Conversation Starters

– ideas to stimulate sparkling conversation –

It may be just one download but it holds many ideas! Today you get a set of 60 Conversation Cards for Intermediate to Advanced level students, which will hopefully inspire interesting and amusing anecdotes, recommendations, comparisons, preferences and all sorts of talking matters.

Using the cards

These Conversation Starters can be ideal fillers for the last 10 minutes of a lesson or lead in activities to introduce a new topic, both for one to one lessons or for groups. As well as themes for conversation, they include a good mix of language points. For example second conditional “what if…” scenarios or narrative tenses for anecdotes, modals for recommendations or suggestions, comparatives amongst others. As the student speaks try to make note of good examples of language as well as mistakes, but the aim of these kind of conversation activities is fluency, so rather than interrupt, take notes and give feedback after.

You can choose whether you want to select certain cards either by theme or by language point, or allow students to pick one randomly from a pile.

The cards are designed as ideas for starting conversation, so as a teacher you may need to prompt, ask questions and encourage things along, especially in one to one classes. Some ideas are deliberately very vague, with the possibility of a variety of responses, so give the students thinking time before they start, don’t try to hurry them. If they aren’t sure what it means or only give a short answer then of course you should prompt or give an example of your own to get the ball rolling. The main thing is to enable the student(s) to do most of the speaking, but obviously be prepared to share ideas and interact to help keep the conversation going when necessary.


If you try out any of the resources I’ve posted here on my blog I’d love to hear your feedback. You can post comments on the relevant blog page or send a message.

Previous Blog Posts

If you’ve enjoyed this post, or found it useful, why not check out my previous blogs with a whole range of free downloadable lessons:

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