Conversation classes can be daunting if you’re stumped for an idea of how to make your students, especially adult ones, speak. The questions we have compiled are here to help you help your students develop their speaking skills and also get to know them better.
You can use these questions as warm-up or ice-breaker activities as well as base your whole conversation lessons on them. Here are some suggestions as to how you can best utilize them with your students.
Pair work/group work – students discuss a question in pairs or small groups until they’ve exhausted ideas before they move on to a different question. If you want to add some dynamics you could set a timer to, say, 3 minutes per question.
You can record them during the activity which can then be used for self-assessment as well as peer correction.
Since you have 100 questions to choose from, you can either choose the ones you would like your students to answer each time or give them the chance to choose by drawing a number from a pile between 1 and 100. You then read out the corresponding question.
Alternatively, students can be given all (or selected) questions from which they can choose what to ask their classmates.
Help them develop their answers by asking simple follow-up questions: What do you think? Would you agree with your classmate? To what extent do you agree/disagree with your classmate’s answer? Is there anything you would like to add? and so on.
The questions can easily be turned into a writing activity, either done in class or set as homework. You can set a word limit or let them write as much as they can in answer to a question. Before giving them feedback, allow for self-correction and self-reflection as well as peer correction and peer assessment.
Lastly, these questions can be great conversation starters with your colleagues. We teachers rarely get the chance to exchange opinions on topics other than those closely related to teaching, if that. And while we do converse with our students on interesting topics we always do so bearing in mind their levels, backgrounds, age and the like. Granted, teaching is our calling and our students are the main protagonists by all means. But, we do need to look after our own relationships with our own peers too. So, every once in a while, we should make time in our busy schedules to connect with fellow teachers on a different level – the human one. This book can be a great starting point – do the activities you have planned or done with your students with your colleagues for a change. Make it into a habit to get together over coffee or dinner and let these questions take you in any direction imaginable.
You’ll unwind, connect with others and probably get a hundred more ideas for your future classes!