ESL Discussion Questions about Immigration

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

Immigration is an engaging but sensitive topic for discussion in the ESL classroom. Therefore, this lesson provides general discussion questions that address different aspects of immigration.

A Sensitive Topic

As an ESL teacher, you know that many of your students are immigrants and that, perhaps, their immigration status may not be legal. Even if your ESL students are all legal, they may have parents or family members who are not. For these reasons, although the topic of immigration is relevant and interesting to ESL students, it's possible that as soon as you bring it up, your students get uncomfortable.

The best way to put your students at ease is to explain that immigration is a discussion topic like any other with its own vocabulary they need to understand. You can encourage students to participate in discussion of these general questions, but emphasize that they do not need to reveal any personal information.

Let's take a look at sample questions regarding why immigration occurs, its legal implications and the process of adapting to a new country.

Why Immigration?

This group of questions has to do with the reasons why people immigrate to a different country. For the third question, you would have to show your students a news clip or a quick report you can easily find on the internet.

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