Basic questions for beginner conversation classes

Questions, questions, and more questions! Beginner conversation classes can be very difficult - students are often scared to talk when they are starting to learn a new language. But, talking is one of the fastest ways both to build confidence - mistakes don't kill you - and to cement new words and grammar structures in memory. Tip: When … [Read more...]

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...]

Natural pests

The lion fish is becoming a pest in waters around the world - there are too many of them! Lion fish have venomous spines and do not have many natural predators (apart from the occasional shark). They are aggressive fish, and actively protect their territories. These fish are even dangerous to humans, although not deadly. However, when … [Read more...]


Everyone has something to complain about. Sometimes something will annoy you enough to write a letter or email. Write a short letter to your local mayor or local government representative, complaining about something that annoys you in your town. streets are not clean there are too many speeding cars graffiti is everywhere there is … [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 … [Read more...]

Telling stories

In your family who tells the best stories? What is your favourite family story? Write about or explain the story. Storytelling tense tips Use the past tense to describe actions that happened in the past, or past habits. Use the past continuous tense to describe the background, or a long action that was interrupted by an event in … [Read more...]

A remote island

You have a chance to explore this remote, cloud covered island, in the right top corner of the photo. How do you get there? What do you find? What happens on your journey? Who do you take with you? What supplies do you bring? Use the present tense to write or speak about your journey, as if the reader was there with you, every step … [Read more...]

In the old days

What did you used to do when you were younger, that you don't do now? What did you used to eat or drink? What hobbies did you used to have? How did you used to spend your time? Did you reach any goals that you used to have, or have they changed over time? Write about or explain how your life and interests used to be, and how they … [Read more...]

Long time, no see!

You have just bumped into an old friend from school, that you haven't seen for at least 5 years. What will you say to each other? Some ideas: recent work and current workplace other people that you both know life changes or travels since you last spoke common hobbies and interests what you are doing right now … [Read more...]

Once upon a future time

Rewrite your favourite fairytale, so that it is set far, far in the future. Consider the following aspects: weather and climate. environment - city or remote outpost, earth or some distant planet. technology, or a lack of technology. people (or aliens) - how they appear and act. culture and language changes. any … [Read more...]