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Ch 6: ESL Questions & Conversations

About This Chapter

Allow this chapter to help you develop better lesson plans for teaching ESL learners about questions and conversations. Our planning tools give you easy-to-follow guidance and practical advice on how to approach these topics in ways that work for ESL learners of all skill levels.

ESL Questions & Conversations - Chapter Summary

With this chapter, our instructors go over the different approaches educators can use for teaching ESL students about questions and conversations. Through exercises, activities, games, and role-playing scenarios, these lessons provide you with ideas on how to approach ESL students about such topics as the various types of questions, strategies for English conversations, and communication in professional settings.

Educators who are creating their own curriculum for ESL learners can benefit from using this teaching resource, as it provides an extensive step-by-step guide on teaching these topics. You have the choice of either using our chapter as an outline for your own lessons, or you can implement our lessons directly into your own classroom. These lessons can also provide you with some insight on current trends in ESL education, which may help you spark some new ideas for your own classroom activities.

How It Helps

  • Provides ready-made plans: Although you can always alter our lessons to fit the needs of your own students, many of the lessons available in our chapters can be used directly in your own classroom, saving you a significant amount of time.
  • Explains helpful strategies: If you are new to teaching second-language learners, this teaching resource walks you through some of the best approaches out there for teaching ESL students about questions and conversations.
  • Reduces anxiety: Instead of worrying about how to make lesson plans to teach these topics, our pre-made materials can relieve some of your stress by either giving you plans that you can implement immediately, or by providing you with guidelines to reference during your own personal lesson planning.

Skills Covered

By the close of this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Describe exercises and games for 'Wh-' and embedded questions
  • Understand activities that address indirect and tag questions
  • Identify how to role-play job interview questions
  • Integrate lesson plans for how ESL students can ask questions
  • Analyze different examples of probing questions
  • Improve ESL students' conversational skills
  • Implement dialog ideas for restaurant or shopping experiences
  • Define techniques for teaching conversational English to second language learners
  • Examine approaches to more advanced conversation topics
  • Explain topics for discussion, debate, and business conversations
  • Point out tips for presentation and speech topics
  • Offer examples of speaking rubrics designed for ESL learners

40 Lessons in Chapter 6: ESL Questions & Conversations
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
ESL Introduce Yourself Activities

1. ESL Introduce Yourself Activities

Your ESL students may be intimidated just by meeting new people, and it can be even more daunting to have to introduce themselves in their second language, English. Many may not know where to start. Let's ease their minds and guide them through introductions with these fun activities.

ESL Role Play Lesson Plan

2. ESL Role Play Lesson Plan

Support your ESL students in communicating during real-life situations by using this role play lesson. Students will role play various real-life scenarios and then use their experience to write a collaborative narrative about it.

ESL Wh- Questions Lesson Plan

3. ESL Wh- Questions Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will expose ELL students to the five kinds of wh- questions. Students will practice speaking, listening and writing wh- questions in a series of engaging and interactive activities.

ESL 'Wh-' Questions: Games & Exercises

4. ESL 'Wh-' Questions: Games & Exercises

Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) students to ask and answer questions is a great way to increase vocabulary and comprehension. This lesson describes classroom games and activities for teaching ESL students to ask and answer 'Wh-' questions.

ESL Phone Conversations Lesson Plan

5. ESL Phone Conversations Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will help English language learners become more comfortable with making and receiving phone calls. Student pair activities as well as individual activities are included depending on the type of activity you need for your classroom.

ESL Lesson Plan for Facial Expressions

6. ESL Lesson Plan for Facial Expressions

In this lesson plan, ESL students will learn the vocabulary for different facial expressions. Through activities that require speaking, listening, reading and writing, ESL students will get ample opportunities to practice the vocabulary.

ESL Personal Information Games & Exercises

7. ESL Personal Information Games & Exercises

The ability to share personal information is a fundamental skill for English as a second language (ESL) students. In this lesson, teachers will find related classroom games and exercises for ESL learners of all ages and abilities.

