10 Interactive ESL Online Games for Language and Critical Thinking Improvement

In today’s digital age, online games have become a popular and effective tool for teaching various skills, including English as a second language. Interactive ESL online games, such as digital escape rooms, scavenger hunts, critical thinking games, and media literacy games, are not only fun and engaging but also provide students with unique opportunities to improve their language skills.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of using interactive games for language learning, and discuss how these games can help students achieve their language goals.

1. Enhanced Engagement and Motivation

Interactive games provide a dynamic and interactive environment that makes language learning more enjoyable and memorable. This can lead to increased engagement and motivation for students to continue learning.

2. Real-Life Practice

Many games simulate real-life situations. This allows students to practice their language skills in relevant and practical ways.

3. Improved Critical Thinking Skills

Games that teach critical skills, such as spotting fake news and hoaxes, and media literacy, help students improve their critical thinking and media literacy skills. These skills are essential for success in today’s digital world and will help students in their personal and academic lives.

4. Customizable and Convenient

Interactive games offer customization options, allowing students to tailor the game to their language level and learning goals. With the ability to play these games on a variety of devices, students can access language learning opportunities from anywhere and at any time.

5. Measurable Progress

Interactive ESL online games provide students with immediate feedback, allowing them to see their progress and identify areas that need improvement. This helps students stay motivated and track their progress.

Here’s a list of 10 interactive ESL online games you should check out:

Bad News Game

The Bad News Game is all about spotting fake news and hoaxes. You’ll be presented with news articles and videos and have to figure out what’s real and what’s not. It’s a fun way to improve your critical thinking skills and learn to be a media-literate person. Get ready to be challenged and have a blast doing it!

Fake News Game

This game is similar to the Bad News Game. It will challenge you to think critically and evaluate information sources, helping you become a savvier news consumer. So, get ready to flex your brain muscles and have some fun!


Interland is a free, online multiplayer adventure game created by Google that teaches digital safety, security and citizenship skills to children. Players explore four fantastical lands, completing challenges and quests while learning how to protect their online privacy, spot fake news, and be good digital citizens.

Digital Escape Rooms

The digital escape rooms at Madison Library are a fun and exciting challenge. These online puzzles will test your problem-solving skills and critical thinking as you try to escape a virtual room within a limited time frame. Immerse yourself in a world of digital elements and clues, to make the most of your escape room experience. With a variety of themes to choose from, there’s always a new challenge waiting for you and your friends.

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Escape Team

Escape Team is an online interactive game that challenges players to solve puzzles and complete tasks within a limited time frame in order to escape virtual rooms. Players must work together to find clues, decode messages, and complete challenges in order to escape each room before time runs out.

Reality Check

Reality Check teaches you to find truth online by locating the source of a story, comparing it to other sources, and using fact-checking tools and reverse image searches. Each mission presents a story from your social network feed, true, false, or in-between. Find out by clicking on magnifying glasses on the page, then decide how reliable it is and how to respond.


Spent is an online game where you play as a low-income worker trying to survive a month with limited money. You must balance daily expenses and make tough decisions that affect your finances. It’s a thought-provoking game that gives players a glimpse into the challenges faced by those living in poverty.

Trivia Crack

Trivia Crack is a fun online game to test your knowledge of different subjects. Play against others by answering trivia questions and spinning a wheel for categories like history, science, art, sports, and more.

Elevate App

Elevate is a fun online brain-training app with daily challenges to improve your memory, attention, and processing speed. Personalized to your progress, it’s perfect for students, busy professionals, or anyone looking for a mental workout.

The Meaning of Beep: Cyberbullying

This game teaches players about the effects of cyberbullying and how to stop it. Players will have fun while they learn to identify and handle cyberbullying in different digital scenarios. The game is designed to encourage positive online behavior and help players become responsible digital citizens.

Interactive ESL online games are a valuable tool for language learning. With their ability to engage and motivate students, provide real-life practice, improve critical thinking skills, and offer measurable progress, these games can help students achieve their language goals and unlock their full potential. Try incorporating interactive ESL online games into your language learning routine today and experience the benefits for yourself.

Similar resources:

47 Interactive and Online ELT Resources for Teachers

Best English Games to Play in Your ESL Classroom

Engaging Online Teaching: ESL Activities and Games

Online ESL Video Lesson Plans

Digital and Online Teaching Resources for Teachers Who Teach English from Home

Questions for ESL Conversation: 60 Questions Based on Vogue Interviews

If you’re an ESL teacher, you know that speaking is a difficult skill for students to master. Plus, speaking can be intimidating. It’s one thing to write and another thing entirely to perform in front of others. That’s why these 60 questions for ESL conversation based on Vogue’s 73 Question series, in which celebrities quickly answer random questions, is great for practicing speaking skills with your students.

