ESL Conversation Questions About Success

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

Many ESL (English as a Second Language) learners view the ability to speak English well as a sign of success. This lesson provides teachers with success-related conversation questions that will enable students to think and talk about what success means to them.

Let's Talk About Success

Different people have different definitions of success. The ability to clearly and competently discuss success, and failure, can be a valuable skill for ESL learners. The questions in this lesson have been specifically designed to encourage students to practice new English pronunciations, grammar, and vocabulary.

There are a few ways you can use these questions in your classroom.

  • Distribute level-appropriate questions to student pairs. Be sure to switch the pairs around after a few minutes so that learners can hear different opinions and viewpoints.
  • Hand out individual copies of the questions and give students time to create prepared responses and then ask for volunteers to share their answers with the class.
  • Use the questions to assess the language ability of your students on an individual basis.

Even though some of the questions can be answered with a yes or no, encourage students to provide more detailed answers. Students can extend their answers by adding examples, observations, and opinions. Also, be sure to remind students to keep a list of new words and phrases to review and practice. As students converse, walk around the room and listen in, but don't interrupt unless students specifically ask for help.

Easy Success Questions

  1. If you experience failure early on when trying something new, do you tend to give up?
  2. What goals have you set for yourself?
  3. Do your parents set goals for you?
  4. How do you feel when you fail?
  5. How do people prepare to be successful?
  6. Are you a successful student?
  7. Why are some people more successful than others?
  8. When was the first time you felt successful?
  9. What is your definition of success?
  10. Describe the most successful person you know.
  11. Does too much success make a person lazy?
  12. Are rich people always successful?

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