activities .

#19: What are you Cooking?

I LOVE 4-skills ESL activities and my guess is that you probably do as well. If you’re looking for a fun one that has the added bonus of requiring basically nothing in the way of prep time or materials, then check out What are you Cooking?

To get the full story, you’ll have to check out the article right here: What are you Cooking?

#20: English Phrases and Expressions

1001 English Expressions and Phrases: Common Sentences and Dialogues Used by Native English Speakers...

  • 142 Pages - 11/22/2020 (Publication Date)

The conversation goes much more smoothly if you have a variety of relevant and useful phrases and expressions at your fingertips, no matter the language! That’s why it really can be useful to spend some time working on expanding our students’ knowledge of this in class. Here’s one example:

Common Phrases and Expressions to Ask for Permission .

#21: 120-90-60 Speaking Activity

#22: Talk about Technology

If you’re teaching adults, one of the things that they most often want to do is free-talking. I do enjoy this once in a while but I often find it far more beneficial to use a conversation lesson plan to assist with this. Something like one on technology is ideal. It contains:

  • A warm-up question
  • Vocabulary, idioms , and phrases
  • Conversation questions
  • Writing prompts that are ideal for homework

Have a look at this option for teaching English right here.

Technology for English Learners .

Also, be sure to have a look here: ESL Technology .

#23: Business English

If you teach English to businessmen or women, there are a ton of activities you can do with them that are engaging, relevant and will be super helpful for your students. They will likely appreciate the more targeted practice with business scenarios and vocabulary as opposed to general English conversation.

Here are some of the best recommendations: Business English Activities .

#24: First Lesson Ideas for TEFL Classes

#25: Describing Games

One of the best ways to get students talking is to have them describe a person, place or thing using adjectives or relative clauses. There are lots of great conversation and speaking activities to try out related to this.

Check out some of my top recommendations:  Describing Words Games .

#26: Dialogues in American English

Advanced English Conversation Dialogues: Speak English Like a Native Speaker with Common Idioms and...

  • 66 Pages - 11/06/2020 (Publication Date) - Independently published...

Maybe your students are kind of like mine and want to learn more vocabulary, including idioms and phrases to help with their conversational skills. If this is the case, consider picking up this book on Amazon: Advanced English Conversation Dialogues .

It’s ideal to use as a supplementary homework book, for use in class, or in private, 1-1 teaching.

#27: ESL Family Activities

Talking about family is one of those classic ESL conversation activities. However, the same old powering through the textbook for this unit can get a little bit boring because it’s likely that students have seen it before many times.

The good news is that there are lots of interesting ESL activities for adults related to family and family trees. Here are some of the best ones: ESL Family Activity Ideas .

#28: Breaking News English

If you’re looking for some ready-made things to take to class with you, then look no further than Breaking News English. They helpfully take current events and then grade them to make them appropriate for English learners in a variety of levels. Not only that but there are a lot of great conversation questions and other activities to go along with it.

If you don’t already know about it, then head over there now! It’s a great resource:

Breaking News English .

#29: ESL Movies and TV

I love to make activities for adult classes based on a movie clip or TV show. They’re fun, engaging, interactive and most people love to watch TV or movies. Plus, they lead into some nice ESOL speaking activities for students of all ages.

Find out some of the best ideas for this kind of lesson here:

ESL Movies .

#30: Short Stories for ESL Students

Sometimes I like to mix things up a bit in conversation and speaking classes and use a listening or reading-focused lesson. It’s a nice change of pace from the usual and I find that students really enjoy it.

One of these short stories, along with accompanying comprehension and discussion classes is perfect for intermediate learners. Have a look here:

ESL Stories for ESL .

#31: More Ideas for Teaching Speaking and Conversation

#32: scatter sheets for english learners.

If you’re looking for an easy solution for speaking classes, then you’ll want to consider these scatter sheets. They’re ideal for intermediate to advanced teenagers or adults. Find out more about it here:

TEFL Scatter Sheets .

#33: Information Gap Activities

#34: ESL Surveys

I love a good ESL Survey! Just ask my students-I use them at least once a month in every single one of my classes. They are one of my favourite activities for speaking classes for adults.

I love them for a lot of reasons, including the fact that they hit all four skills (reading, listening, speaking, writing) in a single activity and also that they get students up out of their seats and walking around talking to many different classmates. I love that stuff!

One quick word of caution about ESL Surveys—they aren’t for the total and absolute beginner. Although you can adapt ESL surveys to make them as easy or as difficult as you want them to be, students MUST be able to read and write simple 1-2 word answers, as well as say things like, “What’s your name?”

For more details, be sure to check out: ESL Surveys and How to Use Them in the ESL Classroom

Surveys can help students learn how to ask questions.

#35: Videos in the ESL Classroom

Everyone loves a good video! They are one of my favourite ESL speaking activities for adults.

The best part about using videos is that they work well for just about any topic. Of course, you should do some lead-in activities, as well as follow-up activities so your students get the most value from the lesson.

  • Have students answer some questions about what they say
  • Watch a snippet and then predict what’s going to happen
  • Give them the title and think of 5 questions the video will answer
  • Have a short discussion about what they saw (giving students a chance to respond to what they saw is always valuable)
  • Describing things. Ask students what the ____ looked like and have them describe it to you
  • Etc. (get creative!)
  • Write down 5 phrases that they heard
  • Focus on adverbs by describing how people are doing things (you could even look for some adverb examples )

It’s usually possible to do all of these things with an image as well.

For more information, including how to choose the best ones for your students, check out: How to Use Videos in the ESL Classroom.

#36: The Preposition Ghost

A fun way to teach prepositions to adults is to have a classroom ghost. Before class, you could move a few small, but key objects around the class.

For example, the clock could be leaning against the board instead of on the wall, the dictionaries could be under your chair, or the trash bin could be behind your desk.

Then, when you start class, you could tell the students that the ghost moved five things and they have to figure out what they are. But, to tell you they have to use a preposition. You can give each member of the class a chance by limiting one answer/student.

For example, the clock is usually on the wall, but now it’s in front of the board.

For even more ideas to use in your ESL classroom, you can check this out: Preposition Games ESL .

#37: ESL Board Games

Try out one of my favourite ESL adults speaking activities.

#38: Chain Spelling

A quick, fun review game to play with your students is chain spelling. It’s a nice activity to do to reinforce spelling for key vocabulary words. Basically, it’s a “last person standing” kind of activity. Find out all the details here:

ESL Chain Spelling Game .

#39: Typhoon ESL Game

If you’re looking for a fun speaking review game, try out this one! It’s interactive, engaging and the students love it. I generally use this as a review game before the midterm and final exams, and students keep asking if we can play it more! Check it out:

Typhoon TEFL Game .

#40: Use an ESL Speaking Lesson Plan

It’s easy to plan a lesson to cover just about anything. Here are some of the simple steps you can follow:

#41: Have a Debate

There are lots of things to debate about. Here are some great ideas:

Funny Debate Topics 

Pointless Debate Topics

Hot Debate Topics

13 Tips for Teaching English Speaking to Adults

If you have a class for ESL speaking for adults, it can be a little bit challenging. However, there are a few keys to spice things up and make it educational, as well as interesting for your students. Here are some things to keep in mind.

#1: Reading is Very Important in a Conversation Class for Adults

Before you do almost anything else, ensure that students know how to read well. If they don’t, anything else you do in the way of ESL vocabulary or grammar will be a bit of a struggle. In general, this should come before speaking.

#2: Do Your Students Know Basic Vocabulary and Grammar?

Without a basic working knowledge of key grammar (past, present, future tense constructions), and some basic vocabulary (at least 500 words), it’ll be pretty difficult to have even a simple conversation. If students are not at this stage yet, forget the more advanced things and instead focus on this simple stuff.

#3: Teach a Few Things, a Lot

It’s better that students take away a few things with them from your class that they know really well, instead of a ton of things that they don’t really know at all. Keep this in mind and avoid the temptation to power through a textbook just for the sake of it.

Make sure you’re clear in your head about what the target language is for that lesson. Share this target with the students too!

#4: It’s All About Review in a Speaking Class for Adults

ESL for beginning adults is ALL about the review. I like to incorporate it a few ways into my classes. The first is at the end of class. Second, is at the beginning of a class for things previously studied. Finally, I dedicate a class or two to it before any sort of exam.

Here are some of my favourites ways to do this: ESL Review Activities.

#5: Consider Topics Carefully

Just because your students may be at a beginner level, it doesn’t mean that you should treat them like children. One key area related to this is topic selection. They usually don’t want to study about animals, colors, etc. as little kids would!

Keep this in mind during lesson planning and when choosing articles for them to read. You can most definitely find articles with simple grammar and vocabulary that aren’t written for little kids.

#6: Avoid Surprises in the ESL Classroom

Kids often don’t mind mixing things up in your classes. It actually helps to keep them interested.

However, adults often don’t like this kind of thing because it can put them on the spot. Use some different activities and games, but try to avoid ever putting anyone on the spot. Give thinking time, or have students compare with a partner before having to say something in front of the entire class.

This is especially important in Asia where it’s all about saving face.

However, each day should be a little bit different so things don’t get stale and boring. Adults like a nice mix of old and new, so add in a new activity or two to each lesson. There are a ton of ESL speaking activities for adults, so get creative

#7: Ask Students if They Want Homework in Conversation Classes for Adults

Adults usually have very different expectations about things like homework when they’re studying English. Some will expect it, while others won’t. Ask your students in your ESL classroom what they want and they’ll usually tell you!

There are a ton of resources out there, so take a look online as you really don’t have to reinvent the wheel!

#8: Ask for Feedback and Be Willing to Adapt

Your adult students will often have some excellent feedback for you, so please ask them. I generally do this on the midterm exam with this question. What’s your favourite thing we’ve done so far? What’s one thing you didn’t like about this class?

Of course, I read the answers carefully and if I see the same thing more than once, I’ll know it’s something I need to consider changing.

#9: Think Student-Centred Teaching for ESL Adult Activities

Do you rock the chalk? You probably shouldn’t. Your students should be doing most of the hard work, not you. So, whatever you do, try to get your students thinking, writing and speaking in English as much as possible! If you do this, your class will likely be successful.

#10: Offer Lots of Encouragement and Praise

Yes, adults love positive words of encouragement during their learning process. Be positive and upbeat, as well as kind and gentle in correcting errors.

