Advice Questions for ESL Students

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Questions about advice can be a great way to get ESL students talking and listening to each other. The questions in this lesson will help your students get started on some interesting conversations.

Why Ask Advice Questions?

Almost everyone has asked for advice at some point in their life, and many people have also had the opportunity to give advice to someone else. In fact, taking and giving advice is a specific conversational skill, and talking about advice can also be a great way to engage another person in a deep and interesting discussion. For ESL students, learning to talk about advice and practicing talking about advice is a good way to practice English conversational skills.

One way to get your students into conversations about advice is to offer them particular questions to work with. When you give your students questions as conversation starters, you take some pressure off of them for figuring out exactly what to talk about. This allows them to focus more acutely and thoughtfully on the topic at hand. The questions in this lesson are designed to help your students talk to one another about advice. You can ask questions to your students, or you can break them into partnerships or small groups and have them ask questions of one another. Students may also have questions of their own that they hope to add to these lists!

Simple Questions About Advice

The questions in this section are fairly concrete in nature. They are well suited to younger students or those who are developing their basic interpersonal communication skills in English.

  • What is a good piece of advice someone has given you? How did you use this advice? How did it help you?
  • What is a good piece of advice you have given someone else? How did that person use your advice? How did it help them?
  • What is a bad piece of advice someone has given you? Describe whether or not you used the advice and why you considered it a bad piece of advice.
  • Who are you most likely to go to when you need advice? Explain why you choose to go to the people you do.
  • Who are some of the people that are likely to come to you for advice? Explain why these people come to you.
  • Tell a story about a time when you really needed advice from another person. Describe how you knew that you needed advice and how you decided who to go to for advice.
  • What do you say when you need advice from another person? Explain how you go about asking for advice.
  • What are some of the topics that other people are likely to come to you for advice about? Why are you good at giving advice on these specific topics? What do you usually say or ask first when another person comes to you for advice?
  • Do you enjoy giving advice to others? Explain why or why not, using specific examples.
  • Do you enjoy receiving advice from others? Explain why or why not, using specific examples.

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