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Here is a list of 26 fresh ESL Conversation Starters to move your class!

Me, Only Better Have each student name one thing they would love to change about themselves

either physical I want a nose job; a personality trait I want to be more patient.; or any other thing they concoct.
Top Chef Give your students a list of 3-5 ingredients, from tame to strange, and ask them what they

would cook with them, using all the ingredients. How would they prepare it? Who do you think in the class would
win top chef?
Time Capsule What would you want the people in the year 2200 to know about life on Earth right now?

What objects best represent who we are as people, our accomplishments, our joys and sorrows? What would your
students include? A good group activity where everyone has to make a suggestion and then explain their reasons
why they feel it is important. If they found a time capsule from 1900, what do they think would be in it? Change
the year to see how the contents of the time capsule change.
Horoscopes Print out the horoscopes from the days newspaper and everyone takes turns reading their

horoscope. Does it seem to match what is happening in their life? Perhaps you could then have them write the
horoscope they would love to see printed!
What colour are you? Everyone has to write down which colour best represents them and take turns

describing why. Go around the circle naming things that are that colour until the group gets stuck. Change

If I won the lottery They should write down two of the things they would do first if they won the
lottery. What does this tell us about who they are, if anything? A good intro for teaching conditionals.

What is your dream job? People take turns describing their dream job. Why dont they take the steps
to achieve it? How would their life be different if they were in their dream job?

Biggest Fear People share the thing theyre most afraid of. This can be fun and superficial, or can get
quite serious and personal.

Genie in a Bottle Three wishes granted! What would they choose?

Numerology If youre born on September 21, 1983, your number would be calculated as follows: 9 (Sept)
+ 2 +1 +1 +9 +8 +3 =33 3+3 = 6. Your number would be 6. Print out the numerology meanings of the
different numbers and have the students see if they feel theyre a match to their number.

The worst thing I NEVER did People love to feel they did the right thing, so have your students talk
about a time when they were tempted to do a bad thing but in the end remained virtuous. Can be quite funny, and
range from tame to outrageous.

Call me Pharaoh If you were going to be buried like a pharaoh, what would you want included in your
tomb? Depending on the size of your group, you may need to limit the items to 5 or less.

Bucket List A list of things they want to do before kicking the bucket, or in other words, before they
die. Again, you may need to have everyone go around and start with the first thing, then second round the second
thing keeps people talking. Engage listeners to raise their hand if they would do it, touch their nose if they
wouldnt, etc.

Ask me a Question Everyone gets to ask the teacher one question that should be answered honestly
(well, as honestly as you feel you should professionally). Be prepared, students love this!

Name three things in your Bedroom/Bathroom/On your desk Make it even harder by not allowing
them to repeat something that another person has already said.

Going on a Picnic What would you bring to our imaginary picnic? One of my favourite answers ever
received for this one.. a string quartet Yes! Youre invited! :)

What is your favourite _________? This blank can be filled in by almost anything! movie,
actor/actress, hobby, thing to do before going to bed, subject in school, food, thing to share And dont forget to
give reasons.

What was your last purchase? What was the last thing each student bought before class started? Have
every student ask a question about each others purchases.

Maestro, If You Please Play a piece of classical or world music, without words preferably so students
can concentrate on how the music moves them. Have them write down answers to the 5 Ws Who, What, When,
Where, Why. For example: Where is this music taking place? Students share and discuss their answers. Its really
interesting to see the diversity of answers.

Guilty Pleasure Have your students fess up and share one of their guilty pleasures Okay, mine is
eating raw cookie dough! I just cant help it!

Desert Island If you were to become stranded on a desert island in the middle of the ocean, what would
you want to have with you? Have students try to narrow down the items to 6 and then 3 and then only 1!
Interesting to see who chooses for comfort and who chooses for survival or is this the same thing? :) If there
were only one other person they could bring on the island with them, who would it be?

Grandmas Words Your students should pretend theyre giving their best piece of advice for a younger
generation. Have each person share their own personal wisdom and then perhaps share it as a group.

You should have been there! Have students describe the best, most fun day of their life and tell us
why we should have been there! Who would have liked to share in that day and why? Who wouldnt?