ESL Embedded Questions: Games & Exercises

8. ESL Embedded Questions: Games & Exercises

A solid understanding of embedded questions can benefit English as a Second Language (ESL) students, especially in everyday conversation. This lesson provides classroom exercises for teaching embedded questions.

Teaching Debate Skills to ESL Students

9. Teaching Debate Skills to ESL Students

In this lesson, you will learn how debate can help your English as a Second Language (ESL) students build English skills, as well as strategies for implementing debate lessons for your ESL students.

ESL Tag Questions: Games & Exercises

10. ESL Tag Questions: Games & Exercises

In this lesson, we will provide examples of games and exercises for ESL students learning how to use and answer tag questions. Using tag questioning can improve question creating skills and help ESL students engage in conversations.

ESL Indirect Questions:  Activities & Exercises

11. ESL Indirect Questions: Activities & Exercises

Indirect questions can be a challenge for ESL (English as a Second Language) students. This lesson provides teachers with classroom activities and exercises to teach indirect questions.

ESL Asking Questions Lesson Plan

12. ESL Asking Questions Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan to help your ESL students with asking and answering questions. Students start by watching an engaging video that defines and outlines probing questions and shares examples, then practice along with video examples and an activity.

Probing Questions: Types & Examples

13. Probing Questions: Types & Examples

Want someone to open up? In this lesson, we will learn about probing questions and how they are used to elicit answers that are based on critical thinking and/or personal feelings.

ESL Conversation Starters

14. ESL Conversation Starters

Sometimes, getting your students to speak in an ESL class can be like pulling teeth. These activities will help students gain confidence in speaking and increase their motivation to learn the English language.

ESL Conversation & Speaking Activities

15. ESL Conversation & Speaking Activities

While ESL students will have a lot of exposure to English conversation, this doesn't mean they'll have the skills or comfort level needed to initiate and maintain English conversations on their own. Continue reading to learn about some conversation and speaking activities that will get your students talking.

ESL Conversation Questions & Topics

16. ESL Conversation Questions & Topics

For students who are learning English as a second language (ESL), conversations can be a bit of a challenge. Read on for some fun and effective conversation starters that you can use with your ESL students.

Teaching Conversational English to ESL Students

17. Teaching Conversational English to ESL Students

The ability to have a fluid conversation in English is the primary goal of many ESL (English as a Second Language) students. This lesson provides a framework you can use to increase the conversational abilities of learners of varying English levels.

ESL Advanced Conversation Topics

18. ESL Advanced Conversation Topics

Encouraging conversation in the ESL classroom is a great way to build student comfort and confidence. Thought-provoking questions and prompts are essential for in-depth discussions. Read on for an extensive list of advanced conversation topics that will get your students talking.

ESL Discussion Topics

19. ESL Discussion Topics

For ESL students to improve language proficiency and gain speaking practice in class, it is important to incorporate meaningful discussion in the classroom. In this lesson, we will discuss some simple and effective discussion topics.

ESL Debate Topics

20. ESL Debate Topics

In this lesson, you will learn about different areas where you can find a good topic for your students to debate about. The lesson covers topics for adult or high school ESL learners as well as learners who are in elementary school and middle school.

ESL Speech & Presentation Topics

21. ESL Speech & Presentation Topics

This lesson offers several different topic categories for your ESL students to present in class. The lesson provides suggestions for various levels of language learning, and topics range from personal experiences to current events.

ESL Speaking Rubrics

22. ESL Speaking Rubrics

Rubrics are used to assess ESL student speaking competencies with the goal of students working toward mastery. Rubrics differ some when assessing students of different ages.

Essential Questions for English Language Learners

23. Essential Questions for English Language Learners

In this lesson, teachers will learn how to effectively modify essential questions for the instruction of English Language Learner (ELL) students. Teachers will learn how to use clear and concise language, visual elements, and other modifications to make essential questions more accessible for all students.

