Conversation Questions about Movies

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

  1. What are your favorite types of movies?
  2. What is the last movie you watched? What was it about?
  3. What is your favorite movie from your childhood?
  4. What is your favorite teen movie?
  5. Do you remember the first time you went to a movie theater? How old were you? What movie did you see?
  6. Did you often go to the movie theater with friends when you were a teenager?
  7. Do you prefer to watch movies at home or in a movie theater? Why?
  8. What is your favorite movie snack?
  9. Do you prefer to watch movies alone, with friends, or with your family?
  10. Do you usually talk while you watch movies, or are you quiet?
  11. What movie do you really hate? Why do you hate it?
  12. Do you have a favorite movie?
  13. Do you ever cry when you watch movies? Which movies made you cry?
  14. How do American movies compare to movies from your country?
  15. Do you like documentaries? Describe an interesting documentary that you saw.
  16. Do you like animation? What is your favorite animated movie?
  17. Do you like silent movies? Do you like Charlie Chaplin?
  18. What are your favorite holiday movies?
  19. Do you read reviews before you watch a movie? Do you usually agree with the movie critics?
  20. Do you watch award shows? Why or why not?

Handouts:

I’ve typed these questions up into a printable worksheet that you can hand out to your students right here:  Questions About Movies

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Conversation Questions about Homes – ESL Speaking

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

  1. Do you prefer to live in a big house or a small house? Why?
  2. 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?
  3. What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.
  4. Do you like spending time at home? Why or why not?
  5. What does your living room look like?
  6. What does your kitchen look like?
  7. Do you have a backyard or a porch?
  8. Do you have a garden outside of your house? Do you have plants or flowers inside of your house?
  9. Do you like cleaning your house? How often do you clean?
  10. Did you ever live alone? Did you like living alone?
  11. Did you ever have roommates? Did you like your roommates?
  12. Describe the architecture of your home. What does the building look like?
  13. Do you prefer old houses or new houses? Why?
  14. What do traditional houses in your country look like?
  15. If you live in an apartment, which floor do you live on? Does your building have an elevator?
  16. Do you like decorating your house? Do you like shopping for furniture?
  17. What color are the walls in your house?
  18. Describe your dream home.
  19. Describe your childhood home.
  20. How do you feel when you return home after a long vacation?

Handouts and Ideas

  • You can print out a handout of this worksheet to share with your students right here: Conversation Questions about Homes
  • 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!

 

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Questions About: Animals

  1. Do you like animals? Why or why not?
  2. What’s your favorite animal?
  3. What animals live in your hometown?
  4. What animals did you see in your current city?
  5. What animals are your afraid of?
  6. Which animals are the cutest? Which animals are the ugliest?
  7. Do you prefer big dogs or small dogs? Why?
  8. Did you ever ride a horse? How about a camel or an elephant? Where?
  9. Do you know any animals who are famous on the internet? Can you give an example?
  10. Did you ever see a bear, alligator or snake in nature? How did you feel?
  11. Do you like the zoo? Why or why not?
  12. Which animals are the most intelligent? Which animals are the least intelligent?
  13. Do you think animals can understand people? Why or why not?
  14. How do animals communicate with each other?
  15. How are animals different from people?
  16. Which country do you think has the most beautiful animals?
  17. Would you like to have a lion or tiger as a pet? Why or why not?
  18. Did you ever see a shark, dolphin or whale? Where were you? How did you feel?
  19. What are some movies about animals? Do you usually like movies about animals?
  20. Did you ever see a skunk? What happened?
  21. Did a wild animal ever come into your house? What happened?
  22. Did you hear any news stories about animals recently? What was the story about?

Free Printable Handout!

Want to print out this lesson so that you can carry it around with you forever? Click here: Questions about animals 

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Design a New Restaurant: Creative Task #1

Yum! Food!

Most ESL textbooks include a chapter on food, and in my experience, that chapter is usually everyone’s favorite. Students of all levels are able to talk about what they like to eat and describe the foods that they miss from back home. I usually use the following create-it task at the end of a food unit to give students a chance to practice new vocabulary or grammar structures.

I’ve used variations of this creative activity with Beginner to Intermediate level students, and they always seem to enjoy it. It can be surprisingly easy to set up, and doesn’t require tons of advance planning. If you have the technology available, you could display the slide above, or create one with your own questions. If you don’t, you can simply write your questions on the board.

What to do: 

  1. Divide your students into small groups and tell them that they are business partners. They have decided to open up a little restaurant. Because they are on a budget, they have to keep the menu small. (I usually limit it to 3-5 items because I find that bigger menus can be overwhelming and take a long time to present.) You might brainstorm some possible restaurant themes as a whole class, and list them on the board.
  2. In groups, have students respond to the questions on the board and prepare a presentation for the class. You might have them create a physical menu or poster to show the class, although I don’t often do that with my adult students.
  3. Groups make their presentations, and everyone gets really hungry.

