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1,000 Conversation Questions: Designed for Use in the ESL or EFL Classroom
1,000 Conversation Questions: Designed for Use in the ESL or EFL Classroom
1,000 Conversation Questions: Designed for Use in the ESL or EFL Classroom
Ebook148 pages2 hours

1,000 Conversation Questions: Designed for Use in the ESL or EFL Classroom

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars



About this ebook

This book is packed with more than 1,000 conversation questions spanning 100 topics and is targeted towards intermediate or advanced ESL or EFL students. These questions are great to: spark interest in a topic, practice fluency, elicit vocabulary, and find common errors.

It is designed with one goal in mind, to provide you with a wealth of easy to use conversation questions. This book has a simple design which makes it easy to photocopy or scan. You won't find any branding, cartoons, or excessive decoration on the pages. It also contains a small section on how to best implement conversation questions in your class, in which I share what I have learned through trial and error and hundreds of classroom hours.

This is a book by a teacher for teachers. As an English language teacher I have found that using conversation questions in the classroom is one of the best ways to get students talking. I believe that students should be given as much opportunity as possible to produce English and so I use these questions in my own classroom to foster lively discussions. I found conversation questions to be so successful in the classroom that I decided to create a resource for my fellow teachers. I sincerely hope you enjoy this book and I believe that it will provide you with lots of value in the years to come.

PublisherLarry Pitts
Release dateAug 21, 2014
1,000 Conversation Questions: Designed for Use in the ESL or EFL Classroom

Larry Pitts

Larry Pitts was born in Florida, USA in 1981. He has taught English abroad for 11 years in Korea, Japan, and briefly in Thailand. He lived and taught in Korea for 8 years with his wonderful wife. Working at a university in Korea allowed him time to travel around Asia and pursue side projects such as writing books and creating websites. He now lives in the USA. He enjoys reading, scuba diving, good conversation, good beer, and new experiences.

Reviews for 1,000 Conversation Questions

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

26 ratings3 reviews

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Great book. It can help if you are beginner. Good luck.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    A good resource to study and learn how to proceed or ask questions
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    I really want to say "thank you" to you. This is a very interesting book and you are one of the best.

Book preview

1,000 Conversation Questions - Larry Pitts

1,000 Conversation Questions: Designed for Use in the ESL or EFL Classroom

Copyright © 2016 by Larry Pitts

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Discussion questions were used with the permission of ESL Conversation Questions


Published by ECQ Publishing

ISBN-13: 978-1-942116-00-4

Smashwords Edition


There are a few people I would like to thank for their help in getting me to the point where I could write this book.

First of all, I would like to thank my parents, Larry and Lona, and my brother Wesley. Without their love, infinite patience, guidance, and understanding I would have never made it as far as I have.

I want to thank my wife for her encouragement and love throughout all my successes and failures.

I would also like to thank all of my fellow teachers who have kept me sane through the hard times and celebrated with me during the good times.

Lastly, I want to thank all of my students who have made my years of teaching fun and interesting.


There are just a couple of extras I want to let you know about before you start using this book.

Bonus questions and topics

The title would have you believe that there are 1000 questions in this book, but the truth is there are actually more than that.

There is actually a grand total of 1436 questions spanning 134 topics in this book. Enjoy the extra topics and questions!

Bounty for errors

If you find an error in this ebook, email me at:


As a reward, I will send you a free copy of any one of our ebooks. You can choose from one of these books:

ESL Role Plays: 50 Engaging Role Plays for ESL and EFL Classes

500 Grammar Based Conversation Questions

ESL Worksheets and Activities for Kids

IELTS Study Guide: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies


Let me begin by saying, these tips on how to use conversation questions in the classroom are based on what I have found to work in my classes. You may have to tweak or disregard some of my advice to accommodate your own teaching style. With that in mind, let’s get started.


First, let’s talk about how much time to allocate for questions. When planning lessons, I most often follow a rough rule of a minimum of one minute per question and a maximum of three minutes per question. That doesn’t really indicate how much time they will spend on each individual question; it’s just a rough estimate for judging the amount of time it will take to finish a set of questions.

So, if you give your students ten questions, you’ll burn between ten to thirty minutes of class time. Now of course this isn’t a steadfast rule. There will always be exceptions. All things considered though, about twenty minutes for ten questions is the average for my classes.

Another quick point, if you can limit how many questions they see at a time (using PowerPoint or spaced handouts) they will answer questions more fully and take more time. I find showing them five questions at a time makes for a good pace.

Group size

Next, you need to decide how many students to put into each group. As a general rule of thumb I find that three students in a group is the ideal number. I say this because with three students everyone gets a good chance to talk, but there are still enough people to have a rich reservoir of ideas to discuss.

Two students really maximize talking time, but often the two students don’t get along or you might have two shy students that end up together.

Four students can work, but often there isn’t enough talk time for each student and shy students feel like they are on stage every time they talk.

Five students in a group are far too many and often they just won’t talk. All this being said, ultimately it comes down to the dynamics of your class and its size.

If you have a really talkative class with a good dynamic, putting them in pairs works well. Groups of four generally work best with groups of shy students, because they feel more pressure to speak if everyone in the group is silent.

Mistakes are okay

Assure your students that mistakes are okay. If they aren’t making mistakes, they aren’t trying hard enough. Tell them that you are happy when they make mistakes because that means they are trying new and difficult ways of saying things. If they don’t make any mistakes then they haven’t learned anything.

One thing to stress is that they shouldn’t be speaking their native language. It is better to say something that is incorrect or unclear in English than correctly and clearly in their first language.

Let the conversation flow

Another important point to stress is that they are free to discuss more than just the questions. In a natural conversation the topic moves from one subject to another; this is what you want in your classes as well. Very often students will treat questions like an ordered set of goals to accomplish. Let them know if they don’t discuss them all, that’s okay!

If they spend the whole time talking about just one question, that is great. It means they are having a natural conversation. Just make sure they are speaking only

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