I Never A game that never gets tiring. Students take turns saying something theyve never done, for
example Ive never ridden a horse or Ive never driven a bus, and anyone who has actually done these things
has to tell a story about it.

Whodunnit? Everyone writes down one amazing thing theyve done that seems outrageous or
surprising. All the ideas go into a hat and people take turns pulling ideas out and guessing who has done the
amazing thing.

Things I love this game! Who has played it? Choose a topicsuch as Things you shouldnt say to your
mailman or Things you should eat while driving and have students write down answers on slips of paper. Put
them in a hat and take turns drawing answers (make sure to have them hide their pens!) Who wrote which answer?
This is a favourite cottage game with my friends and I

Daily life questions


Whats one thing in your home you couldnt live without? Why?


If you had $5,000 that you had to spend today, how would you use it? (You can always raise or lower the
dollar amount in the question.)


What are you going to do after class today? (If your conversation partner gives a short answer like Watch
TV or Study, ask a follow-up question like What are you going to watch? to get him or her to elaborate.)


How do you cope with stress? (Or How do you relax after a busy week?)


What is the most challenging part of your job or your studies? What is the most rewarding part?


If you could live anywhere in the world for one year, where would you live and why?


Can you think of a time when a failure actually worked out well? Tell me about it.
Hobby/interest questions


What was the last movie you saw at the theater? Tell me about it (without spoiling the ending).


What is one thing youve never done but would like to do?


If you had to give up your cellphone, your computer, or your TV, which one item would you choose to give
up and why?


If you could only eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?


If you were going on a twelve-hour flight and the only entertainment you could bring was a book, what
book would you choose? (Ask your conversation partner to tell you a little about this book and why it would keep
him or her entertained.)


If you could meet one musician, living or dead, who would it be? (If your partner is not particularly
interested in music, choose another category, like authors or scientists. The idea is to get your partner to talk about
someone he or she admires without asking a question quite as broad as If you could meet anyone, who would it
Opinion questions
A note on opinion questions: Asking your conversation partner how they feel about certain current events may be a
good way to start a lively discussion, but make sure you are respecting one anothers ideas and not attacking each
others ways of thinking, even if you disagree.


Do you think marriage as an institution is outdated? Why or why not?


How do you think technology, such as smartphones and social media, has changed the way we interact
with people?


What is your opinion about legalizing marijuana?


Do you think US colleges are effective (or even necessary) in preparing students for professional careers?
(If your conversation partner did not go to school in the US, ask them what they think about their home countrys
education system.)


What do you think would happen if the drinking age in the US was lowered to eighteen? (This might lead
your conversation partner to talk about the drinking culture in their own country, especially if they grew up
somewhere with a lower drinking age.)


Do you think its possible to have a happy family and a successful career at the same time? (Your
conversation partner may be able to talk about their personal experiences.)


What is your opinion about violence in TV, movies, and video games?
Miscellaneous questions


Whats the worst job youve ever had? (If your conversation partner is still in school and has never had a
full-time job, they may still be able to talk about a summer or weekend job.)


If you could open up your own amusement park, what would it be like? (Encourage your conversation
partner to get creative and pretend they have as much money as they need.)


Do you enjoy spending time on your own? (If your partner answers yes, talk to them about what they like to
do on their own. If they say no, ask what they do to keep from spending too much time alone.)


If you were making a movie about your life, which actor/actress would play the part of you? Why did you
choose this person?

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Animals ESL Conversation Questions

What role do animals play in law
Could a chihuahua be a police dog?

Should animals wear clothes?

If you had to be raised by animals in
the wild, what animals would be the
best parents?

Can animals be gay?