You can start this activity by watching Adele’s take on 73 questions. After that, put your students in pairs so they can play out their version of the interview. To do that, download the worksheet 60 Questions for ESL Conversation.

The worksheet contains 60 questions divided into 2 sets. This is a pairwork activity, so students can both ask and answer the questions.

  • Allow the students 5 minutes to read the questions and to make sure they understand and look up any unfamiliar vocabulary.
  • Explain that they have to conduct the interview in the style of Vogue’s 73 questions, so they have to quickly ask and answer the questions.
  • Decide how long it should take and tell them, I would allow 5-10 minutes based on the level of the group.

As a variation of the activity, they can record each other’s responses to create a similar video to the one below.

60 Questions for ESL Conversation Activity


  1. What’s the best thing that happened to you this month?

2. What is something you’re tired of? 

3. What is something that recently moved you? 

4. If you could teach one subject in school what would it be? 

5. What’s your favorite beverage? 

7. What is your favorite cake?

6. What is your favorite movie?

7. What is something you can’t do? 

8. What is one habit you wish you could break?

9. What makes you laugh no matter what?

10. What does creativity mean to you?

11. What are your favorite lyrics of all time? 

12. What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do? 

13. What did you want to do with your life at age 12? 

14. What is something you will not be doing in ten years?

15. What is an important life lesson for someone to learn? 

16. What is one goal you are determined to achieve in your lifetime?

17. Would you ever live anywhere besides where you live now? 

18. What is your favorite dessert? 

19. Is there a dessert you don’t like? 

20. It’s brunch! What do you eat? 

21. Who is your favorite artist? 

22. Favorite Disney animal? 

23. What is a book you are planning on reading? 

24. What did you read most recently? 

25. Favorite solo artist? 

26. What’s your favorite board game? 

27. What’s a city you wish to visit?. 

28.  Where does one go on a perfect road trip? 

29. What do you do on a rainy day? 

30. What’s your favorite exercise? 


1. What is your worst subject in school? 

2. What do you usually eat for breakfast?  

3. What do you usually eat for dinner? 

4. Favorite baked good?

5. What is something you wish you could be good at? 

6. Skiing or Surfing? 

7. Cooking or Baking? 

8. Most recent celebrity crush?

9. What’s your favorite clothing brand or store? 

10. How do you manage stress? 

11. What do you do to relax? 

12. Favorite fashion trend of all time? 

13. Best fashion advice you’ve ever received? 

14. Trend you would like to see disappear forever? 

15. What is your spirit animal?

16. Television show you’ve binged on recently?

17. Who do you turn to when you’re sad? 

18. Name one thing you’ve learned the hard way? 

19. If you could make a documentary about anything, what would it be? 

20. What is your Kryptonite? 

21. What are you most enchanted by? 

22. What is your biggest strength?

23. What is your biggest weakness? 

24. What are 3 words to describe living where you live? 

25. Cutest thing on planet earth?

26. Most important advice you’d give your future children? 

27. Best first date idea? 

28. What do you first notice about someone when you meet them? 

29. What’s your guilty pleasure? 

30. Plans for the weekend? 

Download 60 Questions for ESL Conversation

English Speaking Practice: 20 Conversation Topics

Balderdash: ESL Speaking Game

Storytelling Cards: Imaginative Speaking and Writing Activity

Funny Conversation Starters: 60 Questions

Taliban Take over Afghanistan: Dare to Educate Afghan Women(UPDATED)

If you don’t live in a cave you know what’s happening in Afghanistan right now. If you don’t know, you can find out here.

No matter what your political preferences are, or what do you believe in, I’m sure you agree that education is important. What is happening in Afghanistan right now will have tremendous negative consequences on the education of Afghan girls. Watch the Ted Talk. Discuss it with your students. You can also help here, or here.

This Ted Talk education ESL video lesson is based on a  talk by Shabana Basij-Rasikh. She is an educator from Afghanistan, humanitarian, and women’s rights champion. She grew up under the rule of the Taliban, which banned education for women so she had to dress as a boy to attend a secret school.

This is her story.

Level: Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate

Time: 45min.(video 10min.)

