ESL Discussion Questions About Money

Instructor: Sarah Mills

Sarah is an educational freelance writer and has taught English and ESL in grades k-12 and college. She has a master's degree in both Literacy and TESOL.

In this lesson, teachers will learn about facilitating small-group discussions with English as a Second Language (ESL) students regarding their background knowledge, experiences, and opinions relating to money. The intended audience ranges from elementary school students to adults. A list of sample conversation questions will be included.

Talking About Money

Money is a topic that affects all people in one way or another, and many students will have a lot to say about it. Since it's a subject that most people have at least a rudimentary knowledge of, ESL students can practice their oral language skills and vocabulary development by engaging in discussions about it.

Following are some sample discussion questions about money that you can provide to ESL students during partner work and small-group activities. You can decide which questions would be most appropriate to use with your students.

Questions About Students' Background Knowledge

  • What is the difference between a checking account and a savings account?
  • What does it mean to 'earn interest?'
  • What does the expression 'money talks' mean?
  • What does the expression 'time is money' mean?
  • What does the expression 'money doesn't grow on trees' mean?
  • What is the difference between a credit card and a debit card?
  • What does it mean to 'play the stock market?'
  • What is an Automated Teller Machine (ATM), and how does it work?
  • What is debt?
  • Which careers make the most and least money?

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