If you could be an animal, what animal
would you choose to be and why?
What are the pros and cons of owning
a pet?
Beauty ESL Conversation Questions
If you could change one thing about
your appearance, what would it be?
What do you find most attractive in
people of the opposite sex?
Would you buy a Barbie Doll for your
What do you think of tattoos?
Should voluntary plastic surgery be
Can aging be prevented or slowed?
Do you read beauty magazines?
Whats your opinion of beauty
pageants like Miss Universe?
How have our ideas about beauty
changed historically? What does this
tell us?
Are people in your country
What are some common fashion fauxpas people make?
No Make-Up Day: would this be a
good idea?
How important is it for your partner to
be beautiful?
What message does the media send to
young people about beauty?
What message is more important to
send to overweight youth: be happy
with yourself or lose weight?
Some airlines and restaurants seem to
only hire attractive people. Is this
discrimination? Should it be legal?
Have you ever bought art? What kind
of art interests you?
Crime ESL Conversation Questions
Have you ever witnessed a crime?
Do you trust the police to help you
when youre in need? Why or why not?
Have you ever had to use violence to
protect yourself?
Does your country have any stupid

Should downloading music (without

paying for it) be a criminal offense?
Should smoking be banned from
France has banned psychological
violence. What do you think this
Does your country have many illegal
How would you define terrorism?
What were you doing when the 9/11
terrorist attacks happened?
Do you think there is terrorist activity
happening in your area?
What is a crime against humanity?
What is racial profiling?
Being a patriot: would you go to war to
fight terrorism?
The most wanted: who are the most
wanted criminals in your country?
Was the US-lead invasion of Iraq in
2003 an act of terrorism?
Personal rights: A month after 9/11, the
Bush government signed a law named
the US Patriot Act. This law allowed the
government to closely monitor
telephone calls, emails, and other
personal data. Would you support such
a law in an emergency?
Have you ever had to take the law into
your own hands?
Does your country have jury duty?
Have you ever done it?
Is corruption common in your country?
Is it possible to get rid of corruption?
Have you ever bribed someone or been
Would you commit a crime to save
your family?
Robin Hood: is it okay to steal from the
rich to help the poor?
Whats your opinion of graffiti?
Should people be able to carry
Does your country need more or fewer
surveillance cameras?
Who are the worlds worst criminals?
Should hitchhiking be illegal? Have you
done it?

Have you ever been the victim of a

Did you get caught stealing as a child?
What reputation do the police have in
your country?
Have the police ever wounded or killed
an innocent citizen?
What weapons do the police carry in
your country?
What are some proactive ways to
prevent crime before it happens?
What characteristics should a good
police officer have? What
characteristics do they often have?
What measures are in place to protect
your safety right now? Are they
What are the best strategies for selfdefense? Is your country becoming
more or less violent?
Who in society should be allowed to
carry weapons? What kind of weapons?
Do video games, TV, and movies have
a negative influence on youth?
Should prostitution be legal?
Can criminals such as paedophiles and
rapists truly be rehabilitated?
Do you know any unsolved mysteries
from your town, city, or country?
Whats wrong with public nudity?
Should miniskirts be banned?
Drugs ESL Conversation Questions
Should marijuana be legalized?
When youre sick, do you use
What do you think of alternative
Do you support the use of clinical
Is drug use a big problem in your
Was drug use a problem in your high
Is alcohol worse than many illegal
Should the legal drinking age be
Should patents held by pharmaceutical
companies be bypassed in order to

help those in need (e.g. people

suffering from HIV in Africa?)
Education ESL Conversation Questions
Is it easy to get a job after graduation
in your country?
Should university education should be
How can educators and parents
promote creativity in children?
How would you compare the quality of
education in your country to other
What makes a good teacher?
Do you prefer public or private
Should evolution or creationism be
taught at schools?
Do you have any funny school stories?
Who should be responsible for teaching
sexual education to children and
Is a university degree enough in your
country to get a good job?
Is the student life the best time in
peoples lives?
Should researchers at universities also
be required to teach classes?
What is the most important subject(s)
in school?
How does your countrys education
system rate globally?
Who was your favorite teacher from
your school days? Describe him or her.
Should young children be required to
learn English? If so, from what age?
How has technology changed teaching
What do you think of home schooling?
Language development: whats the
best way to raise a bilingual child?
Have you ever had a problem with a
Your son has just come home from
school. He is crying because a bully at
school beat him up. What do you tell
your son?
What are your fondest (best) memories
of high school?

