Time Questions for ESL Students

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.

Regardless of an ESL (English as a Second Language) student's native language, time is a topic that is important to both understand and be able to discuss. In this lesson, teachers are provided with numerous time-related discussion questions specifically designed for ESL learners.

Time to Talk

Time is one of the essential subjects ESL (English as a Second Language) students need to feel confident discussing. One advantage of this topic is that no matter what language or culture a student is coming from, the concept of a 24-hour day and telling time is nearly universal. Having a familiar topic to discuss can help learners be self-assured when they speak. There are a few ways to use these questions in class.

  • Choose appropriate questions to ask your students in a one-on-one setting. This is a great opportunity to assess individual progress and offer constructive feedback.
  • Distribute questions to pairs of students and give them time to ask and answer questions with each other. Don't forget to switch up the pairs every few minutes so that students can hear different viewpoints and opinions.
  • Give a few level-appropriate questions to each student and allow them to formulate and rehearse answers. After a few minutes, ask for volunteers to share their practiced responses with the class.

Be sure to remind students to write down and look up any new vocabulary and pronunciations and make yourself available to answer questions and offer feedback.

Easy Time Questions

  1. What time is it?
  2. What's your favorite way to waste time?
  3. What do you like to do in your free time?
  4. Are you a fast or slow eater?
  5. Is your lunch break long enough?
  6. Do you think students have enough breaks during the school day?
  7. How much time do you spend studying every day?
  8. How much time do you spend using your cell phone everyday?
  9. How much time do you spend watching TV every week?
  10. Are you usually early, on time, or late?
  11. Do you like to wear a watch?
  12. How many clocks are in your house?
  13. What time do you usually wake up on school days?
  14. What time do you usually go to bed on weekends?

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