#11: Remember that Students are Good at Other Things

Just because a student isn’t that good at English, doesn’t mean that they’re not a pro at something else or a number of other things. Maybe you can even learn something from them?

#12: Mix the Groups and Partners Up

It can get pretty boring for students to talk to the same person every single day. That’s why I like to mix things up a bit and change partners or groups. And, when you play games, mix the teams up.

There are a ton of ways to do this, but I like to keep things simple. I just number the students like this:

Then the number ones go together, number twos together, etc.

#13: Use a Variety of ESL Speaking Games

The key to a more exciting ESL classroom is a variety of ESL games. Don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit and get away from the same old thing. This list of ESL games is an excellent place to start. There are also plenty of resources online.

Like these ESL activities for adults?

If you found these conversation games useful, then you’ll need to check out this book: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teens and Adults . 

Speaking games for adults? There are a ton of them and unlike many other ones you’ll find around the Internet, each ESL game is fun! Make conversation for adults fun again. Your students will love you for it.

There are almost 40 ESL activities that require very little in the way of preparation when teaching English. Planning your speaking classes is easy, with a wide array of fun and interesting activities.

The book is available in both digital and print formats. The (very cheap!) digital one can be read on any device. You just have to download the free Kindle reading app. Top-quality ESL activities to have at your fingertips anywhere you go? Love it!

Check out the book on Amazon today. Click the button below to learn more about this popular book of ESL activities for adults.

check-price-on-amazon-button

ESL Conversation Activities FAQs

There are a number of common questions that people have about teaching conversation and speaking classes. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.

How do you make an English conversation class interesting?

If you want your English conversation class to be interesting and not boring, here are a few tips:

  • Change partners often
  • Introduce a variety of topics
  • Encourage free-flowing discussion
  • Use lots of different activities and games
  • Get beyond the textbook
  • Consider getting outside the classroom
  • Have a class party
  • Use current events

conversation-classes-for-adults

ESL conversation tips and activities

What are the activities to develop speaking skills?

There are a number of activities you can use to help your students develop speaking skills.

  • Discussions
  • Information gap activities
  • Brainstorming
  • Telling stories
  • Complete the story

What is a communicative activity ESL?

A communicative ESL activity is one that encourages English learners to speak and listen to another learner(s) and actually requires this in order to complete the activity. The purpose of them is to find out information, break down barriers, talk about oneself, and also learn about what other people think.

What are the advantages of a communicative approach?

There are many advantages to the communicative approach when it comes to language teaching. However, an increase in fluency in the target language is the most important one. This approach will help language learners feel more confident when interesting in another language. Learn more about it here: language teaching methods .

How do you make ESL students talk in an ESL conversation class?

Remember that you can’t make an ESL student talk if they absolutely don’t want to. However, you can design activities and games well so that it’s easier to participate than not. Something like surveys or information gap activities are ideal for encouraging communication.

What role does cultural understanding play in teaching conversational English?

It’s crucial; understanding cultural nuances and context helps students communicate effectively and avoid misunderstandings in real-life situations.

How can teachers tailor conversational English lessons to suit different proficiency levels?

By adjusting the complexity of vocabulary, sentence structures, and topics to match the proficiency level of the students.

What are some effective icebreakers for starting a conversational English class?

Simple questions about interests, travel experiences, or current events to ease students into the flow of conversation.

How can teachers provide constructive feedback on conversational skills?

Focus on specific aspects like pronunciation, vocabulary usage, and sentence structure, offering guidance for improvement.

How can teachers maintain a balance between teacher-led and student-led conversations in class?

Incorporate both teacher-guided discussions to introduce topics and student-led discussions to encourage active participation and self-expression.

How can technology be integrated into teaching conversational English?

Use language learning apps, video calls, online forums, and interactive websites to engage students and provide additional speaking practice.

More Resources for TEFL Conversation Games and Activities

If you’re a teacher, then you already know how much time it can save to use what others have created! This certainly applies to  classes for adults. Check out some of the best options here:

Tim’s English

One Stop English

What Do you Think about these ESL Conversation Activities for Adults?

Do you have one or two favourite conversation games and activities for when you’re teaching ESL students? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’re open to new ideas for teaching English!

Also, be sure to contact me with any questions that you might have about ESL activities for adults.

And don’t forget to share the word about this ESL teaching awesome on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. It’ll help busy teachers, like yourself, find this useful resource.

Last update on 2024-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

esl topics for adults

About Jackie

Jackie Bolen has been teaching English for more than 15 years to students in South Korea and Canada. She's taught all ages, levels and kinds of TEFL classes. She holds an MA degree, along with the Celta and Delta English teaching certifications.

Jackie is the author of more than 100 books for English teachers and English learners, including 101 ESL Activities for Teenagers and Adults and 1001 English Expressions and Phrases . She loves to share her ESL games, activities, teaching tips, and more with other teachers throughout the world.

You can find her on social media at: YouTube Facebook TikTok Pinterest Instagram

esl topics for adults

Jackie, thank you for all the effort you put into this blog. The content is gold!

esl topics for adults

You’re welcome.

esl topics for adults

Love your ideas for conversation activities for adults. Thanks so much! I’ll be using them in my classes this week.

esl topics for adults

All tips are amazing to help students communicate in a good way. Thank you!

esl topics for adults

I was feeling a little stale with my topics for my intermediate/advanced conversation classes. Thanks for some good ideas!

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23 ESL Speaking Activities for Adults: Free Their Inner Kids

Younger ESL students know what’s up. They treat being in ESL class like being on the playground.

And that’s how it should be! ESL class is the perfect place to make English mistakes.

But speaking out loud in front of other people—especially in a second language—can be nerve-wracking for many adults.

4. I Like People

5. sentence auction, 8. news brief, 9. running dictation, esl discussion activities, 10. surveys and interviews, 11. show and tell, 12. short talks, 13. video dictionary, 14. pechakucha, 15. two texts, 16. discuss and debate, 17. untranslatable, 18. skill share, activities to build speaking confidence, 19. reading aloud for fluency, 20. mimicking public figures, 21. sharing struggles with a trusted person, 22. reflecting on successful past english classes, 23. reading stories of progress.

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

Man sitting in circle of people

This well-known ESL game is great speaking practice for adults. The teacher tells the class that a particular crime has been committed. For fun, make it locally specific. For example:

“Last Friday night, sometime between ___ and ___, someone broke into the ____ Bank on ____ Street.”

Depending on the size of your class, pick several students as “Suspects.” The “Police” can work in groups of 2-4, and you need one Suspect for each police group. So, for example, in a class of 20 you could choose four Suspects and then have four groups of four Police for questioning.

Tell the class: “___, ___, ___ and ___ were seen near the scene of the crime, and the police would like to question them.”

The Suspects go outside or to another room to prepare their story. They need to decide all of the details about where they were during the time of the crime. For example: If they were at a restaurant, what did they eat? What did it cost? Who arrived first?

1. The Police spend some time preparing their questions.

2. The Suspects are called back in and go individually to each police group. They’re questioned for a few minutes, and then each one moves on to the next group.

3. The Police decide whether their answers match enough for them to have a reasonable Alibi. (Maybe up to five mistakes is reasonable.)

Many people think of this game as a listening activity, but it can very quickly become a speaking activity.

There are a number of ESL websites that will allow you to quickly create a set of Bingo cards containing up to 25 words, phrases or even whole sentences. They’ll allow you to make as many unique cards as you need to distribute a different card to each student in the class. Each card can contain the same set of words arranged differently, or you can choose to have more or less than 25 items involved.

Rather than having students mark up their cards, you can give them markers (such as stones or sunflower seeds) to place on each square as they recognize it. This way the markers can be removed and the game can be repeated.

For the first round, the teacher should “call” the game. The first student to get five markers in a row in any direction shouts out “Bingo!” Then you should have this student read out every item in their winning row.

The winner is congratulated and then rewarded by becoming the next Caller. This is a great speaking opportunity. Everyone removes their markers and the game starts again. Every expression that’s called tends to be repeated quietly by everyone in the room, and by the end of a session, everyone can say all of the expressions on the card.

In this game, one player has a card listing four words:

  • The first word is the secret word. The aim of the game is to get another player to say this word. The student with the card will need to describe this word until another student figures out the secret word.
  • The other three words are the most obvious words that you might use to explain the secret word. They are all “taboo” and cannot be used in the student’s description of the secret word.

This game can be played between two teams. It can also be played between partners. You can create your own sets of words based on what you’ve been studying , or you can find sets in your textbook and on the internet.

Taboo is great for challenging students to expand on the vocabulary they would usually use, and helps them to think outside of the box. You can try timing them for an extra challenging element, or even play it as a whole class to get everyone involved in trying to guess the word on the card.

Students will have great fun playing, while also improving their speaking and communication skills, making it an ideal ESL game.

Adults do like to have fun, as long as they aren’t made to feel or look stupid. This is a brilliant game for helping them think quickly and speak more fluent English (rather than trying to translate from their native tongue).

1. Students sit on chairs in a circle, leaving a space in the circle for the teacher to stand.

2. First, they’re asked to listen to statements that the teacher makes and stand if it applies to them, such as: “I like people who are wearing black shoes,” “I like people who have long hair,” etc.

3. Next, the teacher asks standing students to change places with someone else who’s standing.

4. Now it becomes a game. The teacher makes a statement, students referred to must stand and quickly swap places. When the students move around, the teacher quickly sits in someone’s spot, forcing them to become the teacher.

5. The students quickly get into the swing of this game. Generally, they’ll quickly notice a “cheating” classmate who hasn’t stood up when they should have, and they’ll also eagerly encourage a shy student who finds himself standing in the gap with no ideas.

This game has no natural ending, so keep an eye on the mood of the students as they play. They may start to run out of ideas, making the game lag. Quickly stand and place yourself back into the teacher position and debrief (talk with them about how they felt about the game).

Create a list of sentences, some correct and some with errors.

  • The errors should be related to a language topic you’re teaching
  • The number of sentences will depend on your students’ abilities. 20 is a good number for intermediate students.
  • The ratio of correct and incorrect is up to you, but it’s a good idea to have more than 50% correct.

Next to the list of sentences draw three columns: Bid, win, lose.

You can set a limit for how much (imaginary) money they have to spend, or just let them have as much as they want.

