It’s common that native speaker English teacher have to teach “conversation classes.” This is not always easy to do with lower level students, especially kids who might be a little bit shy.
I like to start off my classes with one of these interesting discussion starters for kids. Or, you can keep a few in your back pocket for those few minutes at the end of class when you’re done your lesson.
Keep on reading for all the information and TEFL discussion topics you need to make your classes with kids even better.
The Best Discussion Starters and ESL Questions for Kids
If you want some conversation starters for children, you’re in the right place. Use a favourite discussion starter to start your classes off in style.
Have students fill in the blank with, “What’s your favorite _____?” Collect the papers, choose the best two or three and have then answer the questions.
What would your perfect birthday party be? Money is no object.
Favorite and Least Favorite Meals
Something your parents cook that you love.
Something your parents cook that you hate.
Can you cook anything?
What’s your favourite food?
In your Bedroom
How is your bedroom decorated? Why did you choose each thing?
What is the best vacation you can think of?
What do you do after school usually? Is this what you want to do?
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Why?
If you found $100 on the street, what would you do with it? (more ESL Money Activities here)
Favorite Thing and Person
What is your favorite thing?
Who is your favorite person?
Do you ever feel angry?
Do you ever feel lonely?
When do you feel happy?
(More ESL Feeling Activities here)
Do you have a favourite spot in your house?
What are 3 words to describe your home?
Who do you live with at your house?
What room do you usually play in?
Do you most prefer spending time with a parent (mom or dad) or sibling (brother or sister)? Or, maybe a grandparents or aunt/uncle?
What are some things you like to do together?
Does your family eat dinner together most nights?
Does someone in your family have a very important job?
Do people listen to you when you talk?
What have you learned at school lately?
What’s your favourite subject? Why?
Who is your favourite teacher of all-time? Why are they your favourite?
Tips or Advice
Do you have any advice for kids entering into grade ___ at your school next year?
Books and Movies
What kind of books do you like to read?
What kind of movies do you like to watch?
How do I Use these Discussion Starters for Students?
That’s a good question and we’re happy that you asked! With adults, it’s pretty easy. You can just find a conversation topic that leads into whatever grammar or vocabulary point you’re teaching that day. Set up the question, put students into pairs or small groups and let them get to it.
However, kids are often less willing to just chit-chat with a partner about something. You may have to use more structure and make it more teacher-centred.
If you have a small class, then every student could share their answer. If you have a larger class, give each group 1-2 minutes to share their answers. Then, they could pick one student from each group to share their answer with the class.
Student-Generated Discussion Starters
One thing that I like to do at the beginning of a class is to get the students to come up with discussion starters. I give the class a few examples like the ones above. Then, I ask them what sorts of things they’re interested in talking about in our classes.
Each student has to write down 1-3 questions they’d like to discuss together over the semester. Then, gather up the papers and use it to make a master list of questions for each class. As you use them, cross that one off and make sure you go get at least one from each student.
Looking for a Discussion Starter for Adults?
If you’re looking for discussion starters for adults, then you’ll need to check this out. We have 10 of them to help you get your classes started off in style.
Do you like these Conversation Starters for Kids?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 75 Pages - 07/12/2015 (Publication Date)
Then you’re going to love this book: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Kids (7+). It’s lesson planning made easy, guaranteed.
You’ll be able to find a top-quality English speaking activity or game in no time. The key to interested, engaged students is to vary your lessons. 39 ESL Speaking Activities for Kids will help you do that easily.
Supplement the material in the textbook with some fun games and activities. Your students will appreciate it, and you’ll find that your classes are much more engaging.
You can find the book on Amazon in both print and digital formats. Keep a copy on your office bookshelf as a handy reference tool. Or, have a copy with you anywhere you go on your tablet or smartphone.
It really is that easy. Head on over to Amazon today to pick up your copy:
ESL Conversation for Kids FAQs
There are a number of common questions that people have about ESL questions and conversation topics for kids. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
What do you talk about with ESL students?
You can talk about just about anything with ESL students. However, here are some of the most common topics:
- How people spend their time
- Daily schedules
- School life
- Movies and TV
How do you make conversation with kids?
To make conversation with kids, follow these simple tips.
- Try to learn what the kids are into before seeing them.
- Don’t fact-check things they say, no matter how tempting!
- Be interested in what kids are interested in.
- Watch or do something together.
- Ask open-ended questions that don’t have a yes/no answer.
How can I teach English speaking to kids?
How can I get my child to speak English?
If you want to get your child to speak English more when it’s not their first language, here are a few things you do. First, don’t correct mistakes unless it’s impeding communication and only then, offer gentle correction. Always speak to the child in English whenever possible so that they get used to using it. Finally, offer some sort of incentive or reward for doing something like having an entire meal speaking English together.
What are some of the best topics to talk about with kids?
With kids, some of the best topics to talk about are the following: daily life things like what happened at school, friends, movies and TV, computer games, food, hobbies, daily schedules, and sports.
More Ideas for Teaching Young Learners
Do you need some more ideas beyond discussion starters? Have a listen to Jackie and Jennifer on the Let’s Talk TEFL podcast:
Have your Say: Favourite Discussion Starters for Children
What’s your favourite discussion starter for kids? Is it one from this list or do you have another recommendation? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us. We’d love to hear from you.
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Last update on 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API