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8 Conversation Topics from A-H for an ESL Class

Keep your English classes exciting by spicing up the conversation with a wider variety of topics! 

Here are 8 discussion topics alphabetized from A to H to revitalize your ESL classes. Each topic includes three sample questions to help you get the conversation started. (Upcoming articles will cover the rest of the letters of the alphabet.) 

Let’s get started!  

1) Animals 

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Everyone has an opinion about animals. Whether it’s a profound love for cute dogs or an irrational fear of spiders, this is a fun topic to discuss with ESL students of all ages.

Sample questions:

  • Describe a previous pet you or a family member has had. 
  • If you could be any animal in the world, what would it be and why? 
  • How do people treat different kinds of animals in your country? 

2) Books

We’ve all read a book or two (or hundreds!) in our lifetime. With the wide selection of books available in the world, this can lead to a great discussion.

Sample questions:

  • What book would you recommend the most? Why?
  • Are libraries a good place to spend your time? Why or why not? 
  • If you could publish a book on any topic, what would it be about? Elaborate. 

3) Career

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Unfortunately, living on Planet Earth is not free, so the vast majority of us need to find a way to make money. Talk about career aspirations and other job-related topics with your students!

Sample questions: 

  • What was your dream job as a child and how did you choose that? 
  • What careers do you think will be created in 20 years that don’t exist now? 
  • What jobs do you think will go obsolete in the next 50 years? Why?

4) Dating 

This topic is only appropriate for mature students, but can be a lot of fun to discuss. Be careful not to be too nosy wanting to know every detail about your students’ dating life! Keep the discussion light and fun for all. 

Sample questions: 

  • Describe the worst date that you’ve had. 
  • What is your ideal date? 
  • At what age do you think young people should start dating? 

5) Education

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Education is a part of growing up whether it’s at school, at home or in the real world. Everyone has been through some kind of education, so they must have something to say about it.

Sample questions:

  • How effective do you think today’s education system is in preparing students for the workforce? 
  • Which subjects should be a part of the school curriculum? Which ones should be taken out? Why?
  • “The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.” Herbert Spencer. What do you think of this quote? 

6) Friendship

We all have friends. (At least I hope we do!) Friendship comes with beautiful memories and sometimes difficult moments, so it can make for an interesting topic to discuss. Your students may even make a few friends in your class!

Sample questions:

  • What are the top three qualities you look for in a friend? Why?
  • Do you prefer to have a big group of friends or a small group of close friends?
  • What would cause you to break up a friendship? Why?

7) Games

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Games are a wonderful way to pass time alone or with others. Everyone has played games at some point, whether childhood games during recess, board games in a friend’s house or video games with friends or strangers online. 

Sample questions:

  • What was your favorite childhood game? How do you play it?
  • Do you prefer board games, computer games or video games? Why?
  • Do you think playing video games can increase a child’s IQ? Why or why not? 

8) Health

Health is important to all. Without health, we cannot do much else. Discuss with your class the ways in which they stay healthy and how different types of health affect our lives! 

Sample questions:

  • What are your best tips for keeping a healthy lifestyle? 
  • Do you believe mental health is just as important as physical health? Why or why not? 
  • What habits do you have that are considered healthy? Unhealthy?

We hope you enjoyed this article about conversation topics for an ESL class and can use them in your future classes! Let us know in the comments below what other topics you’d like to see! 

Ellier Leng
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