Say you, as an adult, want to learn Spanish. Here’s what your teacher hands you.
A lot of high school and mature students not yet proficient in English endure this when they relocate to an English-speaking school. They complain that the texts are “for babies.”
To create chatter with Korean and Japanese adults, I often used ESL Discussions.com for concepts on their level.
You’ll really enjoy these free conversation prompts because, unfortunately, it’s easy for people to mistake limited English for limited intelligence. However, these discussions bring out lots of fun and/or deep ideas from EAL/ESL students on topics such as:
- jewelry (What kind of jewelry looks good on men?)
- telephones (Have you ever received any prank calls?)
- elevators (Have you ever had a bad experience in an elevator?)
- obesity (Which is worse, obesity or anorexia?)
- United States (What do you think about American people?)
Each topic features 20 open-ended questions between two people. “Student A” keeps her 10 questions secret from “Student B,” and vice versa. (You can talk one-on-one with a learner as one of the two participants, too.)
Use the dialogues to help develop pupils’ understanding and application of:
- constructing questions (“What do you think about …”; “How can you change …”)
- starting responses (“That is a good question.” “I never thought about that before.”)
- slang/colloquialisms (“What springs to mind …”; “Can you take a joke if …”)
- conjunctions (and, but, or, because, so)
Those concepts apply to students whose first language is English, too, so ESL Discussions.com finds uses amongst all groups.
By the way, I often copy-paste the questions into Word and modify them for my students’ abilities. I also take the best 10 or 12 questions and use those for our dialogue instead of the full 20.
Let me know how these work out for you or if you need a hand with anything!
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