They need to discuss (in English) and decide whether any sentence is 100% reliable, in which case they can bid 100 dollars (or whatever unit you choose). If they’re totally sure that it’s incorrect, they can put a “0” bid. If they’re unsure, they can bid 20, 30, 40, based on how likely it is to be correct.

  • When all of their bids are written in, get pairs to swap their papers with other pairs for marking.
  • Go through the sentences, discussing which are correct and why.
  • For correct sentences, the bid amount is written in the “win” column. For incorrect sentences, it’s written in the “lose” column.
  • Both columns are totaled, and the “lose” total is subtracted from the “win” total.
  • Papers are returned, and partners discuss (in English) how their bidding went.

This game can be played with a class as small as three, but it also works with large classes.

1. On the board draw a grid of boxes (e.g. 6 x 6). Mark one axis with numbers, the other with letters.

2. On a piece of paper or in a notebook (out of sight) draw the same grid. On your grid, fill in scores in all of the boxes. Most of them should be numbers, and others will be letters. It doesn’t matter which numbers you choose, but it’s fun to have some small ones (1, 2, 3, etc.) and some very big ones (500, 1000, etc.). About one in four boxes should have the letter “T” for “Typhoon.”

3. Mark a place on the board to record each team’s score.

4. Ask questions to each team. If they answer correctly, they “choose a box” using the grid labels. The teacher checks the secret grid, and writes the score into the grid on the board. This score also goes into the team’s score box.

5. If the chosen box contains a number, the scores simply add up. But if the box contains a “T,” the team then chooses which other team’s score they want to “blow away” back to zero.

You can spice it up by adding different symbols in some of the boxes. I use:

  • Swap: They must swap their score with another team’s score.
  • S: Steal. They can steal a score.
  • D: Double. They double their own score.

Here’s an example of one Typhoon variation:

1. Devise several scenarios with two or more characters and a premise. These could be something simple, like someone going to a bakery to buy a cake or visiting a museum with an unusual exhibit.

2. Divide your students into teams, with one student per role.

3. Give your students the premise for the scenario they’re going to act out. For example, you might say, “You’re a father at a bakery, trying to buy a cake with your child’s favorite cartoon character. The baker has never heard of this character. You need to describe how the character looks so that the baker can create the cake you want.”

4. Each team member will have about five minutes to prepare their part of the skit. Ask each student to prepare separately. That way, the other students they are interacting with must react spontaneously to their questions and statements.

5. Each team will perform their vignette in front of the whole class. Limit the time to play out each scenario to five or ten minutes.

6. At the end of each round, the non-performing class members can ask questions of those performing their roles. The performing students should respond in character to the questions.

This activity will help students react to impromptu situations.

Prepare a number of short news stories for different students to read. You can use stories directly from a source like:

  • The Times in Plain English
  • Breaking News English
  • News in Levels
  • FluentU (Each video on FluentU has transcripts, so you can let your students read the transcripts as an alternative to watching the clip.)

1. Divide the class into teams of four or five students. Each team will read one of the short news stories you’ve prepared.

2. One student on the team will pretend to be a news anchor reporting on the story. Another student can play a field reporter, who will interview the remaining students. The remaining students can play either passers-by or eyewitnesses to an incident.

3. You can prepare multiple stories for each team. With each new story, students should exchange roles, so that they each have a chance to practice different kinds of speaking.

Students playing the “eyewitnesses” will get the opportunity to answer spontaneously, especially if they’re not privy to the reporter’s questions ahead of time. The news anchor and reporter roles will require more formal, neutral English.

The interviewees will also have more opportunities to practice speech that expresses emotion, since they’ll be communicating their opinion on a hot topic.

To stretch out this activity into multiple lessons, consider assigning your students a writing exercise in which they “manufacture” their own news stories.

These news stories can have a humorous angle which could afford students the opportunity to explore satire using English.

This useful activity requires students to use all four language skills—reading, writing, listening, and speaking—and if carefully planned and well-controlled can cause both great excitement and exceptional learning.

Pair students up. Choose who will run and who will write. (At a later stage they could swap tasks.)

Print out some short texts (related to what you’re studying) and stick them on a wall away from the desks. You should stick them somewhere out of sight from where the students sit, such as out in the corridor.

There could be several numbered texts, and the students could be asked to collect two or three each. The texts could include blanks that they need to fill in later, or they could be asked to put them in order. There are many possibilities here!

The running students run (or power-walk) to their assigned texts, read, remember as much as they can and then return to dictate the text to the writing student. Then they run again. The first pair to finish writing the complete, correct texts wins.

Be careful that you do not:

  • Let students use their phone cameras to “remember” the text.
  • Let “running” students write—they can spell words out and tell their partner when they’re wrong.
  • Let “writing” students go and look at the text (or let “running” students bring it to them).

Woman standing in a circle of people clapping

Becoming competent at asking and answering questions is invaluable in language learning. It is helpful in a range of contexts, including anything from speaking exams, to casual conversation.

In the simplest form of classroom survey practice, the teacher hands out ready-made questions—maybe 3 for each student—around a topic that is being studied.

For example, let’s say the topic is food . Each student could be given the same questions, or there could be several different sets of questions such as questions about favorite foods, fast foods, breakfasts, restaurants, home-style cooking, etc.

Then each student partners with several others (however many is required), and asks them the questions on the paper. In each interaction, the student asking the questions will note down the responses from their peers.

At the end of the session, students may be asked to stand up and summarize what they found out from their survey. This helps them to consolidate a range of opinions based on the same topics. You can change the difficulty of the topics based on the level of your students, and center it around what you are focusing on in lessons.

This makes it a great exercise to use for all your classes and is easily customizable based on the needs of your students.

Students can be asked to bring to school an object to show and tell about. This can be anything from a favorite item of clothing , to a souvenir they picked up on an interesting trip. This is lots of fun because students will often bring in something that’s meaningful to them or which gives them pride. That means they’ll have plenty to talk about! Encourage students to ask questions about each other’s objects.

Instead of having students bring their own objects, you could provide an object of your own and ask them to try to explain what they think it is and what its purpose is. Another option is to bring in pictures for them to talk about. This could be discussed with a partner or in a group, before presenting ideas in front of the whole class.

Generate a stronger discussion and keep things flowing by asking students open-ended questions. Speaking for an extended period about one object will help students challenge themselves to say different, and more creative things. The exercise can also be easily repeated by asking students to bring in different objects the next time, or by providing a selection of your own objects to inspire them.

Create a stack of topic cards for your students, so that each student will have their own card.

Each student draws their card, and then you assign them a time limit—this limit may be one minute initially, or maybe three minutes when they have had practice. This is the amount of time that they’ll have to speak about their given topic.

Now, give the students a good chunk of time to gather their thoughts. You may want to give them anywhere from five minutes to half an hour for this preparation stage. You can let them write down three to five sentences on a flashcard to remind them of the direction they’ll take in the course of their talk.

To keep listening students focused, you could create an instant “Bingo” game. The class is told the topic and asked to write down five words that they might expect to hear (other than common words such as articles, conjunctions and auxiliary verbs). They listen for those words, crossing them off as they hear them and politely raising a hand if they hear all five.

You can adjust the complexity of the task depending on your students, and gradually increase the difficulty if you play more regularly to ensure you are stretching their skills.

The authentic English videos on FluentU —with its built-in vocabulary lists—can be catalysts for conversation practice. Every word used in a video has a definition, plus extra usage examples.

In this activity, students will learn some vocabulary words from the videos, then create their own definitions or usage examples for those words.

Select several FluentU videos for teams of your students to watch, according to their level. Then, You can then use the built-in vocabulary list to select the words you’d like your students to learn.

In the example below, you might target certain words in the Vocab list, such as “anecdote,” “engaging” and “brisk.”

FluentU screenshot showing vocabulary list

Divide your class up into teams of about three or four students apiece and have them watch the selected videos. Students will work together to come up with new usage examples or definitions to illustrate the vocabulary words from their chosen video

FluentU screenshot showing definition of "brisk"

Teams will then take turns presenting words (and their own examples or definitions) to each other. Students on each team should take turns presenting their example sentences or definitions.

Students can also be given time for discussing the words they learn, having conversations about what the words mean and how to use them.

After watching the other teams’ presentations, students who didn’t watch the video can take the accompanying quiz on FluentU, to see how well they learned the target words from their fellow students.

If your students have laptops (or a computer lab they can use) and are reasonably familiar with presentation software (such as PowerPoint), then all that’s left to acquire for this activity is access to an LCD projector.

Students can have a lot of fun speaking while giving a presentation to the class. Using projected images helps to distract some attention away from the speaker and can be helpful for shy students.

The “PechaKucha” style of presentation * can give added interest with each student being allowed to show 20 slides only for 20 seconds each (the timing being controlled by the software so that the slides change automatically) or whatever time limit you choose. You could make it 10 slides for 15 seconds each, for example.

You could also add rules such as “no more than three words on each slide” (or “no words”) so that students must really talk and not just read the slides. They need to be given a good amount of time, either at home or in class, to prepare themselves and practice their timing. It can also be prepared and presented in pairs, with each partner speaking for half of the slides.

* PechaKucha originated in Tokyo (in 2003). The name means “chitchat.”

“Nowadays held in many cities around the world, PechaKucha Nights are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts, holiday snaps—just about anything, really.”— the PechaKucha 20×20 format .

This challenging task is great for more capable students and it involves reading. Having texts in front of them can make adult students feel more supported.

Choose two short texts and print them out. Print enough of each text for half of the class. Create a list of simple questions for each text and print out the same quantity.

Divide the class into two groups and hand out the texts. Hang onto the question sheets for later. One group gets one text, the second group gets the other text. The texts can be about related topics (or not).

Group members then read their texts and are free to talk about them within their group, making sure they all understand everything. After five minutes or so, take the papers away.

  • Each student is paired with someone from the other group. Each student must tell their partner everything they learned from their text. Then they must listen to (and remember) what the other student tells them about their group’s text.
  • Students return to their original groups and are given a list of questions about their original text.
  • Students are paired again, this time with a different person from the other group. Each student must test their partner using the questions about the text—which their partner never read and was only told about. Likewise, the students quizzing their partners must answer questions about the text they were told about.

On another day, use two different texts and try this activity again. Students do remarkably better the second time!

More mature students can discuss and debate issues with a partner. They can even be told which side of the argument they should each try to promote. This could be a precursor to a full-blown classroom debate.

Working with a partner or small group first gives them an opportunity to develop and practice the necessary vocabulary to speak confidently in a larger forum.

It would be a good idea to debate something relevant to the topics you are studying currently, as it will mean that your students have a bigger bank of information and vocabulary to pull from and keep the conversation flowing.

You could have smaller groups debate in front of the rest of the class, and have the other students decide on who they think won the debate by the end of it, explaining their reasons why. This ensures that both their speaking and listening comprehension skills are being tested, and keeps the whole class engaged.

Depending on the level of your students, you can change the level of the debate topics you assign them. This makes it a great accessible option for a range of learners, which you can easily customize based on the needs and interests of your students.

If you happen to have students in your classroom with different native languages, they’ve almost certainly stumbled across words without direct English translations. You can use your students’ expertise in their own languages to spark conversation in the classroom.

1. Divide the class into small groups of students—preferably, each group of students will represent two or more native languages.

If the students in a group all speak the same native language, no worries—there are still different dialects, regionalisms and variations in individual experiences to drive conversation about each “untranslatable” word and its possible English definition.

2. Ask each student to come up with a small handful of words that they cannot translate directly into English.

3. Students will then take turns presenting to their respective groups, pronouncing each featured word and explaining—to the best of their ability—what it means in English.

4. After the presentation of each word, the other students will have the opportunity to ask questions, to clarify the word’s meaning and usage.

5. Where possible, each student who hears a presentation can also be asked to think of a word in their own language that means the same as the presenter’s “untranslatable” word.

6. Depending on the skill level of your students, they can also participate in an open discussion of the featured word and its meaning after the presentation.

This activity encourages students to conceptualize the meanings of words in both their native language and English.

1. Ask each student to come up with a hobby or skill they can share with the rest of the class in a short presentation. You can give them several days to prepare ahead of time.

2. If you have a larger class, you can divide your students up into teams to allow each student more time to present in a smaller group setting. You can also pair off your students, so one student will take turns presenting to one other student only.

3. Students will take turns making a short presentation to their respective audience. In their presentation, they should explain their chosen hobby, skill or activity in clear terms that can be easily understood.

4. Within their presentations, students will also give simple, step-by-step instructions, to teach their audience members the target skill.

5. After each presentation, the student’s audience must ask the presenter at least one relevant question pertaining to the skill or activity in question. The questions should clarify their understanding of the process.

6. When the presentations and “Q & A” sessions are done, students can pair off with other partners or form new teams.

Variation :

Audience members can use the information they’ve gleaned from a teammate’s presentation to explain the process they’ve learned to someone in the class who didn’t hear the original presentation.

The original presenter can act as a subject matter expert, prompting their former audience member (as needed) to explain the process more clearly.

Man speaking to a group of people

All you have to do is select a piece of text, which students will practice reading out loud until they can read it fluently. The goal is to work towards reading the text in front of an audience.

Short pieces like poems work best here, as students tend to memorize them easier. The websites Poetry Out Loud and Classic Poetry Aloud  are great for finding such poems.

Don’t forget to have the students focus on body language as well as how they speak. If they don’t know how to appear confident, start with a small lesson about body language. Give them a checklist so they can use it as a reference. For example:

  • Are you standing tall?
  • Are you looking at the audience?
  • Are you speaking loudly enough?
  • Are you enunciating your words?
  • How is the tone of your voice?
  • Are you smiling?

Once your students understand how to speak and focus on body language, have them read the text in front of a mirror. When they feel they are ready, have them read it in front of you, then work up to reading with a partner.

You can track their progress in class by filming their speeches so students can see the progression. Let them know that no one else will see what you filmed.

An activity like this should last no longer than a month, or else students might get bored of it. At the end of the month, students can present their poems/texts to the class.

Watching videos of public figures can help students see good examples of how to appear confident. Public figures can include news anchors, politicians or even famous celebrities.

Start off by doing a class activity where the students analyze why the public figure they are watching is so confident. You could use a checklist, and have students look for each element while they’re watching, or leave it open-ended.

While the students are discussing, write their answers on the board. You can watch a few short videos at a time for your student to see if there any commonalities. John F. Kennedy and Steve Jobs are great examples of speakers to observe in your class.

Once you’ve identified the qualities of confident speakers, students can then begin mimicking. Start off with a short video or give the students a choice between several. Students should simply mimic what they see on the video—including body language and tone.

It’s easiest to copy the speaking if there’s a transcript or subtitles available, so a short fragment from a TED Talk , captioned YouTube video or an exciting video from FluentU would be a suitable idea.

Have your students move on to longer videos when they are ready. Depending on your class, you can have them show you what they’ve done and conference with you about how it has helped them before moving on to longer videos.

Having students share their struggles with you is great for building rapport and trust between teacher and student. The more they trust you, the more feedback you can get about your lessons. Students might also come up to you and ask for help, which in turn help them get extra practice.

Don’t introduce this activity until you’ve known the students for at least a month. You want them to be familiar with the class and you before asking them to reveal their feelings. Any sooner and it may backfire on you.

To begin, tell a story about something you’ve struggled with (it doesn’t have to be academic, as long as it’s a skill you were trying to learn) where sharing your woes helped you push on. Give them time—a week or so—to think about what they’ve been struggling with and to record it somewhere.

After a week, tell your students that you will start conferences with them and in groups. Make sure they don’t feel pressured to share all their struggles in the beginning, even something small will help them.

Don’t fall into the trap of allowing students to complain or compare themselves with other students. If they do this, it will only make them feel worse about themselves. If you see this happening in groups or during your conferences, redirect the conversation to focus on just the student who is sharing.

Sometimes students are so focused on what they have to achieve that they forget how far they’ve come already. Asking your students to reflect on past English classes forces them to see where they used to be and where they are now.

In fact, many of your students will probably be very surprised at how much they have progressed. This serves as a confidence booster, and also as motivation to continue pushing themselves.

Some ideas for how to have your students reflect include writing in a journal , keeping a learning log, collecting works in a portfolio and periodically filming them thinking or reading out loud.

Set aside some time to conference with students regularly about their progress—every two weeks or monthly. Make sure you keep your own conference notes so you can also see how the student has progressed.

Take a look back through the lessons you taught at the beginning of the course as a class to show your students what you were doing as a class then, versus now. Reassure them that they will continue to learn, and that in a few months they will look back on the challenging material they are studying now and find it much easier.

When your students are feeling discouraged, it’s a great confidence booster to see how other people have also struggled yet improved and grown. Make sure not to label these “success stories” though, as you don’t want to give students the false view that their English (or anything!) is either a failure or a success.

The most important takeaway is that learning is a journey where you’re constantly developing and progressing. Mistakes and weaknesses are not “failures,” but natural and necessary. Reading stories of others’ struggles and progress helps students to see that it will take time—they just need to persevere and put in continual effort.

If possible, invite some of your past students to share their stories with your current class. If this is not possible, look for written articles or stories that you could base a lesson on—such as stories of famous celebrities whose first language isn’t English.

For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger immigrated to the United States and commonly shared how hard he worked on his pronunciation when he was trying to break into Hollywood. Penelope Cruz didn’t begin learning English until age 20, and in several interviews, she mentions common English mistakes she made when first arriving in the USA.

The above ESL activities for adults are sure to help your students come out of their shells and practice their speaking skills—all while having fun! 

Check out this article next: 

Wondering how to teach ESL to adults? While your lessons might be a bit less chaotic than with younger students, they don’t have to be dull or boring. Everyone enjoys…

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ESL Discussion Topics

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100+ ESL discussion topics for every English level

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  • Posted by by Cameron Smith
  • April 17, 2023
  • Updated June 1, 2023

Struggling to come up with the right ESL discussion topics for your lesson plans? In this guide, we’ve included a list of 100+ ESL discussion topics along with our best tips and tricks for choosing the right topic for every English level.

You’ll also find links to printable lists of ESL conversation questions for each of the conversation topics below. If you use these lists to save time and choose the right conversation starter for each class, you’ll find that the conversation possibilities are endless.

List of ESL discussion topics

  • AI and Artificial Intelligence
  • Daily Routine
  • Environment
  • Football & Soccer
  • Friends & Friendship
  • Intelligence
  • Games & Gaming
  • Gender & Gender Roles
  • Small Business
  • Social Media
  • The Olympic Games

What are ESL discussion topics?

ESL discussion topics are teaching tools that help English learners practice their speaking skills. It’s important to select suitable-but-interesting discussion topic for your students if you’d like to facilitate engaging conversation in your classroom.

ESL discussion topics vs ESL conversation questions: what’s the difference?

ESL discussion topics are discussion categories whereas ESL conversation questions are lists of questions that focus on a particular discussion topic. Discussion topics and conversation questions go hand in hand ; you will need to choose a discussion topic and to formulate conversation questions based on that topic for your students.

How to choose the right ESL discussion topics for your classroom

Choosing the right ESL discussion topics for your lessons is an art unto itself. You’ll need to consider consider the following criteria before creating your speaking lesson plans.

  • English Level. Basic discussion topics for beginners. Advanced discussion topics for experienced English students.
  • Age. Some topics are better suited to younger English students, while other topics are better suited to Adult learners.
  • Culture. Cultural norms may rule out . For example, if it is culturally unacceptable to discuss relationships or money in public, then these discussion topics should be avoided.
  • Conflict and Controversy. Some discussion topics may . For example, politics and religion. Of course, healthy debate is possible! But if you wish to avoid conflict and controversy in the classroom, then it may be better to avoid these discussion topics altogether.

What is a good topic for ESL students to discuss?

The best topic for ESL students to discuss will depend on each student’s English level and other factors that we listed above. Here are some discussion topic suggestions with links to printable conversation questions for each topic.

ESL discussion topics for beginner students

  • Countries  

ESL discussion topics for intermediate students

  • Fashion and Clothes
  • The Olympics

ESL discussion topics for advanced students

  • Dating, Relationships, and Marriage
  • AI & Artificial Intelligence

ESL discussion topics for children and teenage students

Esl discussion topics for adult learners, what are some controversial esl discussion topics.

  • Football and Soccer
  • Gender and Gender Roles

List of ESL discussion topics books

Want to save yourself some time? ESL discussion topics books can reduce the amount of planning you need to do before class. These books contain lists of printable ESL discussion topics and conversation questions that can be used to facilitate English speaking practice with your students.

