Do your students celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year? You can use these conversation questions as a simple way to get your students talking about their own holiday traditions and share a bit about the holiday season culture in America.
Conversation Questions: The Holiday Season
What’s your favorite holiday song?
What’s your favorite holiday movie?
Do you celebrate holidays in November, December or January? Which ones
Do you decorate your house for the holidays? What decorations do you have
How do people in the U.S. celebrate Thanksgiving? Did you ever celebrate it
What do you know about Black Friday? Does Black Friday exist in your country? Do you like to go shopping then?
Do you have a Christmas tree? What does your tree look like?
Do people in your neighborhood have elaborate holiday decorations on their houses?
Do people in your country spend a lot of money on Christmas presents?
Do children in your country believe in Santa Claus? When you were a child, did you believe in Santa Claus?
What are some symbols of Christmas?
Do you like shopping during the holiday season? Why or why not?
What types of food do you usually eat on Christmas?
What types of food do you usually eat on New Year?
What smells remind you of Christmas?
What do people in your hometown usually do at midnight on New Year’s Eve
What other New Year traditions exist in your country? (Do you wear a certain type of clothing, eat a certain food, clean your house, give gifts, etc.?)
Would you rather celebrate New Year in a public space, a big party, or a small gathering with friends and family?
Why do a lot of people feel stressed around the holidays?
Where I live, Halloween is really popular with adults. My adult students often find it funny since Halloween is mainly a children’s holiday in a lot of countries. A lot of them get really into it and get all dressed up for my school’s annual costume contest. Others just think it’s weird.
Anyway, whatever their opinions are, here are some Halloween conversation questions to get your students into the holiday spirit.
Halloween Conversation Questions
What do you know about Halloween? (How do people Celebrate?)
What’s your opinion about Halloween? Is it a children’s holiday, or can adults celebrate it, too?
Do people in your country celebrate Halloween? How do they celebrate?
How do people celebrate Halloween in the city where you are now?
Are there any holidays in your country that are similar to Halloween?
Do you ever dress up in costumes? What’s your favorite costume?
Did you ever go to a Halloween party? Describe it.
What does the phrase “trick-or-treat” mean?
Did you ever go trick-or-treating? If not, do you want to? Why or why not?
Do you like candy? What’s your favorite kind of candy? Did you ever try candy corn?
What is a jack-o-lantern? How do you make one?
Do you decorate your house for Halloween? What kind of decorations do you have?
Do you like horror movies? What’s the scariest movie you can think of?
Did you ever go to a haunted house? What did you see there? Was it scary?
Do you believe in ghosts? How about magical spells?
Do you know any good ghost stories? Tell one!
Are you superstitious? Do you think that black cats are bad luck? What other superstitions about bad luck do you know?
What would you like to be for Halloween this year?
Did you ever see dogs or other animals dressed up for Halloween?
Do you prefer scary costumes, cute costumes, or political costumes?
Have you used my questions with your classes? How do you celebrate Halloween at your school? How do your students feel about the holiday? I’d love to know, so please take a moment and leave a comment in the box!
Looking for more beginner-friendly questions on a variety of different topics? You can find all of my Conversation Question posts right here: Speaking Questions
Where I live, people are always making small talk about the weather because it’s pretty unpredictable, and it’s always changing!
I just kind of assumed it was like that everywhere, until a student from Colombia pointed out that one major difference between this city and her hometown is that nobody back home ever speaks about the weather. She said that the weather there is always sunny, and pretty much the same all year round, so nobody really thinks to mention it. I thought that was pretty interesting because here it’s common to open your door in the morning and say, “It looks like a really nice day!” And then two hours later, you find yourself turning to a stranger in the elevator and saying, “Ugh, I think it’s gonna rain.”
Anyway, here’s a list of weather-related questions for your students to answer. These should work well if your students come from countries with different climates, or if you live in a city with unpredictable weather, like mine. As always, you’ll find a link to a printable handout at the bottom of the page. Let me know how they work out, in the comment section!
Conversation Questions About Weather:
Describe the weather today.
What’s your favorite type of weather?
What type of weather do you dislike?
How many seasons are there in your hometown? How many seasons are there in the place where you live now?
What do you like to do on rainy days?
What do you like to do when it is very hot outside?
Does it ever snow in your country?
Do you remember the first time you saw snow?
What usually happens when it snows in your country? (Do schools close? Do people go to work? etc.)
Is weather a common conversation topic in your hometown? How about in the city where you are now?
Do you usually use an umbrella in the rain? How about in the sun?
Are rain boots fashionable where you live? What else do people wear in the rain?
What do you wear when it is very cold?
