Conversation prompts about moving overseas

Having moved overseas myself, now twice, I get asked a lot of questions, mostly about why I decided to move and how I organized the move. Some people ask me what I miss about my homeland, and they always enjoy hearing what I love about their city and country. I wish we had had such a class when I was studying basic German - there were so many … [Read more...]

Memorable moments

This is a great exercise to get students talking. They walk around the room, switching partners regularly and spend a good amount of time talking about one or two of the questions with each person. These questions practice superlative adjectives - happiest, strangest, most disgusting - and two tenses, past and present perfect. This is a good … [Read more...]

50 Travel conversation prompts

The most requested topics in a conversation class with my older students is travel. I usually schedule two classes per conversation course on this topic, focusing on different tenses or grammar. Making the second or third lesson in a course about travel helps the students feel more comfortable with each other and improves speaking … [Read more...]

Illness and treatments

Most of us have been ill. We've all done things to 'fix' our illness, even if it's just the common cold. Most of use have been to a doctor or specialist, had tests, and been prescribed medications or therapies. Unfortunately, this also happens when you are traveling, on holiday or for work. In the worst case, you'll need to attend a … [Read more...]

Moving house conversation prompts

If you are anything like me, you will have moved house many times. In fact, I'm moving house right now - it's my 20th move! I'm the expert in the family when it comes to moving. I can pack and unpack everything quickly and safely, and can easily pull apart and put together flat-packed furniture. But I'm not so good at the carrying, especially … [Read more...]

Solving tricky problems

A speaking or writing exercise to propose solutions to tricky problems. This uses both modal verbs (could, should, would), and conditional sentences, so is better for intermediate classes and above. What would you do in these situations? 1. Unpaid bill You are on a business trip by yourself, and in a country and city where you have no … [Read more...]

How did you choose your university or college?

It's a hard decision for many students - choosing a university or college, not to mention a degree! What factors influenced your decision on where you wanted to study? For myself, it was a campus that was not in the middle of the city (I'm a little crowd-a-phobic), but still in my home city of Melbourne, one that had a lot of park-like open … [Read more...]

Historical events

Explain what happened in these important years in history. Why are these years important? Who was affected by the events in these years? 1095 1452 1492 1517 1789 1898 1945 1969 1989 2001 2002 … [Read more...]

Unexpected, or not?

Find out something new about a family member. Quiz them on their dreams, Christmas plans, or past experiences. Ask a lot of questions about their studies, a recent holiday, or even what their daily routine is in detail. Find out where they want to visit in the future, what the next book they want to read. Hunt for something new - a bit … [Read more...]

Important news

What were the five most important news stories that have happened in the last five years? Why did you choose these stories? Why were they important to you? If you can remember, what were you doing at the time when the news broke? Ask a friend or family member the first question. Were their five stories the same as yours? Fukushima was … [Read more...]