What regrets do you have? What

classifications of students existed in
your high school (e.g. nerds, athletes,
etc.)?Which were you part of?
How would you compare your high
school generation to todays
generation of teenagers?
Is there such thing as a dangerous
Should children be prohibited from
reading certain books? Has reading
made you a better person?
Are girls smarter than boys?
Do you have any tips for giving a
successful speech or presentation?
Entertainment ESL Conversation
Who is your favorite celebrity?
What is your favorite movie?
What genre of books or movies do you
What is your favorite science fiction
movie about the future?
Do you prefer to watch TV or use the
Will TV exist in 20 years?
Do you like reality TV programs?
What do you think of rap music?
Why do many celebrities have drug
and alcohol problems?
Do you read tabloid magazines?
What do you think of the paparazzi?
How can they be controlled?
Whats your opinion of video games?
What are the pros and cons of letting
children play video games?
Do video games make people,
particularly children, violent?
Emergency ESL Conversation
What is a natural disaster? What are
some kinds of natural disasters?
What are some examples of nonnatural disasters?
Have their been any major disasters in
your area?
What are some major disasters that
you can remember?
Have you ever been seriously lost?

If you had one minute to leave your

home, what would you take with you?
If you lost everything, how would you
rebuild your life?
What would you do if you lost all of
your possessions?
Have you ever been in a fire?
Would you rather burn or freeze to
Could you live in an area that could
have a natural disaster at any
English ESL Conversation Questions
How long have you been studying
Should everyone learn English?
Why are you studying English?
In your experience, what studying
methods are most effective for you?
What accent do you find easiest to
Are English movies in your country
shown with subtitles or are they
Should swear words be taught in
English class?
If you could speak English perfectly,
how would your life change?
Environment ESL Conversation
Is global warming happening?
What has caused global warming?
Is recycling too much of a hassle?
What happens to recyclable materials
after they are picked up from your
Should developing countries be
required to cut emissions as well?
What is your opinion of nuclear
energy? Which kind of energy do you
Do you believe overpopulation is a
major issue? If so, what can be done
about it?
How does overpopulation affect you?
How will the world look in 100 years?
Is it okay to send our garbage into

What is your opinion of nuclear

energy? Which kind of energy do you
Are the rivers and beach areas in your
city or town polluted? Would you swim
Concerning the production of energy,
which is the most important
consideration: human value or
environmental risk?
Where do you draw the line between
worrying about safety and living your
Could you live in an area that could
have a natural disaster at any
Family ESL Conversation Questions
What household chore do you despise
the most? Should men and women
share the responsibility for housework
What are the advantages of raising a
family in your country?
Whats the best age to move out on
your own?
Would you adopt a child?
If you became elderly and alone, would
you rather live in a senior citizens
home or with your children?
Is it common in your country for people
to live with their grandparents?
Do you come from a big family?
Is it good or bad to be a single child?
Are you more like your father or your
What do you think of squatting?
How did your parents meet?
Why do many people dislike their
Were you ever left alone or lost for a
long time as a child? Or have you ever
lost a child?
What qualities make a good parent?
What does alternative parenting
mean? What are some alternative
parenting ideas?
If you could choose, would you rather
have a daughter or a son?

Do you plan to spend your life savings

before you die or leave it for your
It is often said that what a man does
in the privacy of his own home is his
business. Is this true?
Where did your ancestors come from
originally? Were they immigrants?
Violence: Is it ever okay to hit a child?
What is the custom or law in your
Due to population growth and
environmental problems, should
families have fewer kids?
What is the ideal number of children to
Is it better for a child to have one
parent or two homosexual parents? Is it
tradition in your culture for women to
adopt their husbands last name? Is
this fair?
In your country, are mothers allowed
maternity leave (from work)? What
about paternity leave for fathers?
What is a mid-life crisis? How can one
be avoided?
When are children old enough to move
out of the house?
What is the best environment to raise a
family in (e.g. apartment, village, etc)?
Is there anything funny or different
about your family?
Does someone in your family maintain
a family tree?
How far back can you trace your family
How important is it to you (or your
parents) that you pass on your genes,
i.e. have children?
What important advice you want to
pass on to your children?
Food ESL Conversation Questions
Have you ever had food poisoning?
What do you think of custom of giving
an 15-18% tip in North America?
What is your best recipe?
What is the worst thing youve eaten?
What do you think of GMO (Genetically
Modified Organisms)?

