ESL Advanced Conversation Topics

Instructor: Amanda Wiesner-Groff

Amanda has created and taught English/ESL curricula worldwide, has an M.Ed, and is the current ESOL Coordinator for the Saint Louis Public School District.

Encouraging conversation in the ESL classroom is a great way to build student comfort and confidence. Thought-provoking questions and prompts are essential for in-depth discussions. Read on for an extensive list of advanced conversation topics that will get your students talking.

Conversation Topics for Advanced ESL Students

Depending upon the students and type of ESL class you are teaching, you will want to provide advanced conversation topics relevant to what is being taught. Also, try to choose topics that students will be comfortable with, and capable of, discussing. The following topics are broken down by category for easy selection and can be modified according to student comprehension level.

Personal

  • What has been your biggest success?
  • What is your biggest goal? Why is this important to you?
  • How do you define success?
  • Are personal goals important? Why or why not?

Technology

  • What form of technology do you find most confusing?
  • If you could only use one piece of technology for one week, what would it be? Why?
  • If you could invent a new form of technology, what would it be? Why?
  • Do you feel technology is making people lazy, or do you feel it is helping people be more efficient?

News

  • Do you think news coverage accurately depicts what is going on in the world?
  • What do you think there should be more/less of on the news?
  • Should all people watch the news on a daily basis? Why or why not?
  • Do you trust everything you hear or see on the news?

Past, Present, Future

  • If you could change one thing about the present, in order to secure a better future, what would it be?
  • What five things would you put in a time capsule for future generations to see?
  • What would you do if you had a time travel machine? To what time in the past or future would you want to travel?
  • If you could go to the past to tell yourself one thing, what would it be?

Travel

  • What is the importance of travel? Or, do you feel travel is important?
  • What is the most memorable trip you have ever taken? Why was it special?
  • Do you feel travel can provide educational benefits?

Work

  • What should be the ultimate focus when it comes to work?
  • What is more important when it comes to a career: salary or satisfaction?
  • Do you believe people can successfully balance work and family? How would you do it?
  • In some cultures it is believed that jobs that are dirty, dangerous, or difficult are undesirable. Do you agree with this? Why or why not?

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