How often do you wear sunscreen? Do you usually get sunburns or suntans
What are the three worst things about the summer?
What are the three worst things about the winter?
Did you ever travel somewhere extremely hot or extremely cold? Where?
Do you think that the season of your birthday affects your personality?
Do you like air conditioning? Why or why not?
Is the weather in your country different now from when you were a child?
Students love talking about their favorite and least favorite movies. Describing movie plots is never easy, but is a great way to work on improving fluency. And because movies often have different names in different languages, part of the challenge is trying to figure out which movie your classmates are describing.
Anyway, today I have a list of movie-themed conversation questions to get your students chatting. If you’d like to print out the list, there’s a link to a printable handout at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!
Conversation Questions About Movies
What are your favorite types of movies?
What is the last movie you watched? What was it about?
What is your favorite movie from your childhood?
What is your favorite teen movie?
Do you remember the first time you went to a movie theater? How old were you? What movie did you see?
Did you often go to the movie theater with friends when you were a teenager?
Do you prefer to watch movies at home or in a movie theater? Why?
What is your favorite movie snack?
Do you prefer to watch movies alone, with friends, or with your family?
Do you usually talk while you watch movies, or are you quiet?
What movie do you really hate? Why do you hate it?
Do you have a favorite movie?
Do you ever cry when you watch movies? Which movies made you cry?
How do American movies compare to movies from your country?
Do you like documentaries? Describe an interesting documentary that you saw.
Do you like animation? What is your favorite animated movie?
Do you like silent movies? Do you like Charlie Chaplin?
What are your favorite holiday movies?
Do you read reviews before you watch a movie? Do you usually agree with the movie critics?
Do you watch award shows? Why or why not?
I’ve typed these questions up into a printable worksheet that you can hand out to your students right here: Questions About Movies
This set of conversation questions will get your students describing their apartments, houses, or other types of homes. It works great as a follow-up to a vocabulary lesson on furniture or rooms of the house. Like most of my question sets, these are high-beginner-friendly. They are written in the present and past tenses, and you should be able to use them with students around A2 level and up. And as always, you can find a printable copy of these questions at the bottom of the page!
Questions about Homes
Do you prefer to live in a big house or a small house? Why?
Would you prefer to live in a house on the beach, a cabin in the forest, an apartment in a big city, or on a farm?
What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.
Do you like spending time at home? Why or why not?
What does your living room look like?
What does your kitchen look like?
Do you have a backyard or a porch?
Do you have a garden outside of your house? Do you have plants or flowers inside of your house?
Do you like cleaning your house? How often do you clean?
Did you ever live alone? Did you like living alone?
Did you ever have roommates? Did you like your roommates?
Describe the architecture of your home. What does the building look like?
Do you prefer old houses or new houses? Why?
What do traditional houses in your country look like?
If you live in an apartment, which floor do you live on? Does your building have an elevator?
Do you like decorating your house? Do you like shopping for furniture?
What color are the walls in your house?
Describe your dream home.
Describe your childhood home.
How do you feel when you return home after a long vacation?
Another thing that I love to do when we’re on the topic of homes is to bring out the sketch paper! I give each student a blank sheet of paper, and ask them to draw a quick sketch of one of the following:
– the home they are currently staying or living in (I teach in the US, an most of my students are either on vacation or immigrants.)
– their home in their native country
– their dream home
I make sure to tell them that artistic skills aren’t necessary. A simple blueprint works. If we’ve learned furniture vocabulary, I ask them to try and draw in the furniture.
After they finish, I put students into small groups, and have them take turns describing the house that they drew to their classmates. It’s really fun!
Today I have some conversation questions about feelings to get your students chatting. The questions ask you to put yourself into different scenarios and imagine how you would feel in each one. I like this type of question because it’s fun seeing how differently people react to the same situations. Students will really get to know each other, and you’ll learn a lot about them.
You’ll want to start your lesson by introducing some new vocabulary to describe emotions. I would recommend choosing about ten words or so, and selecting words based on the level of your class. (For beginners, you might stick with the basics: happy, angry, tired, etc. For higher levels, you could go with ecstatic, furious, exhausted, and so on.)
Then, for some speaking practice, you can hand out the question worksheet (attached at the bottom of the page.), put students into small groups, and let them chat away!
How do you feel when…?
there is a lot of traffic?
you are outside, and it suddenly starts raining?
you win $10 in the lottery?
your friend is late to meet you?
your teacher is absent?
you watch a Disney movie?
you watch a horror movie?
you read the newspaper?
you find $100 on the floor?
you make a mistake when you are speaking English?
you send your friend a text message, but she doesn’t respond?
you have plans tonight, but your friend calls to cancel?