What country has the best cuisine?

Does your country have any strange
What is the grossest thing youve
Is the tap water safe to drink in your
country? Or do you prefer bottled
Do you buy organic food?
Do you eat junk food?
Are you a picky eater?
Should children be raised to eat
everything on their plates?
What was your worst restaurant
Would you eat horse meat?
Would you rather eat dog food or dog
as food?
Future ESL Conversation Questions
When you were a child, what did you
imagine the future would be like?
What do you think your life will be like
in 2045?
Imagine you could live twice as long.
How would you use your time?
How do you think human civilization
will ultimately end?
Health ESL Conversation Questions
Are you addicted to anything, such as
coffee, tobacco?
Are you afraid of the dentist?
What is the best cure for a hangover?
What is the ideal amount of sleep to
get per night? Are you getting it?
Is your country smoker-friendly?
Have you heard of the paleolithic diet?
What is it?
Would you rather be anorexic or
What would you do if the doctor told
you that you only had a month to live?
Do schools in your countries have
cafeterias? Do they serve healthy
Does anything run in your family?
Whats the best way to lose weight?
Is your countrys cuisine healthy?
How are the health services in your

Do you support the idea of universal

health care?
Is evolution still happening?
If you found an elixir that, once drank,
would allow you to live forever, would
you drink it?
Do you worry about the safety of the
food you eat? What wont you buy?
Fasting: Some people go without food
for a long time to improve their bodies
or minds. Can not eating make your
body and mind healthier and stronger?
Is it expensive to get medicine and
treatment from a doctor in your
Would you like to be a doctor? Why or
why not?
Are you a hypochondriac?
What methods are used in your
country to prevent pregnancy?
What important factors should a couple
consider before having a baby?
Is the morning after pill a form of
Do you believe todays generation of
teenagers are more sexually active
than the generation of 30 years ago? If
so, why?
What is something you are not
spending enough time doing?
What do you think of vegetarianism?
Would you consider being a sperm
What do you think of your countrys
health care system?
Do you have any allergies?
Do you think our culture is too
dependent on medicine? Have you
ever had a near-death experience?
Does everyone have a right to free
basic health care?
What would you do if you found an
unconscious person lying on the street
and there were no telephones nearby?
Do you know the steps of CPR?
Have you ever given or been given the
Heimlich maneuver?

Do you believe people of the same

blood-type have similar characters?
Have you ever donated blood? Do you
think technology will help humans live
longer and longer?
What is the key to long life?
Should some vaccinations be
mandatory? Without exemptions?
Whats your opinion of vaccinations?
Would you rather be blind or deaf?
Would you rather be quite short or
quite tall? Why?
In what ways, if any, are you superior
to a caveman?
Whats your opinion of tanning, and
tanning salons?
Holiday ESL Conversation Questions
How is New Years celebrated in your
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Does your country have any special
holidays or festivals?
Is Christmas celebrated in your
country? If so, how is it celebrated?
What are the best and worst gifts you
have ever received? What is the
meaning of Christmas?
Being Good: Were you good this year?
Do you become a better person every
What is the best Christmas movie?
What food is associated with
Real or Fake: What makes the best
Christmas tree?
Do you have any funny Christmas
Is it okay to give money as a gift?
Do you make a New Years resolution
every year?
Homosexuality ESL Conversation
Is your country gay-friendly?
Does your city have any gay pride
Are there any jobs homosexuals should
be prohibited from doing?
Do you believe homosexuality comes
from genetics or the environment?

Should gays be allowed to marry?