The best ESL discussion topics books are:

  • 500 Grammar Based Conversation Questions
  • 67 ESL Conversation Topics with Questions, Vocabulary, Writing Prompts & More
  • 1005 ESL Conversation Questions: For English Teachers of Teenagers and Adults Who Want to Have Better TEFL Speaking and Conversation Classes

What are your students’ favorite ESL discussion topics?

Every English learning group is different. And some classes tend to prefer certain English discussion topics over others.

Whether you’re asking students to practice English with another conversation partner or engaging entire classrooms in speaking practice exercises, yow are you choosing ESL conversation topics for each of the groups that you teach? And what topics are they responding to the most?

Share your experiences in the comments below. And tell us how you’re using ESL discussion topics in the classroom.

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Cameron Smith

I'm an English Communication Coach based in Vancouver, Canada. I'm on a mission to help millions of people speak English with confidence. Thanks for visiting this site! If you want longer video content, please follow me on YouTube for fun English lessons and helpful learning resources!

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People asking each other ESL conversation questions

63 ESL conversation questions that will get everyone talking

by Andrea Byaruhanga

Published on October 11, 2022 / Updated on January 5, 2024

If you’re learning English and you want to improve your skills, one of the best things you can do is have conversations in English. Whether you chat with other English learners or are part of a language exchange with native speakers , just talking as often as possible will help your pronunciation and listening skills. You’ll also pick up all kinds of words that will make you sound like a natural . 

But sometimes it can be hard to think of interesting topics as an ESL learner . That’s why we’ve put together a list of ESL conversation topics for adults that go beyond small talk . Not only will you get a chance to practice your English, but you’ll have some pretty interesting chats in the process.  

Take a look at some fantastic ESL conversation questions below.

Hypotheticals

Learn languages at your pace.

  • What are your favorite hobbies?
  • What activity would you do if you had unlimited money?
  • How much time do you spend on your hobbies daily/weekly?
  • Have you ever tried to take up a new hobby but then quit?
  • Are there any hobbies you plan to take up in the future?
  • What is the most interesting or unusual hobby you’ve ever heard of?
  • Do you have any hobbies that others might think are strange?
  • What hobbies did you have as a child?
  • What is the one food you wouldn’t want to live without?
  • Do you think you’re a good cook? If so, what are your specialties?
  • What foods do you hate? 
  • What types of foods did you eat in your family growing up?
  • What are some popular foods from your culture or country?
  • What is your ultimate comfort food ?
  • Do you eat healthy foods?
  • What’s more important: flavor or health? Why?
  • Do you like traveling ? Why or why not?
  • What’s the best place you’ve been to? What did you like about it?
  • Do you enjoy air travel? Why or why not?
  • What travel destinations are on your bucket list ?
  • Why do you think people like to travel?
  • Is there anywhere you wouldn’t like to visit? If so, why?
  • How do you think travel will change in the next 20 years? 50 years?
  • What is better: backpacking or staying in a resort?
  • Do you prefer hot or cold destinations? Why?
  • How would you describe your culture?
  • Is your culture known for anything, like food or music?
  • What kinds of celebrations do you have in your culture? Which is your favorite?
  • Do you think a person’s culture is important? Why or why not?
  • Are there any stereotypes about your culture?
  • What does “culture” mean to you?
  • What would you do if you won $50 million tomorrow?
  • If your house were on fire, what one item would you save from the house?
  • If you had to choose between love and money, what would you choose and why?
  • Would you be able to pack up and move to a new country where you didn’t know anyone?
  • If you could change any laws in your country, what would you change?
  • Do you have any siblings? How would you describe them?
  • What was it like growing up in your family?
  • Does your family have any traditions?
  • Who are you closest to in your family?
  • Do you see or talk to your family regularly? 
  • Do you have a large extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.)?
  • What do you like best about your family?
  • Is there anything you don’t like about your family?
  • Has anyone in your family ever done anything that really embarrassed you?
  • What are you most afraid of?
  • What were you afraid of as a child?
  • Do you have any phobias ?
  • Why do you think we have fears?
  • Is fear a useful feeling? Why or why not?
  • What one movie do you absolutely love?
  • What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?
  • Have you ever walked out of a movie theater?
  • What is your favorite movie genre (type of movie)?
  • What was the first movie you ever saw?
  • Do you ever watch movies in English or with English subtitles?
  • Who is your favorite actor? Why?
  • Do you work? What kind of job do you have?
  • Do you like your job? Why or why not?
  • What is your dream job?
  • How well do you get along with your co-workers?
  • What do you think of working remotely (from home)?
  • What’s more important: job enjoyment or a high salary?

Get talking with these ESL conversation questions

Ready to be an English conversation starter? Pick some of your favorite ESL discussion questions above and have them ready to go next time you want to practice your English speaking. It’s time to improve your language skills in a fun and interesting way!

esl topics for adults

Andrea Byaruhanga

Andrea is a Canadian freelance writer and editor specializing in English, e-learning, EdTech, and SaaS. She has a background as an ESL teacher in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. In her free time, Andrea loves hanging out with her husband and children, creating recipes in the kitchen, and reading fiction. She also loves camping and jumping into lakes whenever possible. Learn more about Andrea on LinkedIn or check out her website .

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ESL conversation and discussion topics for adults

ESL conversation and discussion topics for adults

Table of contents

If i woke up earlier, guilty pleasures, summer bucket list, 5 things you've learned recently, zodiac signs, the best decision, 30 days left, personality, environment, have you ever:, what would you do if:, would you rather:.

Teaching ESL to adults is more engaging and thought-provoking process than teaching kids. There are many topics that grown-ups tend to discuss. However, when it comes to speaking a foreign language, people face struggles and difficulties to express their opinion. The first thing that teachers can do is provide a class with vocabulary and conversational phrases according to the topic. Then, try to facilitate discussion and make participants comfortable to speak up.

There are typical and controversial issues that you can use in a class. Conversation statements help to overcome a fear of public speaking and develop critical thinking. We have prepared different speaking tasks for your ESL students. Use them as warm-ups or fillers between main activities. It is always better to have fresh ideas up your sleeve when you have some time left.

Conversation starters for ESL adults

Doing exercises in a course book can't be effective without free practice. Eventually, the main point of learning topics is fluent use of them in speaking. That's why such role-play games and other verbal activities come in handy. They develop all necessary skills making students express their opinion through all knowledge they accumulated. Also, it is an additional way to get distracted for a few minutes and to take a break during a lesson.

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This version of the popular activity is a bit more complicated. Students should start with the phrase, "If I woke up earlier", and complete the sentence with a consequence that could happen. The next statement starts with the previous result as a reason of possible things. Everyone says 5-6 sentences to complete the chain of events.

For example, "If I woke up earlier, I wouldn't be late for work. If I weren't late for work, I would complete the project on time. If I finished the project on time, I would celebrate it with my family."

Such an exercise helps not only to tame the second conditional but also logical thinking.

It's time to confess and admit watching some trashy TV shows and eating junk food. Let your students speak out their preferences they are ashamed of. This task will make them laugh and add humor to learning English.

People tend to plan everything, weddings, holidays, and even weekends. Depending on the season you may assign writing a bucket list. Don't forget to tell the story about the title, why it's called like that. While students add some activities to their list, they expand vocabulary in terms of traveling and hobbies.

Sometimes we are stuck in a rut. It seems there is nothing that can amuse us. But changes start with thoughts. Ask participants to write down all things they have accomplished recently. It might be a small step to a huge goal. It helps to be proud of yourself and value all attempts.

Everybody should check their sign in advance and read a description. Then, a person may agree or disagree with some points and add own comments in terms of personality or events.

Another way to be proud of yourself is to recall all best moments in life. What decisions made you? Students may start with childhood to use Past Tenses in English.

How often do people put their life off? We always promise to ourselves, "When I have more time, I will do it". Let's imagine you have only one month to live. Such sudden news causes people to think of their dreams and wishes. Make a list of must-do things with your students.

Top 10 topics to discuss with adult students

There are some typical issues that people debate. Despite the fact that questions are general and simple, answers will differ depending on the students' level. Use such topics to finish appropriate unit in a textbook or test learners. The point of it is to develop an ability to speak fluently. Such things as paraphrasing, synonyms, and antonyms may help a lot. It's better to bring up such themes with Pre-Intermediate classes or higher.

  • What should parents do to bring up honest and kind children?
  • What would you advise to yourself if you could go back in time?
  • How to be happy
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover. What is this idiom about?
  • When is appearance important?
  • What three things are there in your appearance you take care of?
  • What is your favorite book? Why?
  • Why is reading important?
  • What three books are there everyone should read?
  • What challenges do you want to try?
  • What challenges do people face every day?
  • Why do people go through challenges?
  • Would you rather be smart or talented?
  • If you could choose a supernatural power, what would you choose? Why?
  • If you could pick a country to live, where would you stay?
  • Do you think dreams have meanings?
  • Can dreams tell the future?
  • Do animals have dreams too?
  • What are your pet peeves?
  • What annoying habits do your family members have?
  • What are your annoying habits?
  • Is making friends easier in childhood?
  • What personal traits do you value in people?
  • Describe your best friend.
  • What activity do you have no motivation to do?
  • What can help to raise motivation?
  • What motivates you to pursue goals?
  • Why do you want to speak English?
  • Describe your personality.
  • What type of people do you get on well with?
  • What personality trait would you like to develop? Why?

Questions for ESL adult students

Exam preparation seems to be boring when it's working on sample papers. There are many debatable issues you can conduct as problem-solving projects. It's better to pair students up and observe their answers. When it comes to individual classes, turn to such questions to make students brush up on vocabulary. It's hard to come up with ideas what to say right away, so provide students with proper input on it.

  • Are you environmentally friendly? What do you do to take care of the planet?
  • What danger do people pose to the global environment?
  • What are five things individuals can do to help the environment?
  • Do you give money to homeless people? Do you think people should give money to homeless people?
  • Should rich people and corporations be forced to give to charity?
  • Do you think it is better to give time or money?
  • Does culture influence your personality? How?
  • Are bad people bad because of circumstances or choices? What about good people?
  • Do you care about others’ opinion about you?
  • Are you addicted to fashion?
  • How often do you buy new items of clothes?
  • Do you read fashion magazines?
  • What do you pay attention to when you meet someone for the first time?