Variations and Follow-Up Lesson Ideas:

If your students created menus, this is the perfect time to do a lesson on how to order food. First, brainstorm useful expressions for ordering at a restaurant, and/or present a simple restaurant dialogue. Them allow them to walk around, “visit” each other’s restaurants, and practice ordering.

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Quirky Story: Sausages for Lunch

Today, I’ve got a super-adorable storyfor you about a couple of lost dogs who really like their Sunday routine. It’s written in the simple present tense, can be used with elementary, and lower intermediate classes, and is appropriate for students of all ages.

I’ve included a handy, printable handout at the bottom of the page so that you  easily share it with your students.

Sausages for Lunch

Liz and Graham Hampson love their dogs Charlie and Theo. They are a happy family. They take walks together every day. The Hampsons make barbecued sausages every Sunday. Then the family eats lunch together. Charlie and Theo love barbecued sausages!

One day the Hampsons take their dogs for a walk in the hills near their home. The dogs run ahead into the forest. It is a foggy day, and soon Liz and Graham cannot see their dogs.
“CHARLIE! THEO!” they call, but the dogs do not come back. They are lost.

The Hampsons are very sad. They call their friends and family for help. More than 120 people come to search for the dogs. They search the forest for four days. Nobody can find the dogs.

Then they have an idea. They bring a barbecue grill to the forest. They cook sausages and wait. Finally, they hear a bark. It is Charlie! Theo is right behind him. They smell the sausages, and they are ready for lunch.

Conversation Questions:

1. Do you have pets? What kinds of pets do you have?
What are their names? What do they look like?

2. Some people say that their pets are their children. Is it possible for pets to be part of a family? Why or why not?

3. Are you a dog person or a cat person? Why?

4. What types of animals are good pets? What types or animals are not good pets?

5. What are some ways to find a lost dog or cat?

Suggested Vocabulary:

  • take walks
  • sausages
  • hills
  • foggy
  • forest
  • lost
  • grill
  • search
  • find
  • wait
  • bark
  • ahead
  • behind

Yay! Handouts!

Click here to download a PDF printable handout of the story that you can share with your students: Sausages for Lunch

This ESL news story was based on a true story. You can read the actual story here, and share it with your more advanced classes: Lost Dogs Return Home for Breakfast

Take a look at this page for ideas on how to use my quirky news stories with your classes: Quirky News Stories

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Questions About: Food

English conversation questions about food for ESL classes
  1. What are some foods that you like to eat? What are some foods that you don’t like? Are you a picky eater?
  2. What are you favorite fruits? What are your favorite vegetables?
  3. Are there any foods from your hometown that you can’t find in this city?
  4. What do you like to eat or drink in the spring and summer?
  5. What do you like to eat or drink in the fall and winter?
  6. Do you eat salad? What do you usually put in your salad? Do you like salad dressing?
  7. What foods and drinks are popular in your country?
  8. What are some typical American foods?
  9. Describe the perfect sandwich.
  10. How do you make pasta? Give step-by-step instructions.
  11. How do you make a salad? Give step-by-step instructions
  12. What do you usually eat for breakfast? Is that a typical breakfast in your country?
  13. How often do you sit down for a meal with your family? Do you enjoy eating with family? Why or why not?
  14. Do you like cooking? Why or why not?
  15. What did you have for dinner last night?
  16. Do you like vegetarian food? How about vegan food? Is it easy or difficult to be a vegetarian in your country?
  17. Do you drink coffee, tea, hot chocolate? Do you make smoothies or other drinks?
  18. Do you use a microwave? Why or why not?
  19. Do you like sweets? What are your favorite snacks and desserts?
  20. Do you eat at fast food restaurants? Why or why not?

Click here for a printable version of these questions that you can print out and carry around in your folder of favorite teaching things: Questions about food

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Welcome Aboard!

Hi strangers! I’m getting ready to launch ESL Airplane, a site devoted to providing teachers with creative classroom resources for English Language Learners. I just wanted to say hi and let you know a little about what to expect.

One of my main goals for this site is to share some good beginner-friendly resources that can be adapted for use with other levels. I love teaching lower-level English classes (B1 and below). I have a hard time finding good materials for them, though, so I often make my own. I’m hoping to put together a collection of the types of materials that I’m always looking for along with tips on how you can adapt them for your classes. You’ll soon see a mix of conversation questions, weird news stories, picture prompts, creative news stories, and more. 

My teaching materials tend to be silly and kinda whimsical. I like my classes to be fun and lighthearted even though I’m serious about teaching. If that sounds like the kind of classroom you’re going for, please come back in a few days! I’m still working on setting up, trying to organize a million ideas into neat little categories, but I’ll have a bunch of new stuff here for you soon!

In the meantime, please take a moment to say hello and introduce yourself in the comment box. Where are you from? Who do you teach? What types of ESL materials do you wish you could find?

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