Freud argued that most people have
both heterosexual and homosexual
tendencies. What do you think of this?
What would you do if you found out
your son or daughter were gay?
Can homosexuality be cured?
Why are some people against gay
How would your parents react if you
told them you were gay?
Housing ESL Conversation Questions
What things can make an apartment a
great apartment?
Has your residence ever been broken
Which do you prefer living in the
countryside or the city?
What do you know about your
neighbors? Do you get along with
What is your neighborhood like? Is it
becoming better or worse?
What types of disagreements often
arise between neighbors?
What do you think of IKEA and its

Internet ESL Conversation Questions

Are you comfortable with shopping
Are the Internet and websites such as
Facebook bringing people closer
together or further apart?
Should young children be able to
access the Internet freely?
Which is worse for children: the
Internet or TV?
Do you support Wikileaks?
Hacktivism: are hacker groups, like
Anonymous, heroes? Do you support
Are you a pirate? Do you pay for music,
movies, software, and textbooks?
What do you think of dating online?
Have you ever done it?

Has the Internet made us smarter or

more stupid?
What does it mean if someone is a
troll on an online message board?
Why is there so much hatred on online
message boards?
Money ESL Conversation Questions
Do you give money to beggars or
homeless people?
Whats the best way to invest in your
Do you give to charity? Why or why
Do you think we will have cashless
societies one day?
What qualities make a good salesman?
Do you have any customer service
horror stories?
Have you worked in sales before?
Have you ever found a large amount of
money on the street? If not, what
would you do if you did?
Why do we use money?
Can you explain inflation?
If you were rich, what would you
change about your life?
Should the rich pay higher taxes?
Banking: Would banking services
improve if banks were made public?
What bank do you bank with? Are you
satisfied with its service?
Does everything have a price?
Philosophy ESL Conversation Questions
Do you believe you make real choices
in life? Or are all your choices
determined by previous conditions?
Does morality come from education?
Or is there something in humans that
makes us view certain things as good
and others as bad?
Do you believe there are things
universal moral truths; i.e. things that
are considered bad by all human
beings everywhere?
Why care about the environment?
Why should we care about others?
Is truth just a matter of opinion?
Do you believe in fate or destiny?

If God exists, why are there so many

problems in the world?
Does a persons love for his/her
partner differ from his/her love for a
friend, child, or car? How so?
Do you believe in the idea of a soul,
separate from the physical body?
Would your view on life change if you
were severely handicapped?
Everything is for sale. What do you
think of this statement?
Are there products you wont buy for
ethical reasons? If so, what are they?
Is life absurd?
What makes your happy?
Are human beings naturally selfish?
Do you believe in karma?
How can a person make the most out
of life?
Whats the best advice youve ever
been given?
Everything in moderation. < Do you
agree with this expression?
Try everything once. < Do you
agree with this philosophy?
Political ESL Conversation Questions
Have you ever been involved in a
Is Democracy the best political
If you had your own island to populate,
what rules would you make for the
people that live there?
What is NATO? What is the role of the
Should the right to protest be a
universal right?
Can democracy work in the Arab
What causes war?
Would you be for a one-child policy for
overpopulated countries?
Were there any problems with most
recent elections in your country?
Are there many refugees living in your
What role should the international
community have in Africa?

Do all countries have the right to have

nuclear arms?
Should a countrys leader to limited in
serving for only one or two terms?
Do you think countries should share
the responsibility of accepting
What are the flaws of democracy?
Can democracy work in Africa?
Becoming a martyr: Are there any
ideals that you would die for?
What is the best way to protest a
If you could rebuild your country, what
would you change?
What conditions should be required for
people who want to legally immigrate
to your country?
What is your top complaint about your
countrys government?
Could anarchism work?
History Repeats Itself do you
believe this? If so, can you give
What are the major parties in your
Do the majority of adults vote in your
Do all countries have a right to possess
nuclear weapons?
What does your government owe you?
How can a government create jobs?
Punishment ESL Conversation
What is the purpose of punishment?
What was the worst thing you did as a
child? Did you get caught?
How did your parents punish you when
you were a child?
How should teachers punish bad
What was the worst punishment you
received as a child? Was it fair?
Would you rather be dead than spend
life in jail?
Should prisoners be required to work?
Can you think of any people who were
punished for a crime they didnt

