Conversation starters

Conversation starters…..

Keeping and / or getting students to start talking is the cornerstone of teaching of EFL as an “art”. A good teacher has a bag of tricks to keep students blabbing and producting language. Even better is to get the students initiating their own conversation.

This really isn’t a lesson or resource but some ideas for generating conversation.

HERE are some dandy conversation questions plus more ideas and PPTs.

Our Karaoke dialogues are also super and have a “techbook” that comes with them.

When I am doing a conversation lesson, I ALWAYS have students generating follow up questions. So that they must produce their own language… I put up all the question starters ….Who / What Where….Did/ Does / Will….in a column on the board. If students need prompting to ask a question, I point to the question prompt.

Also, when a student answers a conversation question – the other student(s) must state one or two follow up questions. This is very important to the whole activity of conversation …..

Another great way of generating conversation is “why?” use this word often!!!!

I also play many presentations, just pictures which go across the screen. (see our presentation folder for many) Students ask the standard questions about each slide. Who is it? Where are they? What is he/she doing? etc…..You can use a good photo presentation to illicity all kinds of conversation. Good music also keeps a good mood.

Lastly, I cut up hundreds of small pictures as mini conversation starters. Give a group a pile of cards. One student turns over the card and asks a question (you can also taper this so the students only use some target language like — have you ever _____and _____?). The student on the right replies and the others must ask two follow up questions.

Two great sources of these small pics are all 3 levels of Hadfield’s Communication Games books and also Wrights, “1,000 pictures for teachers to copy” Find samples HERE. Also, try our Tell Us About conversation generator! as well as other starters for conversation.

So get your students talking with these few ideas…..!    The Best Photos Of All Time is a great starter too!

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