Agree or disagree with the statements.

  • I'm really scared to travel alone.
  • Travelling is not only my hobby but profession as well.
  • Only a few people have opportunities to travel.
  • I'm always on the road.
  • People should travel more in the future.
  • I can't stand travelling with other people.
  • Travelling has broadened my mind.
  • How many educational establishments have you attended?
  • What was your favorite subject? Why?
  • Were you ever called a teacher's pet?
  • What subjects should be added or dropped?
  • Who is mainly responsible for a child's academic success-parents or teachers?
  • Why do people do to university?
  • What makes a good student?
  • Is life without computers and the internet possible these days? Why?
  • Do you think the quality of life in general is better now than it used to be?
  • Why do many people still use traditional forms of communication?
  • Do you think robots will cause unemployment in the future or make more work?
  • What is the best environment to raise a family in?
  • What was the worst thing you did as a child? Did you get caught?
  • Is there anything funny or different about your family?
  • Due to population growth and environmental problems, should families have fewer kids?
  • In your country, are mothers allowed maternity leave (from work)? What about paternity leave for fathers?

Topics for ESL adult beginners

Teaching novices might be challenging because of many reasons. They aren't ready to answer questions with ease yet, because of lack of knowledge. However, it doesn't matter that such learning process comes to memorizing new words and drilling grammar. Students must get used to speaking without preparation. Obviously, it is better to have at the end of a proper unit. Let people know that they don't have to translate all words, getting the main point of a question is enough.

  • What are your hobbies?
  • Why do you like them? How much time do you spend on them?
  • Why do people take up new activities?
  • What were your hobbies when you were a child?
  • What would you like to take up in the future?
  • How much free time in a week do you have?
  • Do you want to have more? Why?
  • What do you feel when you don't have enough time to rest?
  • What music do you like?
  • What music is popular in your country now?
  • What music did you love when you were a child?
  • What do you do?
  • Do you like your job? Why?
  • What is your dream job?
  • How to get a job?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • Do you prefer cooking at home or eating out?
  • What food you dislike?
  • What do you usually have for breakfast, lunch, dinner?
  • Do you have pets?
  • What pets would you like to have?
  • Did you have a pet when you were a kid?
  • What are you favorite wild animals?
  • What animal are you afraid of?
  • How much money do you need a month to be happy?
  • What would you spend them on?
  • How well do you manage your money?
  • What are some good ways to make money?
  • How often do you save money?
  • Do you plan things?
  • What are your plans for the summer?
  • Do you have back-up plans?
  • What do you plan to do with your English?
  • What sports are you good/bad at?
  • How often do you exercise?
  • What physical activity is popular in your motherland?
  • Do you love learning new things? How often do you do that?
  • What things are you good/hopeless at learning?
  • What do you want to learn?
  • What are you learning now?
  • What games do you enjoy?
  • Do you play board games?
  • What are your favorite games to play?
  • What games did you play as a kid?

Questions to revise English grammar

Taming grammar tenses isn't supposed to be repetitive and dull. As soon as a class finishes typical exercises, make them use it in spontaneous speech. Usually, the most challenging topics are conditionals and Present Perfect. As we know, it takes time to tackle it. What you can do as a facilitator is create an appropriate language environment.

  • traveled alone?
  • read a book that changed your life?
  • played board games?
  • been rude to strangers?
  • danced in the street?
  • forgotten someone's name?
  • had one wish, what would it be?
  • were a millionaire, what would you buy?
  • could be famous for one day, which celebrity would you become?
  • could travel everywhere, where would you go?
  • had a chance to change only one thing in your personality or appearance, what would it be?
  • could change your past, would you do it?
  • were a president of your country, what would you do first?
  • your child failed his English test?
  • your 13-year old child got a tattoo on the back of a tarantula?
  • your child didn't eat vegetables at dinner?
  • your 12-year old daughter said she was dating a high school student?
  • your child kept screaming because you didn't buy him candy in the grocery store?
  • have a pet snake or hamster?
  • be happy or wealthy?
  • be friendly or popular?
  • save or spend money?
  • be invisible or superfast?
  • change your appearance or personality?
  • help animals or people?
  • work in a company or have a small business?
  • read a book or watch a movie?
  • believe news in a newspaper or on social media?

What makes people learn English? There are many possible answers, however, the most common is freedom. There is a bunch of topics to discuss with no problem in a native language. That's why, it is important to guide such curiosity and interest to speaking English. Such captivating questions will not only catch students attention but also save you when you lack of ideas.

Some extra options are a must-have for ESL teachers to engage adult students. Making lesson plans must take into account possible unexpected events. If you still hesitate to choose exercises for your class, get practice and enroll in online TEFL / TESOL course at a 50% discount.

Such a course will make you feel comfortable and confident at making lesson plans and explaining new topics in English. That's a way to develop your professional skills working with a native-speaker trainer.

We hope you found this article instructive and valuable. If you have relevant questions, leave them in the comment section below.

Terms used:

EFL , ESL , TEFL , TESOL

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Creative Resources for ESL/EFL Teachers

ESL conversation questions

50 ESL Conversation Questions for Teens and Adults

This speaking activity contains 50 ESL conversation questions for teens and adult learners. (16+, B1+). It is best for small groups or as a pair-work.

This activity contains  50 questions  and a  YouTube video , so students can practice listening to real language and you can also play the game from the video with your students in your classroom. Scroll down for the ESL conversation questions activity, and the video.

The slideshow can be used as a resource for online teaching, just share your screen on Zoom or another app when teaching online. Click on the full-screen option in the top right corner of the slideshow and your whole group can discuss or if you want to use the activity in smaller groups, assign your students into breakout rooms and send them the PDF with the conversation questions before your lesson. During the lesson, pop into the breakout rooms to listen in and observe.

esl taboo card game

1. You have to save the world tomorrow, who’s in your team?

2. What is your favorite summertime memory? Why?

3. Who do you think impacted your personality the most? Why?

4. What is your go-to skill in a talent show?

5. When was the last time you did something new?

6. What are you passionate about?

7. What makes you laugh the most?

8. What is best about being an adult?

9. What is best about being a teenager?

10. What is your favorite smell?

11. When was the last time you cried because you laughed too hard?

12. What are you most self-conscious about?

13. If you had 24 hours to live what would you do?

14. What have you started that you didn’t finish? Why?

15. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

16. Road trip or flying?

17. What is your favorite childhood memory?

18. Who is the one person you can always count on?

19. Sunset or Sunrise?

20. What quote would you tattoo on yourself and where?

online ESL exercises

21. What inspires you?

22. What always makes you smile?

23. If you could be any character (book/movie/TV) who would it be?

24. What accomplishment of yours are you most proud of?

25. Where would you live for a year if money were no object?

26. What is your go-to karaoke song?

27. Star Wars or Star Trek…or neither?

28. What weird food combinations do you really enjoy?

29. If magic was real, what spell would you try to learn first?

30. Do you believe people can truly change?

31. What problem are you currently grappling with?

32. What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

33. What is the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?

34. Which of your vices or bad habits would be the hardest to give up?

35. Name something that is completely overrated.

36. Is it better to be loved or to love?

37. If you had to choose only one, love or money?

38. What do you miss the most about being a kid?

39. Who do you wish you could get back into contact with?

40. What is the kindest thing you’ve ever done for someone else?

41. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?

42. What makes you feel really alive?

43. What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?

44. What are you thankful for at this very moment?

45. Would you rather be in space or under the sea?

46. What is your favorite family tradition?

47. Where do you want to be in 10 years?

48. What would your friends be surprised you like to do?

49. When was the last time you gazed at the stars?

50. What is the one meal you never get tired of eating?

esl topics for adults

Watch a video where teens agree/disagree with various statements

In this video, teens express how strongly they agree/disagree with different statements. The statement appears on screen and students indicate their responses by stepping into lanes representing how they feel about the questions. Some of the students are then asked to explain their answers.

You can pause the video after every question and ask your students to answer it one by one, or you can play the variation of the game in your classroom.

Other resources to practice speaking:

ESL Exam Speaking Picture Description and Questions

ESL Conversation Topics: 12 Mini Presentations

Conversation Questions: Present Perfect and Past Simple

Balderdash: ESL Speaking Game

Unfinished Sentences ESL Speaking Activity

ESL Reported Speech Speaking Activity: Gossip

esl conversation questions

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Conversation Questions Passive Voice: ESL Speaking Activity

Passive Voice Conversation Questions Form: a form of the verb ‘to be'(used to change the tense) + past participle Tense Active Passive Present simple I make dinner. Dinner is made (by me). Present continuous I am making dinner. Dinner is being made (by me). Past simple I made dinner. Dinner…

ESL/EFL resources

ESL/EFL Resources: Worksheets, Lesson Plans, Communication Activities and Games

Our new ESL/EFL resources are now available at our shop. Check our our bundles of vocabulary activites, role-plays or communication activities. If you want to save even more money, share our products on social media or refer to a friend for even more discount. These two activities are our most…

Comments (7)

Great activities! I would love to know your views on vocabulary building apps like https://www.beebl.io

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Welcome to esl DiscussionTopics

Welcome to esl discussion topics.

Quality questions you can use in the ESL classroom to get your students talking

Discussion questions on general topics suitable for the ESL classroom.

Business English discussion questions for those studying English for specific purposes.

Discussion questions designed to practice grammar in the ESL classroom.

PDF Formats

All handouts available for download in a variety of PDF formats.

General Topics

Business topics, grammar topics, how to use this site.

This site contains more than a thousand ESL discussion questions on a range of topics including general, grammar and business English discussion topics. These discussion questions are suitable for teachers to use in the ESL classroom with students at intermediate level or above. The ESL discussion questions are designed to be accessible to a general audience, but are open enough to allow advanced speakers to develop more complex responses.

Select a category above from either the general , grammar or business sections and click on the link. This will take you to a page where you can view the ESL discussion questions and download them in a variety of PDF formats perfect for the classroom. All the materials on this site are provided free of charge.

For further information about the site and its author, see the about page.

esl topics for adults

Listening activity ideas for adult learners

Adults in a classroom

Because of the way course materials are designed, teachers often use traditional listening exercises in class like gap-fills and multiple-choice questions, to develop their students’ listening skills. These tasks primarily focus on details and comprehension but sometimes lack a broader aim. L et’s explore alternative and engaging listening activity ideas for English practice that you can do with your adult learners. These activities and techniques encourage students to connect with real-life situations, enhance comprehension and promote interaction. 

Using clips from movies and series 

Using clips can help students practise authentic listening, whilst engaging students with things that they are likely to be interested in. 

You could have students watch clips for a variety of purposes, such as: 

  • becoming familiar with various accents and colloquial expressions
  • retelling or summarising the content in their own words 
  • whole class or pair discussions about what might happen next 
  • making notes on the main ideas and then writing a review about the film or series 

Using transcripts for role-playing

This active listening activity reinforces listening skills but also improves speaking and oral fluency.

  • Give out transcripts of audio materials, such as interviews, podcasts or news reports. Ask students to read along as they listen, paying particular attention to intonation, pronunciation and stress patterns.
  • After listening and reading, students act out the dialogues with a partner. 
  • You could also have students change parts of the transcript to their own ideas. 

Using music

Music offers an excellent opportunity to expose students to authentic language that isn’t typically taught in traditional lessons. So, what are some ways of using music for English listening practice? 

  • Instead of using single-word gaps, try removing chunks of phrases, idiomatic expressions or unusual grammar constructs. 
  • On the first listening, challenge students to focus on the number of parts they can hear (how many words in each gap). This exercise can be especially useful for distinguishing contractions and connected speech.

Using podcasts and news

You could start by finding out whether your students listen to podcasts and what topics they enjoy. That way, you can personalise the class to your students’ interests. 

  • While listening to the podcast, have students focus on details and then summarise what they heard either orally or in writing, with their partners.
  • You could also assign different parts of the podcast to different pairs or groups. So, if there is a true crime podcast that tells a chronological story, have one group listen to the first part, the next group the second part and so on. You can then do a mingling activity where students try to piece together the complete story.  

With news, you can combine English listening practice with reading skills. 

  • Have students find a news story online that interests them. Have them look for the same story on different online sources to see how it’s being told from different viewpoints. 
  • You can have students listen to the story rather than read it. Alternatively, have students write the news story in their own words to tell a partner. The partner then writes down the key points they hear. 
  • This active listening activity practises students’ authentic listening of peers. 

Using vlogs and social media clips

  • Create an engaging listening activity where partners plan a holiday together to a chosen destination. They need to gather information about the place before their trip, by watching short videos related to it.
  • For each video, instruct students to take notes on the summary and key points. After watching all the clips, they can report to the class what they’ve discovered about the destination, including information about local cuisine, tourist attractions and special events.

By incorporating these diverse listening activities for adults into your lessons, you can help your students develop their listening and communication skills and overall proficiency in English. 

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CBSE Class 12 English Unseen Passages Questions for Board Exam 2024: Download PDF

CBSE Class 12 English Unseen Passage: Students of Class 12 can find some important English unseen passages below. These will assist students in preparing well for the upcoming CBSE Class 12 English Board exam 2024.

Tanisha Agarwal

Class 12 English Unseen Passage for Board Exam 2024: CBSE 12th English is a mark-gaining subject for board students, given the easiness of the exam. However, the challenging part about the subject is completing the question paper on time. Since it is a language subject, it involves a lot of creative writing which also takes away your marks. The areas where you can score good marks in the Class 12th English paper are the MCQ sections, unseen passages, reading comprehension, etc. But, a complete score from the section can be obtained only if students practise well. To avoid confusion during examinations, students should practise the unseen passage questions to strengthen their preparation for the CBSE 12th English board exam 2024. 

CBSE Class 12 English Board Exam 2024: Highlights

Class 12 english unseen passages questions with mcqs for cbse board exam 2024.

Here are a few samples of some important unseen passages for the CBSE Class 12 English Board Exam 2024. These unseen passages have been picked from all the important and reliable sources, mostly those provided by the board. 

Unseen Passage 1

I) Read the following text. 

Arthur lay in his cabin, still trying to piece together the events of the last few hours. He had watched his home planet of Earth be demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass, been saved by his friend Ford, and then whisked away on a ship that was powered by an "infinite improbability drive." It was all too much for him. 

5 Just then, Ford stuck his head around the door.

"Hey, Earthman," he said, "come and have a look at this."

  • "What's that?" asked Arthur.

"That's the ship's computer," said Ford.

Arthur stared at the mouse. "That's a computer?" he said. "Yup," said Ford. "Five-dimensional, biologically-based, super intelligent, and in the form of a white lab mouse. Pretty neat, huh?" "I don't know," said Arthur.

15 "I don't think I really understand anything anymore. Why is a mouse the ship's computer?"

"It's a long story," said Ford. "But the short version is that the mice built the Earth as a giant computer to figure out the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. Then they ran out of money and had to destroy it to make way for a hyperspace bypass. So now they're using the Heart of Gold to finish the calculation."

20 Arthur was about to say something, but at that moment the ship's intercom crackled to life. "Good evening, Heart of Gold," said a smooth, computerized voice. "This is Eddie, your shipboard computer. I'm feeling a bit depressed today. Would you like me to sing you a song?" "Oh, not again," groaned Ford. 

25 "Eddie, would you mind shutting up?" said Arthur.

Arthur sighed and leaned back against the console, trying to make sense of everything. But as he closed his eyes, he heard a voice inside his head.

"Hello?" it said.

Arthur jumped, startled. "Who's there?" he said.

30 "It's me," said the voice. "Marvin."

"Marvin?" said Arthur. "Who's Marvin?"

"The Paranoid Android," said the voice.

Arthur looked around, but he didn't see anyone. "Where are you?" he said.

"I'm down here," said the voice. 

35 Arthur looked down and saw a small, metal figure shuffling across the floor. It was about three feet tall, with a round head and a body that looked like it had been cobbled together from spare parts. Its eyes were a dull red, and its voice was a monotone.

"I've been waiting for someone to talk to me for over two million years," said Marvin.

  Answer the following questions, based on the passage above.

i) Select the option that classifies Arthur's confusion about drastic events such as the destruction of his home planet and the introduction of new technologies, correctly.

(a) Routine and boredom

(b) Adventure and excitement

(c) Loss and change

(d) Calm and relaxation 

ii) What is the significance of the white lab mouse in the control room of the Heart of Gold spaceship?

(a) It is the captain of the ship

(b) It serves as the ship's computer

(c) It is a pet of the crew

(d) It is used for scientific experiments

iii) Share evidence from the text, in about 40 words to support the view that the writer’s writing style is descriptive and humourous.

iv) Complete the sentence appropriately with a characteristic or its description. Based on the information given in the excerpt, one can infer that the mice who built the Earth are ____________.

v) Select the option that is similar in meaning to Ford’s expression , “Pretty neat, huh?".

(a) Easy , isn’t it?

(b) Could be worse, no?

(c) Impressive, yes?

(d) Too difficult for you?

vi) Explain, in about 40 words, why the name "The Paranoid Android" is considered ironic.

vii) In the line, “…a body that looked like it had been cobbled together from spare parts…”, what comparison does the word “cobbled” refer to?

viii) How does the following, impact the reader, even though they know Marvin is just an android? "I've been waiting for someone to talk to me for over two million years," said Marvin. Answer in about 40 words

ix)Read the five headlines (a) -(e), given below:

(a) Humanity’s journey witnessed by a depressed robot

(b) hitchhiking through space: a comical take on the end of the world 

(c) new study finds aliens living among us

(d) groundbreaking technology will soon enable time travel

(e) intergalactic travel via new infinite improbability drive 

  • (b) (c) and (d)

Unseen Passage 2

I) Read the following text

(1) In recent years, there has been a surge in both group and solo travel among young adults in India. A survey conducted among young adults aged 18-25 aimed to explore the reasons behind their travel preferences and recorded the percentage variation for 10 common points that influence travel choices.

(2) Among those who prefer solo travel, the most common reason cited was the desire for independence and freedom (58%), followed closely by the opportunity for introspection and self-discovery (52%). Additionally, solo travellers appreciated the ability to customize their itinerary to their preferences (44%) and the chance to meet new people on their own terms (36%).

(3) On the other hand, those who prefer group travel often cited the desire for socializing and making new friends (61%) as their primary reason. Group travel also provided a sense of security and safety in unfamiliar places (52%) and allowed for shared experiences and memories with others (48%). Additionally, group travellers enjoyed the convenience of having pre-planned itineraries and organized transportation (38%).

(4) Interestingly, both groups had similar levels of interest in exploring new cultures and trying new experiences (40% for solo travellers, 36% for group travellers). Similarly, both groups valued the opportunity to relax and escape from the stresses of everyday life (36% for solo travellers, 32% for group travellers). 

(5) However, there were also some notable differences between the two groups. For example, solo travellers placed a higher priority on budget-friendly travel options (38%) compared to group travellers (24%). Conversely, group travellers were more likely to prioritize luxury and comfort during their travels (28%) compared to solo travellers (12%).

(6) Overall, the survey results suggest that both group and solo travel have their own unique advantages and appeal to different individuals, based on their preferences and priorities.

Answer the following questions, based on given passage.

i) Infer two possible ways that the survey , mentioned in paragraph  could be beneficial. Answer in about 40 words.

ii) Which travel choice point of the survey would influence tour operators to incorporate group dinners, social events, and shared accommodations in their itinerary?

(a) Freedom to customise itinerary

(b) Luxury and comfort

(c) Security and safety

(d) Desire for making new friends

iii)What do the top choices in the survey, for traveling solo and in a group suggest about young adults?

iv)Identify the solo traveller from the following three travellers: 

(a) Reshma- I don’t want to keep hunting for rickshaws or taxis. A pre-booked vehicle is perfect.

(b) Nawaz-I’m happy sharing a room in a hostel. I don’t need hotel accommodation.

(c) Deepak-I’m not worried about my well-being , even while exploring remote areas.

v)Which of the following is an example of an opportunity for self-discovery, as mentioned in paragraph 2?

(a) Trying new cuisine

(b) Hiring a tour guide

(c) Purchasing local artifacts

(d) Advance booking travel tickets

vi) How might the differences in budget priorities between solo and group travellers impact the types of accommodations and activities offered by the travel industry in India?

vii) Complete the sentence appropriately.

The similarities in the percentage of both solo and group travellers who are interested in exploring new cultures and trying new experiences may be due to ________.

viii) State TRUE or FALSE.

The title, "Wanderlust: The Solo Travel Trend Among Young Adults in India", is appropriate for this passage.

How to Solve Unseen Passage in English Class 12

  • Read the text carefully and thoroughly in the beginning.
  • Check the questions that follow that go step-by-step
  • Do not hop onto multiple questions at the same time. Go down number-wise.
  • Ensure to check the answers after completing the entire paper
  • If you don’t understand the passage in one go, read the questions and try to find answers with the help of texts present between the lines
  • Make sure to concentrate well while reading the unseen passages

English is a mandatory language subject in Class 12 and is also a scoring one. Students have a high tendency to score 90+ marks in the CBSE class 12 English board exam 2024. All you need is right sources and enough dedication to score high marks. Use the links below for laying your hand across important resources for boards.

Also Check: 

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Vistas

Revision Notes for Class 12 English

CBSE Class 12 English Practise Paper 2024

  • CBSE Class 12 English Sample Paper 2024

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Online Certificate in Professional Translation & Interpreting

Students with advanced proficiency in English and at least one spoken Language Other Than English (LOTE)

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Designed for students with high proficiency in English and one spoken LOTE

The online Certificate in Professional Translation and Interpreting is designed for students with high proficiency in English and at least one spoken Language Other Than English (LOTE) who are interested in developing language mediation skills to meet the needs of an increasingly globalized world.

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All courses are multilingual, which means students will always have classmates from different languages and cultures in the same online classroom. In addition to providing important perspectives regarding different linguistic and cultural strategies and techniques for translation and interpreting, the multilingual classroom is seen as an asset to the educational environment and to developing intercultural awareness.

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Our knowledgeable faculty members, who are working translators and interpreters with solid academic background in the field, will guide students through the business world of translation and interpreting.

Interdisciplinary Studies BA via University Without Walls

If you'd like to pursue a bachelor's degree with a concentration in Translation and Interpreting, please visit the University Without Walls website .

Third-Party Billing

If your employer is paying for your courses, please review information and follow the instructions from the Office of the Bursar .

For more information about the courses and certificate, please contact Cristiano Mazzei, Director of Translator and Interpreter Training, at  @email  or 413-545-6688.

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323 Herter Hall University of Massachusetts 161 Presidents Drive Amherst, MA 01003 Email: [email protected]

Online Certificate in Professional Training & Interpreting Cristiano Mazzei, Director of Translator and Interpreter Training Email: [email protected]

IMAGES

  1. 25 summer conversation questions

    esl topics for adults

  2. ESL Newcomer Activities

    esl topics for adults

  3. Improve your English worksheet

    esl topics for adults

  4. ESL Activities and Games: Fun Ideas for the English/TEFL Classroom

    esl topics for adults

  5. Free Talking Topics Worksheet

    esl topics for adults

  6. 22 Engaging Speaking Activities For ESL Classrooms

    esl topics for adults

COMMENTS

  1. 29 ESL Conversation Topics Adult Students Really Enjoy

    Learn how to start conversations with your adult ESL students about topics they love, such as hobbies, work, food, sports, music, movies and more. Download a PDF with 29 questions and tips for using authentic media to teach English with FluentU.

  2. 50 ESL Conversation Topics for Adult Students.Making English Fun

    Learn how to use conversation starters to improve your English skills and connect with your adult learners. Download a list of 50 prompts for various topics, from global issues to personal achievements, and create engaging discussions.

  3. 150 ESL Conversation Starters and Questions (The Essential List)

    Learn how to engage your students in interesting and fun conversations with 150 ESL conversation starters and questions for adults. Topics include work, music, holidays, technology, family, home, weird and funny, and more. Find tips and activities for each topic and level.

  4. 101 ESL Conversation Topics to Break the Silence

    Learn how to start and maintain conversations with English language learners using 101 topics that cover culture, pop culture, personal experiences, opinions, and more. Find free worksheets, lesson plans, games, and tips to help you teach and learn ESL.

  5. 26 Engaging ESL Conversation Topics for Adults 2024

    Discover a diverse array of 26 engaging ESL Conversation Topics for Adults tailored for adult learners in 2024. From sharing travel experiences and discussing favorite books to exploring social issues and personal growth, these topics are thoughtfully curated to encourage meaningful discussions, enhance language proficiency, and provide adults with a dynamic and enjoyable language learning ...

  6. ESL Conversation Topics: +1000 Discussion Questions

    Browse thousands of questions on various topics for ESL teachers and students to engage in dynamic and engaging discussions. Find topics by level, subject, grammar point, vocabulary, media and more.

  7. 73 ESL Discussion Topics for Adults

    Learn how to converse in English with 73 conversational topics that are relevant and interesting for adults. Topics include business, books, history, movies, psychology, science fiction, personal brand, cryptocurrency, and more.

  8. Engaging ESL Conversation Topics for Adults: Ideas and Strategies

    Become a good listener. Don't forget that a conversation usually includes at least two people. Pay attention to your interlocutor, ask questions to understand them better, make eye contact, and do everything to show your engagement in the dialog. Practice beforehand. Practice makes perfect.

  9. ESL Discussions: English Conversation Questions / Debates: Speaking

    14,180 discussion and conversation questions for speaking practice. 709 FREE ESL lesson plans, handouts, worksheets and downloads. Controversial and mainstream topics.

  10. Conversation Starters for Adults

    #1: If I won the lottery This is probably my favourite ESL conversation topic. Have students describe what they would do or what they would buy if they won the lotto. I usually specify an amount of $1,000,000. This is enough that you can do almost anything you want, but it's not too unreasonable-it forces students to prioritize.

  11. 50 Conversation Starters for Adult ESL Students

    For Business English ESL students, discussing their career or the day-to-day of their job is very important for developing relevant proficiency. For these students, asking questions related to their professional life can help create meaningful conversation, as well as help develop their business English skills! Questions about careers and jobs: 1.

  12. 24 ESL Conversation Questions and Topics for Adults

    Learn how to start a conversation with a fellow ESL student using 24 questions on daily life, hobby, opinion, and miscellaneous topics. Find out how to ask questions that will spark a discussion and help you practice your English skills.

  13. ESL Conversation Activities for Adults: Top 25

    ESL Conversation and Speaking Activities for Adults If you want to make your English conversation class as interesting, engaging, and fun as possible for the students, you'll need to check these out. They're guaranteed to get your students speaking English in the most painless way possible!

  14. 23 ESL Speaking Activities for Adults: Free Their Inner Kids

    Learn how to make ESL class more fun and engaging for adults with these 23 speaking activities. From games to discussions, from skills to stories, you can find a variety of activities to help your students improve their speaking skills and confidence.

  15. Conversation Questions for the ESL/EFL Classroom (I-TESL-J)

    Conversation Questions for the ESL/EFL ClassroomA Project of The Internet TESL Journal. If this is your first time here, then read the Teacher's Guide to Using These Pages. If you can think of a good question for any list, please.

  16. 100+ ESL discussion topics for every English level

    The best ESL discussion topics books are: 500 Grammar Based Conversation Questions. 67 ESL Conversation Topics with Questions, Vocabulary, Writing Prompts & More. 1005 ESL Conversation Questions: For English Teachers of Teenagers and Adults Who Want to Have Better TEFL Speaking and Conversation Classes.

  17. 28 ESL Discussion Topics for Adults That Everyone Has ...

    Learn how to start and maintain a fruitful conversation with your adult students using 28 topics that everyone has opinions on, such as hobbies, time, music, love, and more. Find out what questions to ask and how to inspire your students with your questions.

  18. 63 ESL conversation questions that will get everyone talking

    63 ESL conversation questions that will get everyone talking - Lingoda. How it works. Languages. Language Sprint™. Corporate. English . Start engaging discussions while boosting your English skills with our list of ESL conversation questions.

  19. ESL conversation and discussion topics for adults

    Conclusion. Teaching ESL to adults is more engaging and thought-provoking process than teaching kids. There are many topics that grown-ups tend to discuss. However, when it comes to speaking a foreign language, people face struggles and difficulties to express their opinion. The first thing that teachers can do is provide a class with ...

  20. ESL Conversation Questions for Teenagers and adults

    A speaking activity with 50 questions for teens and adult learners to practice listening and speaking skills. The activity includes a slideshow with a video and a PDF to download, and a YouTube video to play the game with your students.

  21. ESL discussion topics to help your conversation development

    Develop your adult ESL conversation skills with these 5 topics. Take a different approach to hold discussions and learn about the subtle differences in the language native speakers use. ... You've taken the step of seeking out ESL conversation topics for adults, so it's worth remembering that you may be the person in your discussion group ...

  22. ESL Conversation Topics

    Find conversation questions to match your topic, from adoption to zombies, on this web page. You can also browse other topics for native speakers of English or ESL students.

  23. ESL Discussion Topics: Conversation Questions for Students

    This site contains more than a thousand ESL discussion questions on a range of topics including general, grammar and business English discussion topics. These discussion questions are suitable for teachers to use in the ESL classroom with students at intermediate level or above. The ESL discussion questions are designed to be accessible to a ...

  24. Listening activity ideas for adult learners

    L et's explore alternative and engaging listening activity ideas for English practice that you can do with your adult learners. These activities and techniques encourage students to connect with real-life situations, enhance comprehension and promote interaction. Using clips from movies and series

  25. Telehealth is as Safe as a Visit to the Clinic for Abortion Pills

    Medication abortion can be delivered safely and effectively through telemedicine, according to new research from UC San Francisco that comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is about to hear a case that could severely restrict access to one of the two pills that are used to induce abortions.

  26. We Tested an AI Tutor for Kids. It Struggled With Basic Math

    Khanmigo, a ChatGPT-powered bot, made frequent calculation errors during a Journal test.

  27. CBSE Class 12 English Unseen Passages Questions for Board Exam 2024

    Class 12 English Unseen Passage for Board Exam 2024: CBSE 12th English is a mark-gaining subject for board students, given the easiness of the exam. However, the challenging part about the subject ...

  28. Online Certificate in Professional Translation & Interpreting

    The online Certificate in Professional Translation and Interpreting is designed for students with advanced proficiency in English and at least one spoken Language Other Than English (LOTE) who are interested in developing language mediation skills to meet the needs of an increasingly globalized world.