Is capital punishment (the death

penalty) practiced in your country?
Who are some famous people who
were executed?
Should insane people be punishable by
Is it ever okay to hit (or spank) your
Do you believe capital punishment
makes the public not want to commit
Should executions be done in public?
Whats the difference, morally,
between capital punishment and
Would mandatory military service be a
good idea for your country?
Relationship / Love ESL Conversation
What is the best age to begin dating?
How long should a couple date before
they move in together?
Why is the divorce rate so high in
many countries?
What is the best number of children to
Should people have fewer children,
considering the worlds population and
environmental problems?
Have you ever been on a blind date?
What are your turn ons and turn offs?
Generally speaking, how do you think
the men and women of you country are
viewed by foreigners?
What is chivalry? Is it dead?
Do opposites attract? Or do similar
people tend to fall in love?
Are caesarian sections becoming more
common in your country?
Would you like to know the gender of
your child before it is born?
Do believe pheromones for humans
What is a wedding ceremony like in
your country?
How has the idea of marriage changed
throughout history?
What is your experience with divorce?

What do people commonly do on dates

in your country?
Do you watch romantic comedies?
Do fairy tales create unrealistic
expectations for people?
Have you ever had a long distance
What was the worst date youve ever
Have you ever tried to set up a friend
with someone? Did it work out?
What is the right age to get begin
dating? Get married?
What do you think about meeting
someone through a dating agency or
dating website?
Do you think it is okay to date a coworker?
Jealousy: is it possible to control this
Is society becoming more
promiscuous? If so, what factors have
caused this?
Do you believe in the one (does
everyone have a perfect match)?
What are the pros and cons of going
out with an older woman (or man)?
What do you think of polygamy?
Should the man pay on a date?
My Generation: How would you
compare your generation to the
current generation of youngsters?
Would you rather have been born now
than when you were?
Have you ever said something you
wish you could take back?
Who do you go to when you need
advice? What do you think of
Science & Religion ESL Conversation
What are some limitations of science?
Is a scientific explanation of life
depressing for you?
Have you ever witnessed a miracle or
something supernatural?
Do you believe in evolution?
The Survival of the Fittest: How
important are survival skills in our

society? Does the term Survival of the

Fittest still apply?
Is Darwins Natural Selection still
Is artificial insemination against human
nature and evolution?
Do you believe in aliens?
Are there any strange religious groups
in your country?
Do you think the end of the world is
Nature vs. Nurture: Is intelligence
rooted in genetics?
Survival of the Fittest: Do you think
society would benefit if we let loose a
handful of wild and dangerous animals
(e.g. grizzly bears, hippos) into urban
areas, e.g. the downtown of your city?
What would life be like if we succeeded
in improving the gene pool by 30%?
Should people be allowed to know
what their IQ is?
Thou Shalt Not Lie is the 9th
Commandment. Do you agree with it?
Do you believe in the distinction
between left-brained and right-brained
Do some people, or animals, have a
sixth sense?
Have you ever witnessed or
experienced inexplicable
phenomenon? What is dj vu? Do you
occasionally experience it?
Do you believe in stories about out of
body experiences?

Sports & Leisure ESL Conversation

Which sports in the Olympics should be
added or removed? Who is the most
popular athlete from your country?
What hobbies would you not let your
children do?
What do you know of the history of the
Olympics? What are your favorite
memories of the Olympics?

Do you envy Olympic athletes? Which

do you prefer: the winter or summer
Olympics? Why?
Do the Olympics unite the world or
divide it?
Do you think your country should
invest more into its athletic programs?
Would you country to be a suitable
place to host the Olympics?
If you had to eliminate a sport or
several sports from the Olympics,
which would you choose?
What is your definition of sport? Are
synchronized swimming, ballroom
dancing, and darts sports?
Do you support investing more money
into national athletic programs so your
country achieves more Olympic
What do you think of the salaries of
professional athletes?
Do you think its good for colleges and
universities to provide scholarships to
Technology ESL Conversation
What technology couldnt you live
How has technology changed
education methods?
Can technology fix global warming?
Is there a difference between a
machine, like a microwave, and a
robot? How would you define robot?
How do we currently use robots?
Is it possible to give Artificial
Intelligence (AI) to robots?
Will robots cause rising unemployment
in the future?
Could a robot do your job?
How are people different from
Are you scared of how much
information Internet companies such
as Google have about you?
Do you think humans will one day
inhabit other planets?