Advice Questions for ESL Students

24. Advice Questions for ESL Students

Questions about advice can be a great way to get ESL students talking and listening to each other. The questions in this lesson will help your students get started on some interesting conversations.

Routine Questions for ESL Students

25. Routine Questions for ESL Students

This lesson gives you a couple of engaging ideas to get your students using daily routine language. You also have some ready-to-use questions to encourage your students to produce language in oral or written form.

'Prefer' Questions for ESL Students

26. 'Prefer' Questions for ESL Students

Talking about preference can be a great way for ESL students to talk about themselves and learn about others. The questions in this lesson will really get your students asking and answering 'prefer' questions.

Time Questions for ESL Students

27. Time Questions for ESL Students

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.

'Would You Rather' Questions for ESL Students

28. 'Would You Rather' Questions for ESL Students

'Would you rather' questions can be great open-ended conversation starters for your ESL students. The examples in this lesson are sure to get your students talking and listening to one another.

ESL Speaking Activities for Elementary School

29. ESL Speaking Activities for Elementary School

The benefits of speaking practice for ESL students can't be overstated. In this lesson, teachers will be provided with ESL speaking activities specifically designed for elementary school students.

Teaching Conversation Skills to ESL Adults

30. Teaching Conversation Skills to ESL Adults

Teaching conversation skills to English as a Second Language (ESL) adults is different than teaching these skills to young learners. This lesson offers teachers strategies specifically designed to engage and inform adult ESL students.

Pair Work Speaking Activities for ESL Students

31. Pair Work Speaking Activities for ESL Students

Helping students talk to one another is one of the best things you can do to help them improve their English. This lesson offers activities that help students have authentic conversations.

ESL Discussion Questions about Ethics

32. ESL Discussion Questions about Ethics

In this lesson, teachers will discover some discussion questions about ethics that can be used with English as a second language (ESL) students to help them practice their speaking skills.

ESL Conversation Lesson Plan for Advanced Students

33. ESL Conversation Lesson Plan for Advanced Students

During this lesson plan, advanced English language learners will develop and enhance their conversational skills through discussion, impromptu conversations, and critiques of conversations from popular televisions shows.

ESL Conversation Lesson Plan for Intermediate Students

34. ESL Conversation Lesson Plan for Intermediate Students

In this lesson plan, teachers are provided with classroom activities designed to help intermediate ESL (English as a Second Language) students develop conversational skills.

ESL Conversation Lesson Plan for Beginners

35. ESL Conversation Lesson Plan for Beginners

In this lesson plan, teachers are provided with exercises designed to teach basic conversation skills to beginner ESL (English as a Second Language) students.

ESL Conversation Questions about Artificial Intelligence

36. ESL Conversation Questions about Artificial Intelligence

This lesson includes several discussion questions that English as a second language (ESL) teachers can use to facilitate student discussions about the fun and interesting topic of artificial intelligence (AI).

One-on-One Conversation Games for ESL Students

37. One-on-One Conversation Games for ESL Students

You may have difficulty at times getting your ESL students into conversation. So that conversation is not boring or forced, you can use the games in this lesson to motivate your class.

ESL Small Talk Activities

38. ESL Small Talk Activities

Your ESL students can enjoy small talk activities when given an interesting prompt or situation. In this lesson, you'll take a look at some options, which are based on real-life small talk.

ESL Expressing Opinions Lesson Plan

39. ESL Expressing Opinions Lesson Plan

In this lesson plan, ELL students will learn about expressing their opinion. The activities will involve the students using their listening, writing and speaking skills to appropriately craft an opinion on a given topic.

Polite Requests Lesson Plan for ESL Students

40. Polite Requests Lesson Plan for ESL Students

In this lesson plan, ELL students will learn how to make polite requests. This lesson plan involves activities with a focus on real life situations focused on making requests and making sure they are polite.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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