conversation questions for ESL students

30 Hypothetical Conversation Questions for ESL Students

Here is another set of conversation questions, this some for more advanced students as the questions are hypothetical, so it requires a knowledge of conditionals and a certain level of creativity. I’d recommend it for 16+ (B1, B2, C1). The questions for this activity are used with the kind permission of C.B. Daniels of Conversation Starters World.

As usual it this conversation activity consists of a slideshow for remote teaching and a downloadable PDF for easy printing.

The slideshow can be used as a resource for online teaching: share your screen on Zoom or other app when teaching online. Click on the full screen option in the top right corner of the slideshow and your whole group can discuss or if you want to use the activity in smaller groups, assign your students into breakout rooms and send them the PDF with the conversation questions before your lesson. During the lesson, pop into the breakout rooms to listen in and observe.

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1. If you were a transformer, what vehicle would you turn into?

2. What laws would you abolish if you could? What laws would you create?

3. If extra lives were a thing in the real world, how would you get them?

4. If you were a food, what food would you be?

5. What animal would be way better if it was covered in scales?

6. If you could design a planet, what would your perfect planet look like?

7. What would be your strategy for a zombie apocalypse?

8. If you could be the CEO of any company, what company would you choose?

9. What two animals would you like to switch the sounds they make?

10. Would you want to permanently feel zero pain if given the chance?

11. What cartoon world do you wish you could live in for a week?

12. What do you wish grew on trees?

13. What weird thing would you make socially acceptable if you could?

14. If every time you snapped your fingers, you would instantly be transported to a random point in humanity’s timeline, would you snap your fingers? If so, how often?

15. If you were perpetually surrounded by one aroma (besides your natural smell) which you and everyone around you could smell, what would it be?

16. If you could level up any aspect of yourself (i.e., strength, intelligence, charisma, etc.) but you had to decrease another aspect of yourself by the same amount, what aspects would you increase, and which would you decrease?

17. If humans lost the ability to see all colors except one, which color would you want to survive?

18. If you were a dictator of a small country, what crazy dictator stuff would you do?

19. If you could put wings on any species of animal, what animal would you choose?

20. How would the world be different if zeppelins had caught on and were the dominant form of air travel?

21. Every day 12 things appear in your backyard, they are random, but all start with a letter of your choosing. What letter do you choose?

22. If when you died, you could cease to exist or wander the earth forever, never being able to interact with anything, which would you choose?

23. If you could move anywhere and still have a livable wage, where would you like to move?

24. If you could get a ticket to any show or event, what would you want a ticket to?

25. If you could go back in time and give your parents advice before you were born, what advice would you give them?

26. If everyone was mentally incapable of lying, how would that change the world?

27. If you could be invisible, but it would mean being permanently invisible, would you want to be?

28. If you had to do a dance that had never been done in the history of mankind or be killed, what kind of dance would you do?

29. If you could erase one thing from existence, even the memory of the thing, what would it be?

30. If you were required by law to get a full body tattoo, what would you get tattooed over your entire body?

Other resources to practice speaking:

ESL Vocabulary Activity. Forbidden Words: Health

ESL Vocabulary Activity Based on Taboo: Food

ESL Travel Vocabulary Taboo Cards

12 ESL Negotiation Role-plays: Real-life situations

ESL Speaking Activity: Conversation Cards

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