Skills: speaking, listening, reading

Topic: education, human rights

Taliban Take over Afghanistan | Ted Talk Education Lesson Plan | Dare to Educate Afghan Girls | Shabana Basij-Rasikh


Discuss the questions

1. Do you think education should be free? Why? Use arguments to justify your opinion. 

2. What was your parents position on your education? How do you think it has influenced your life? What is your position on your education? 

3. Can you imagine being denied higher education based on your gender or religion? How would it influence your life?

Write three reasons why education is important.





1 Read the sentences and try to work out the meaning of the underlined words/phrases.

1. I dressed as a boy to escort my older sister, who was no longer allowed to be outside alone, to a secret school.

2. A total maverick from a remote province of Afghanistan, he insisted that…

3. …had my family not been so committed to my education…

4. …the one exiled from his home for daring to educate his daughters,

5. And I see their parents and their fathers who, like my own, advocate for them despite and even in the face of daunting opposition.

6. …this is something that is often dismissed in the West…

7. …they’re often the initial and convincing negotiators of a bright future for their daughters…

8. I fear that these changes will not last much beyond the U.S. troops’ withdrawal.

2 Match the words/phrases (a-p) to their explanations(1-16).

a)escort(v.)              1)demand something forcefully, not accepting refusal.       

b)allow                     2)without being influenced or prevented by

c)maverick               3)a person who helps other people to come to agreement

d)remote                  4)difficult to deal with

e)insist                     5)accompany (someone or something) somewhere

f)commit                  6)the process or action of a military force moving out of an area

g)exile(v.)                 7)let (someone) have or do something.

h)dare                      8)of or at the beginning

i)advocate(v.)           9)able to make you believe that something is true or right

j)despite                 10)to think or say that something is not important

k)daunting              11)to send someone away from their own country, village, etc

l)dismiss                12)far away, distant

m)initial                  13)to promise or give your loyalty, time, or money to something

n)convincing          14)an unorthodox or independent-minded person

o)negotiator           15)have the courage to do something

p)withdrawal          16)publicly recommend or support


Watch the video and answer the questions.

1. Why do you think the Taliban made it illegal for girls to go to school?

2. Why was Shabana’s grandfather special?

3. What would have happened if the Taliban had found out that Shabana and her sister were going to school?

4. How many women in Shabana’s age have made it past high school?

5. What were Shabana’s parents prepared to do in order to pay for her school fees?

6. How many girls went to school in Afganistan under the Taliban, and how many are in school now? 

7. What is SOLA?

Discuss the questions

1. What would you change about your school if you could?

2. Some people say that schools are useless for life. Do you agree?

3. What do you think are the most important life skills?

4. Do you need education if you want to be successful?

5. What are the most useful things that you learned at school?

6. What are the most useless things that you learned at school?

7. Besides school, where and how can you learn something new?

8. What talent or skill would you like to improve?

Download Ted Talk Education Lesson Plan:

Other resources:

ESL Exam Speaking Picture Description and Questions

Online ESL Video Lesson : Can Sci-fi Predict the Future?

Food and Travel ESL Lesson: Interactive Online Lesson

Improvisation Cards: ESL Speaking Activity

20 Fun Discussion Questions for (Not Only) the ESL Classroom

I don’t know about your corner of the world, but here in Central Europe summer has arrived with full force. It’s scorching hot. I finally understand the 3-hour siesta they have in some countries. Who would want to move, or think in this heat? So I cut my students some slack, we play scrabble and have fun. The testing is over, the school term ends in a few days, field trips have been canceled because of Covid-19, there is not much left to do. And did I mention it’s boiling hot and our building doesn’t have AC? Right, so let’s have som fun.

This speaking activity contains 25 fun ESL discussion questions for teenagers and adult learners. (16+, B1+). It is best for small groups or as a pair-work.

The slideshow can be used as a resource for online teaching, just 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 discussion questions before your lesson. During the lesson, pop into the breakout rooms to listen in and observe.


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1. What’s the closest thing to real magic?

2 .Who is the messiest person you know?

3. What will finally break the internet?

4. What’s the most useless talent you have?

5. Where is the worst smelling place you’ve been?

6. What celebrity would you rate as a perfect 10?

7. What’s a body part that you wouldn’t mind losing?

8. What is the dumbest way you’ve been injured?

9. Which fictional character would be the most boring to meet in real life?

10. What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?

1. If you had to change your name, what would your new name be, and why would you choose that name?

2. What are some things that sound like compliments but are actually insults?

3. What’s your biggest screw up in the kitchen?

4. What’s the worst commercial you’ve recently seen? Why is it so bad?

5. What is the craziest thing one of your teachers has done?

6. When did you screw everything up, but no one ever found out it was you?

7. What elements of pop culture will be forever tied in your mind to your childhood?

8. If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?

9. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?

10 .What ridiculous thing has someone tricked you into doing or believing?

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

Other ESL resources:

Popular Conversation Topics for (not only) Adults and Teenagers: 50 Questions

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

Conversation Questions Gerunds and Infinitives: ESL Speaking Activity

30 Hypothetical Conversation Questions for ESL Students

Conversation Questions Gerunds and Infinitives: ESL Speaking Activity

ESL Exam Speaking Picture Description and Questions

Popular ESL Conversation Topics for English Practice

This activity for adults and teenagers contains five ESL conversation topics and fifty conversation questions. It starts with everyone’s most favorite topic: Tell me something about you. People love to talk about themselves, so let them! You can also watch this interesting Ted Talk about being ourselves. If you love Scottish accent as much as I do, watch also this.

Other included ESL conversation topics are Future, Society, Culture, and Environment.

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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Popular ESL Conversation Topics


  1. Use five words to describe who you are. Explain.
  2. What makes you happy?
  3. Who is the most important person in your life?
  4. Name three things you couldn’t live without.
  5. What do you love about your life?
  6. What do you hate about your life?
  7. What would you like to change about your life?
  8. Which character from a book/movie would you like to be and why?
  9. What do you value in other people?
  10. What do you like about yourself?


  1. Do you plan everything or do you like to be spontaneous?
  2. Do you want to study at university? Why?
  3. What would you like to do with your life in 10 years?
  4. How do you think the world will change in 20 years?
  5. Do you think humans will colonize space one day?
  6. If you could know three facts about any specific time in the future, what would you like to know?
  7. Would you rather travel to the future or the past?
  8. What are you looking forward to?
  9. What scares you about your future?
  10. What would you say to your future 70-year-old self?


  1. In your opinion, what are the most serious issues in our society?
  2. How would you describe your community?
  3. How do you imagine the ideal society?
  4. What values are important to you?
  5. How do legal drugs harm our society?
  6. How has society changed in the last 20 years?
  7. Which changes in our society do you dislike? Why?
  8. What is the influence of technology on our lives?
  9. Have you ever broken any rules?
  10. Which laws/rules should be changed? 


  1. How would you define culture?
  2. How is the culture of your country different from the others?
  3. Is there any culture that you admire/like?
  4. Do you think globalization can destroy the local culture?
  5. Which aspects of different cultures can you find in your community?
  6. Which part of your culture is the most important to you? Why?
  7. Which customs and traditions are typical for your culture/region?
  8. Is there anything about your culture that you don’t like?
  9. What do people from different cultures have in common?
  10. Which culture would you like to know more about?


  1. Which environmental issue is, in your opinion, the most serious?
  2. Can individual efforts make any change to improve the environment?
  3. How environmentally conscious are you?
  4. What can businesses do to behave more eco-friendly?
  5. What do you think about Zoos?
  6. What do you think about hunting?
  7. How do you feel about the future of our planet?
  8. Which industry is the most harmful to the environment?
  9. If you could, what 3 laws would you introduce to protect the environment?
  10. Do you think veganism is more eco-friendly than eating meat?

Other conversation resources:

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

ESL Conversation Topics: 12 Mini Presentations

Role-play Scenarios for ESL: Discussing Different Topics and Situations, Even Vaccination!

ESL Vocabulary Activity Based on Taboo: Food

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.

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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

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

50 ESL Conversation Questions for Teens and Adults

This speaking activity contains 50 ESL conversation questions for teens and adult learners. (16+, B1+). It is best for small groups or as a pair-work.

This activity contains 50 questions and a YouTube video, so students can practice listening to real language and you can also play the game from the video with your students in your classroom. Scroll down for the ESL conversation questions activity, and the video.

The slideshow can be used as a resource for online teaching, just 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.


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50 ESL Conversation Questions for Teens and Adults

1. You have to save the world tomorrow, who’s in your team?

2. What is your favorite summertime memory? Why?

3. Who do you think impacted your personality the most? Why?

4. What is your go-to skill in a talent show?

5. When was the last time you did something new?

6. What are you passionate about?

7. What makes you laugh the most?

8. What is best about being an adult?

9. What is best about being a teenager?

10. What is your favorite smell?

11. When was the last time you cried because you laughed too hard?

12. What are you most self-conscious about?

13. If you had 24 hours to live what would you do?

14. What have you started that you didn’t finish? Why?

15. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

16. Road trip or flying?

17. What is your favorite childhood memory?

18. Who is the one person you can always count on?

19. Sunset or Sunrise?

20. What quote would you tattoo on yourself and where?

Want more speaking resources? Try these role-play activities.

21. What inspires you?

22. What always makes you smile?

23. If you could be any character (book/movie/TV) who would it be?

24. What accomplishment of yours are you most proud of?

25. Where would you live for a year if money were no object?

26. What is your go-to karaoke song?

27. Star Wars or Star Trek…or neither?

28. What weird food combinations do you really enjoy?

29. If magic was real, what spell would you try to learn first?

30. Do you believe people can truly change?

31. What problem are you currently grappling with?

32. What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

33. What is the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?

34. Which of your vices or bad habits would be the hardest to give up?

35. Name something that is completely overrated.

36. Is it better to be loved or to love?

37. If you had to choose only one, love or money?

38. What do you miss the most about being a kid?

39. Who do you wish you could get back into contact with?

40. What is the kindest thing you’ve ever done for someone else?

41. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?

42. What makes you feel really alive?

43. What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?

44. What are you thankful for at this very moment?

45. Would you rather be in space or under the sea?

46. What is your favorite family tradition?

47. Where do you want to be in 10 years?

48. What would your friends be surprised you like to do?

49. When was the last time you gazed at the stars?

50. What is the one meal you never get tired of eating?

Watch a video where teens agree/disagree with various statements

In this video, teens express how strongly they agree/disagree with different statements. The statement appears on screen and students indicate their responses by stepping into lanes representing how they feel about the questions. Some of the students are then asked to explain their answers.

You can pause the video after every question and ask your students to answer it one by one, or you can play the variation of the game in your classroom.

Other resources to practice speaking:

ESL Exam Speaking Picture Description and Questions

ESL Conversation Topics: 12 Mini Presentations

Conversation Questions: Present Perfect and Past Simple

Balderdash: ESL Speaking Game

Unfinished Sentences ESL Speaking Activity

ESL Reported Speech Speaking Activity: Gossip



Role-play Scenarios for ESL: Discussing Different Topics and Situations, Even Vaccination!

What is a role-play scenario?

Role-play is any speaking activity when you either put yourself into somebody else’s shoes, or when you stay in your own shoes but put yourself into an imaginary situation, also called a scenario!

I put together my favorite role-play scenarios and speaking activities which I used in the classroom and can be easily used on Zoom. Some of them are suitable for more advanced students, for example the science, and environment role-play scenarios. Other can be used with all levels, so they are also great for lower level, or younger students, for example the traveling and negotiation role-play scenarios.

When we use the activity on Zoom I always send the role-play activity to them in advance and when we have our online lesson I also share my screen with the role-play activity, so they can take a screenshot if they haven’t downloaded it. Then I put the students in the breakout rooms and they usually have 5-10 minutes for the pair work activity.

During that time, I always pop in to different breakout rooms to listen in. I correct, help and answer any questions if needed. What activities do you use on Zoom?

Role-play: Traveling

A1: You are a receptionist of a 5* hotel. You are very polite and you can deal with annoyed guests. Try to calm down the guest and solve any issues they have. Try to avoid calling the manager.

B1: You are a wealthy businessman staying at a 5* hotel. You are used to quality service and luxury, but this hotel doesn’t offer it. The room is too small, staff is rude, AC is noisy. You want to talk to the manager.

For more traveling role-plays click here.

Role-play: Negotiation

A negotiation, simply put, is a compromise. Two or more parties come together, have a discussion, and reach an outcome that addresses the needs of everyone involved.” – Forbes

A1: You have too much on your plate right now and you need help with your English essay assignment which is due on Friday. Ask your classmate for help. What would you be willing to do for them if they helped you? Think of the things you are willing to offer:

B1: Your classmate needs your help with the English essay assignment which is due on Friday. You might consider helping them if they can provide the right incentives. Think of four things you want for helping them(can’t be money):

If they agree with three of the four, you might consider helping them.

For more negotiation role-plays click here.

Role-play: Science

A1: You decided not to vaccinate your children. You read articles about vaccination and you learned how dangerous it is. It causes autism and contains lead and other toxic elements. You know what is best for your child and herbal teas and some meditation will work just fine. You are angry that your friend doesn’t support you.

B1: You are a person of science. A rational being. You believe in data, facts, and verifiable experiments. Your friend decided not to vaccinate their children. They believe that vaccination causes autism and that it is dangerous. Try to explain the benefits of vaccination and to disprove those absurd theories.

For more science role-plays click here.

Role-play: Environment

“The Earth is what we all have in common.” – Wendell Berry

A1: Many of your friends use cars to commute to work even though it is more expensive than public transport. You are concerned about the impact this irresponsible behavior has on our planet. Try to persuade your friend to switch to more eco-friendly transportation.

B1: You drive to work every day. You live in a free country and you don’t feel the need to explain yourself to anyone. Why shouldn’t you drive? Your friend’s been nagging you about it for a while. Talk to them.

For more environment role-plays click here.

Role-play: Work problems

A1: You are a project manager who has been assigned to a new project. One of the members of your new team is not co-operating with the other team members. He opposes every idea, causes conflict, and is generally difficult to work with. Talk to him and solve the problem.

B1: You have worked for this company for 10 years and you feel unappreciated. You started to work on a new project with co-workers who are not so experienced as you are and you think your manager is incompetent. You complain a lot because things do not work as they should. Your manager wants to talk to you.

For more office problems role-plays click here.

Phrasal Verbs Activity and Exercises, Conversation Questions and PDF Worksheet

I sometimes watch, or more accurately, watched (because Covid) Netflix with friends. We always use English subtitles, as my friends want to improve their English. Sometimes they ask me to translate a word or a phrase, sometimes I don’t mind and sometimes it bothers me. But my lack of patience with my friends is not the point.

The point is, I’ve noticed one thing all my friends had in common. They often didn’t understand the meaning of a certain phrasal verbs.

Phrasal verbs are tricky, because they seem to be two separate words. Sometimes the same phrasal verb can have a few different, totally unrelated meanings and that’s very confusing for English learners.

They are very common, especially in informal context, so it’s often recommended to learn essential phrasal verbs to sound more natural.

Here are a couple of phrasal verbs activities and exercises.

Phrasal Verbs Activity: Definitions

back down: to resign your position in a fight, argument, plan, etc.

bump into: when you meet someone by accident or unexpectedly

burst out: to suddenly and unexpectedly say or do something

call off: to cancel  something

carry on: to continue doing something

chicken out: to stop doing something because you’re afraid

clam up: to refuse to speak or share your feelings

come up with: to think of a solution, idea

deal with: to handle something, to solve a problem 

drag on: to last longer than expected

figure out: to find the answer

get along: to have good relationship with someone

get rid off: to remove something or somebody

hang out: spend time with people, socialize

look up to: to admire someone

polish off: to eat or drink something quickly

rip off: to ask for a very unreasonable price, to cheat financially

run out of: to have no more of something

stick up for: to defend someone or something

talk into: to convince someone to do something

Phrasal Verbs Activity: Exercise with Flashcards

[h5p id=”12″]

Discussion Questions

  1. When was the last time you had to back down in a situation?
  2. Who was the last person you bumped into? How did it happen?
  3. Can you remember the last time you burst out something inappropriate? 
  4. What was the last event you had to call off? What happened?
  5. Have you ever chickened out of something?
  6. When something surprises you, can you carry on and pretend nothing happened?
  7. What would you do if you were talking to a friend and they suddenly clammed up?
  8. What’s the last brilliant idea you’ve come up with?
  9. How well can you deal with interruptions when you work/study? 
  10. What do you do when you are in a meeting that just drags on?
  11. What is the last thing you didn’t understand first, but then you figured it out?
  12. Describe three people you get along with.
  13. What 3 things would you like to get rid of in your life? (material and abstract)
  14. What do you do when you hang out with friends?
  15. Who do you look up to in your family?
  16. What meal do you usually polish off? 
  17. Can you think of a time when someone ripped you off?
  18. Have you ever run out of patience when talking to someone? What happened?
  19. What ideas can you imagine sticking up for?
  20. What was the stupidest thing anyone has ever talked you into?

Similar resources:

Conversation Questions: Present Perfect and Past Simple

Present Simple and Present Continuous

ESL Speaking Activity: Conditional Discussion Questions

ESL Conversation Topics: 12 Mini Presentations

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