ESL Conversation Questions About Family

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.

As an ESL instructor, you know that conversation is an important part of every daily routine. This lesson will focus on conversations centered on the theme of family. Read on, for ideas and questions that will get your ESL students engaged and eager to take part in classroom conversations.

Conversations with ESL Students

Conversations with your English as Second Language (ESL) students can sometimes feel like pulling teeth. You ask a question, hope for a great discussion, and then you get nothing but dead air in return. There are a number of reasons this happens, but it usually stems from students feeling intimidated, being unfamiliar with the topic, or not feeling any sense of relevance to the topic. There are a few things you can do to remedy this problem, and that is what we will go over here.

For this lesson, we will be focusing on conversation questions about family, but will also include ideas for integrating these questions into the classroom. Sometimes the way questions are introduced can be just as important as the questions themselves. Let's get started.

Get Your Students Talking

When introducing conversation topics to your ESL students, you should always make sure you go over new or tricky vocabulary words to help assist in student comprehension. Students cannot talk about a topic, if they do not understand it. An overview of new concepts and vocabulary will make participation in conversation feel less intimidating. You should:

  • Keep vocabulary words visible/on display for easy viewing.
  • Integrate words into daily conversation to help with student acquisition.
  • Be sure everyone is comfortable with the topic before moving into discussions

Next, ESL students can feel intimidated when it comes to speaking in front of his or her classmates; therefore, it is important that you create an environment where students not only feel engaged, but also comfortable and supported. There are a few ways you can go about doing this.

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