Many of our students say they want to practice their English conversation skills. You can use these English conversation activities to help them do just that and to work on speaking more fluently at the same time. Keep in mind that these activities are not meant to replace a coursebook or textbook, but can be used to supplement it, such as in the last 15 or 20 minutes of class, or as a quick warm-up at the beginning.
Conversation Starters– An excellent way to begin your class off is with an interesting question. Her are a few of those great questions that are guaranteed to get some discussion going. Remember to keep it student-centered and have them talk to each other, instead of as a whole class.
The Cocktail Party– This is a great way for students to practice small-talk by pretending that they’re at a cocktail party.
The Small Talk Game– Another way to get students talking in English is by playing this small talk game. It’s quite challenging, but also really fun and students always enjoy it. You can adjust the length of time up or down depending on the level of your students-shorter for beginners and longer for more advanced level students.
Partner Conversation Starters– If you have very low level students that are unable to have a “real” conversation, try out these conversation starters that are very structured and students will be able to get a feel for using English in a conversation. Simply adjust the blank spaces depending on student level-more spaces for advanced and fewer spaces for beginners.
The Hobby Unit Conversation Activity– If you’re studying hobbies, try out this fun ESL speaking activity that is student-centered awesome. You’ll be able to just relax and have students do all the work, which is actually what you should be doing all the time anyways!
Surveys for ESL Students– I’m all about using surveys in my classes and I make my students do them at least once a month. They’re very, very useful for getting students to ask follow-up questions as well as talking to just about everyone in the class.
Presentations or Task-Based Learning– Both public speaking and task-based learning lend themselves quite well to conversation, if you require the students who are listening to the presentation to ask some follow-up questions. Or, you could also have the student doing the presentation to prepare some discussion questions for after the presentation.
Try out these English conversation activities for adults in your classes today and you’ll have your students speaking, listening, and having fun at the same time!
Even more student-centered ESL Speaking Activities: