conversation starters

Conversation Starters: 30 Interesting Conversation Questions Not Only For ESL Students

These interesting and deep conversation starters are not only intended for ESL students but also for everyone who would like to start chatting with a stranger, neighbor, colleague, someone they fancy, partner, friend.

No matter how well you know somebody, these deep conversation starters will help you connect with them even more. You will get to know them better, and at the same time, you will learn something about yourself.

This activity contains 60 questions and a YouTube video, so students can practice listening as well as speaking.

Reccommeded for ages 16+ and B1+

The slideshow can be used as a resource for online teaching: share your screen on Zoom or another 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.

The questions for this activity are used with the kind permission of C.B. Daniels of Conversation Starters World.

30 Deep Conversation Starters

  1. If you could learn the answer to one question about your future, what would the question be?
  2. What smell brings back great memories?
  3. If you opened a business, what kind of business would it be?
  4. Where and when was the most amazing sunset you have ever seen?
  5. What is something you are obsessed with?
  6. What do you do to get rid of stress?
  7. What three words best describe you?
  8. What would be your perfect weekend?
  9. Who had the biggest impact on the person you have become?
  10. What is the most annoying habit someone can have?
  11. Where is the most beautiful place you have been?
  12. What do you do to improve your mood when you are in a bad mood?
  13. What’s your favorite way to waste time?
  14. What do you think of tattoos? Do you have any?
  15. What is something popular now that annoys you?
  16. When was the last time you worked incredibly hard?
  17. Who in your life brings you the most joy?
  18. Are you very active, or do you prefer to just relax in your free time?
  19. What’s the best / worst thing about your work/school?
  20. If you had intro music, what song would it be? Why?
  21. What were you really into when you were a kid?
  22. If you could have any animal as a pet, what animal would you choose?
  23. Are you a very organized person?
  24. What is the strangest dream you have ever had?
  25. How often do you stay up past 3 a.m.?
  26. Which is more important, having a great car or a great house? Why?
  27. What do you bring with you everywhere you go?
  28. If you had to change your name, what would your new name be?
  29. What is something that really annoys you but doesn’t bother most people?
  30. How should success be measured? And by that measurement, who is the most successful person you know?

Watch a video with 25 deep questions

Another activity you can do with your students is to watch a video with 25 questions similar to the questions above. These, as you will find in the video, are used in therapy and can help you to get to know people on a deeper level.

It’s a ten-minute video and it’s divided into chapters so when you click on a chapter you will see the particular question he is answering and the questions will also appear in the video, so you can pause the video and students can discuss it, either individually or in groups.

Other speaking resources:

Conversation Questions: Present Perfect and Past Simple

ESL Conversation Topics: 12 Mini Presentations

50 ESL Conversation Questions for Teenagers and Adults

Conversation Questions Gerunds and Infinitives: ESL Speaking Activity

Phrasal Verbs Activity and Exercises, Conversation Questions and PDF Worksheet

Conversation Questions: Future Tenses

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