Do you support investing large

amounts of money into space
Has a computer virus ever caused
problems for you? What steps do you
take to protect your data and privacy?
What are some of the greatest
achievements and inventions of
mankind? Make a list with your
Travel ESL Conversation Questions
Where would you like to go on your
next holiday?
Whats the best way to find deals on
If you had to immigrate to another
country, where would you go? Why?
What is the stereotype of your nations
Do you prefer active or relaxing
If you had more money, where would
you go?
Do you like packaged holiday tours?
What was your best holiday?
What was your worst holiday?
Do you have any horrible or funny
travel stories?
When in Rome, do as the Romans
do you agree with this idea?
Does your country have many tourists?
What do you think of them?
What are the best places to visit in
your city or town?
If you could only pack five things for a
trip to an unknown place, what would
you take?
Is there a place that youd never visit
Who are the worst tourists?
What has been your worst experience
at a hotel?
What are some common travel scams?
Have you been the victim of a travel
Work ESL Conversation Questions
What was your first job?
What is the worst job you have ever

When you were a child, what did you

want to be?
What is your dream job?
How long should women get for
maternity leave?
Do you think human beings need to
work to be happy?
What are the minimum things you
need to do your work effectively? Do
you have them?
What do you believe are the top
predictors of job performance?
Do people commonly work from home
in your company? What do you think of
Do you think 40 hours a week is too
much for humans?
When do you plan to retire?
What do you see yourself doing in your
Do you have a pension or adequate
savings for retirement?
What would make you quit your job?
What motivates you to work hard?
How do you balance work and your
personal life?
Other than increasing salaries, what
can employers do to make their
workers happy?
Do women often face discrimination in
the workplace in your country?
Are you a supporter of labour unions?
Have you experienced sexual
harassment in the workplace?
What industries are strong in your
What is your best achievement?
How would you define success?
Do you get any perks (or fringe
benefits) from your employer?
Do you and your boss get along?
What is the retirement age in your
What is the worst job in the world?
Is it true that no job is perfect?
Have you ever had a manager or
coworker that you couldnt get along

What are some inappropriate questions

to ask in job interviews?
What are some tough job interview
questions? How would you answer
How do you prepare for a job
What would you do if you were fired
from your job?
How is the economic recession
affecting your field?
If you could go back in time, would you
study something different?
Would you ever date a coworker? boss?
Work Hours: Can countries that have a
shorter workweek stay competitive?
Stereotyping: Do national stereotypes
hold any truth? If so, how much?
Retirement: Should women whove had
children be allowed to retire earlier?
Are jobs in the public sector sought
after in your country? Why or why not?
Do you have any interesting job
interview stories?
Should interviewers be prohibited from
asking about age, marital status,
residency, etc?
What companies/brands do you like?
Do you know companies that have bad
reputations? What for?
What CSR programs does your
company have, if any?
What companies do you feel
overcharge or abuse their customers?
What are the values of the company
you work for?
If you had your own company, what
type of policies, dress code,
workspace, etc would you have?
How can a person make a good first
What are some things you should and
should not do if you are organizing a
business dinner?
What are some important factors to
consider for starting a small business?

If you had your own business, what

kind of business would it be and how
would you run it?
Other ESL Conversation Questions
Do you have any embarrassing stories?
Which of your possessions could you
not live without?
What is the stupidest thing you have
ever done?
Do you have any regrets?
If you could travel in time, to what time
would you go and why?
Who was your hero as a child?
What are some things you would like to
accomplish before death?
What pisses you off?
If you had the power to make a new
law, what law would you enact?

Have you ever used Groupon? What do

you think of it?
What is the riskiest thing you have
ever done?
Why do people sing in the shower?
Have you ever had a near-death
experience? (note: please avoid telling
extremely sad stories) What are
potentially deadly things that you
encounter every day?
What makes you feel better when
youre angry or depressed?
What cant you live without?
If you could be a child again for a day,
what would you do?
What motivates you to get up in the