English Conversation Teaching Tip | How to Teach ESL Conversation

Let's TEFL
Spread the love

Teaching English Conversation

Many native English speakers when they go somewhere like China or South Korea teach “English Conversation.” Many people teach it poorly. Few do it well.

Be one of the ones who does it well by following this awesome teaching tip. Not to worry, it’s really quite simple and easy to make your English classes better by teaching your students all about follow-up questions.

Tip: It’s more than just talking to your students! Check out my #1 tip for doing English conversation a bit better.

#1 Tip for Teaching English Conversation

For those who teach English conversation classes, here is my #1 tip to do it well.

Conversation is a two-way street and in order to be good at it our students need to know how to ask questions. Conversation is not simply asking and answering something like:

A: “How was your weekend?”
B: “It was good.”

A better conversation would look like this:

A: “How was your weekend?”
B: “It was good, I saw a movie.”
A: “Really? What movie?”
B: “I saw Kung Fu Panda. Have you seen it?”


A: “How was your weekend?”
B: “It was a bit boring, I just stayed home. How about you?”
A: “Oh, mine was fun, I went to my favorite restaurant.”
B. “What did you eat?”

See What I did there to Keep the Conversation Going? 

An answer, then a follow-up question using one of the W/H words.

I remind my students of these key question words: who/what/when/why/where/how. I then tell them that they can almost always use at least a couple of them to ask a follow-up question to their conversation partner.

Also, teach your students question forms; it’s maybe not as obvious as you think since questions are formed in a variety of grammatical ways in other languages and your students may not know how to make them.

I’ll usually write a couple examples on the board, and leave them there for the weaker students during any English conversation activity I do. It’s kind of a crutch, but if that’s what it takes to get the weaker students speaking English, then so be it.

More Information about Teaching Students to Ask Questions

Like this Advice about Teaching English? 

Yes? Then you’re going to love this book filled with practical tips and tricks for teaching English speaking: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teenagers and AdultsIt’s lesson planning made easy, guaranteed.

There are dozens of interesting and engaging English speaking activities that will help your students to have fun while learning English at the same time. Variety is the spice of life! Get some in your English classes, okay?

The book is available on Amazon in both digital and print formats. The digital one is less than a buck and can be read on any device by downloading the free Kindle reading app. How’s that for value?

Take the e-version with you to your favourite coffee shop for lesson planning on the go. Or, keep a copy on the bookshelf in your office and use it as a handy reference guide. It really is that easy to create some awesome lesson plans and have happy students!

You can check it out for yourself over on Amazon:


Is there an Audio Version of It?

We’re happy that you asked! There sure is. It’s easier than ever to get some inspiration for your English classes when exercising, doing errands or when on the go.

The better news is that can listen to the book for free by signing up for an Audible account. You get your first book free, so why not make it this one right? Head over there to check it out now:

—>39 ESL Speaking Activities on Audible<—


Teaching ESL Students to ask Follow-Up Questions

Teaching English Conversation: Have your Say!

What’s your top tip for teaching English conversation? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.

Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It’ll help other busy teachers, like yourself find this useful teaching resource.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *