Are you an English teacher looking to add excitement and relevance to your ESL lessons? Engaging ESL topics can captivate your students’ attention and motivate them to participate actively in English language discussions.
Conversation topics can tend to become repetitive and circle around the same subjects of hobbies, family, and work. So, why not consider exploring different ESL topics that will ignite your students’ enthusiasm and really get them talking?
Let’s take a look at five engaging topics to spark dynamic classroom discussions.
1. ESL topic: Marketing Strategies in Supermarkets
Supermarkets are like big marketing laboratories – everything is an experiment in encouraging customers to buy more. Teach your students about the adverts that make you want things, the way they position items on shelves, and how they set prices. Ask them about their own shopping habits and how ads and tricks change what they buy. Talking about this helps them with English and makes them smarter shoppers.
Here are some questions you might ask:
- “Have you ever noticed that the bakery is usually at the back of the supermarket? Why do you think that is? ?”
- “Do you ever see that the most expensive things are right where you can easily reach them? How does that affect what you buy?”
- “Have you ever bought something just because you saw an ad or they put it in a special spot in the store?“
2. ESL topic: Artificial intelligence
AI, short for Artificial Intelligence, has become an integral part of our rapidly evolving world, making it a highly relevant and engaging topic for ESL discussions. It’s not just a buzzword; it’s a technological revolution that’s reshaping the way we live, work, and communicate.
Here are some questions you could ask to kickstart a student discussion:
- “Do you use any AI devices at home, like voice assistants or smart gadgets? How do they make your life easier?”
- “Can you imagine a future where we live with AI all around us? What would that be like, and what concerns might you have?”
- “Have any of you tried using ELSA Speak to improve your speaking skills? How has it helped you in your language learning journey?”
ELSA Speak, our AI-powered pronunciation app, can be a valuable tool for ESL students and teachers alike. Encourage your students to explore language learning, and discuss their experiences using ELSA Speak.
Keep in mind that when you enroll in our affiliate program by clicking here, you have the chance to earn a commission for every student who buys ELSA through your provided link.
3. ESL topic: Extreme Tourism
Extreme tourism is an exciting ESL topic for classroom discussions. It’s all about thrilling adventures in remote parts of the world.
Even if some of your students may not naturally lean towards adventurous pursuits, you can pique their interest by showing them incredible feats like climbing Mount Everest or leaping into icy waters. These remarkable stories have the power to draw them into the excitement of extreme tourism.
Here are some discussion questions:
- “Have you ever considered trying extreme sports or adventure activities like skydiving or bungee jumping? Why or why not?”
- “What do you think draws people to extreme tourism and high-risk adventures? Is it the thrill, the challenge, or something else?”
- “Can you share any personal experiences or stories you’ve heard about extreme tourism? What emotions or feelings do these experiences evoke?
4. ESL topic: Recycling
Recycling, without a doubt, stands as one of the most pressing global concerns today, making it an exceptionally relevant ESL topic for discussion. It is an issue that transcends cultures and languages, offering lots of potential for classroom discussions that can be both enlightening and constructive.
Recycling is not just about sorting waste; it’s about understanding our role in sustaining the environment for future generations. It encourages us to reflect on our consumption patterns, resource conservation, and the impact of our choices on the planet.
The beauty of discussing recycling in an ESL classroom is that it provides a non-polemical space for students to share their thoughts, ideas, and personal experiences. It’s an opportunity for them to learn from each other and explore diverse perspectives without engaging in heated arguments.
Here are some gentle discussion prompts that can encourage constructive conversations on recycling:
- “What are some common recycling practices in your country, and do you think they are effective?“
- “Have you personally made changes in your daily life to reduce waste and recycle more? What challenges have you faced?“
- “How can recycling benefit the environment and our communities? Are there any downsides or challenges to recycling that we should consider?”
5. ESL topic: Optical Illusions
Optical illusions are not only captivating but also an excellent way to challenge your student’s cognitive skills while learning English.
Explore vocabulary related to perception, visual tricks, and cognitive psychology. Share optical illusions and invite your students to describe what they see, fostering vocabulary enrichment and critical thinking.
Discuss the science behind these mind-bending phenomena and encourage your students to create their optical illusions using descriptive English language skills.
- “What is your initial reaction when you see an optical illusion? How does it make you feel, and why?“
- “Can you think of any practical applications for optical illusions in art, design, or entertainment? How do they impact our perception of visual information?“
- “Have you ever encountered optical illusions in your daily life or while traveling? Share your experiences and describe how they surprised or intrigued you.“
Incorporating these engaging ESL topics into your lessons can foster lively classroom discussions, vocabulary expansion, and critical thinking skills development.
To make the most of these ESL topics, consider integrating AI-powered tools like ELSA Speak to improve pronunciation and fluency.