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Questions About Stress for ESL Students

Instructor: Sarah Mills

Sarah is an educational freelance writer and has taught English and ESL in grades k-12 and college. She has a bachelor's degree in English Education from the University of Delaware, and a master's in TESOL Literacy from Wilmington University.

In this lesson, teachers will learn about facilitating conversations between English as a Second Language (ESL) students about stress. A list of sample discussion questions about stress will be included.

Talking About Stress

Many students experience stress on a regular basis. ESL students, in particular, can be overwhelmed with learning a new language and assimilating to a new culture. Talking about the causes and effects of stress can help students understand their own physiological reactions, and teaching ways to combat stress can help students perform better in school and improve their quality of life.

It might be a good idea to facilitate small group discussions about stress during times of the year when students are more prone to it, such as before exams or when there is a change to their regular schedule. Discussions can help students learn from one another, develop their social skills, enhance vocabulary, and improve oral language development.

Here are some sample questions you can give pairs or small groups of students for discussing students' experiences, causes and effects, and solutions to stress:

Questions About Students' Experiences With Stress

  • What makes you become stressed?
  • Do you become stressed easily?
  • How does stress affect you?
  • Can you name a time when you were very stressed? How did you deal with it?
  • What is your preferred method for dealing with stress?
  • Have you ever talked to a professional counselor to help manage stress?
  • Has money ever been a source of stress in your life?
  • What are some hobbies that help you avoid stress?
  • What are some examples of high-stress jobs?
  • Can stress ever be beneficial?
  • How stressed do you become before taking a test?

Questions About Causes and Effects of Stress

  • Why do people become stressed?
  • What do you think are the top three causes of stress?
  • How does school contribute to stress?
  • How do relationships contribute to stress?
  • What are some common effects of stress?
  • What are some common symptoms of stress?
  • How does stress affect sleep?
  • How does stress affect academic and work performance?
  • How does stress affect personal relationships?
  • Do you think it's worthwhile to pursue a high-stress career if the pay is very good?

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