Effective ESL Speaking Activities for Students of All Levels

These ESL speaking activities have the simple aim of encouraging students to speak openly and freely, with minimal support, in order to achieve their communicative goals. Only in these situations can we really gauge a student’s progress and discover their strengths and weaknesses. On this page, you will find suggestions for speaking games and activities that range from simpler, more controlled interactions to wide-ranging free-speaking activities.

ESL Conversation Starters

Explore hundreds of discussion questions, organized into themed cards for easy printing and cutting out. If you find this resource valuable, consider our photocopiable conversation classes book, featuring questions across 50 topics, along with supplementary exercises to introduce relevant vocabulary and idioms that enrich discussions.

Discussion and Presentation Style Speaking Activities

Expressing Opinions

Expressing Opinions: Ideal for first classes with advanced students, this mingling activity encourages learners to exchange opinions and cards with classmates.

Question Time 

Question Time: In this easy-to-set-up group discussion activity, students take turns selecting a topic and moderating the conversation.

Old School vs New School

Students compare school life today with the past in this thought-provoking discussion exercise.

The World in 20 Years: Future Predictions

Using the simple future tense, students speculate about developments across various fields.

Show and Tell

Learners bring in objects with personal significance to share their stories.

Ask the Expert

Resembling a speed-dating activity, students interview each other about their hobbies and interests.

Questionnaires and Surveys

Students create surveys and questionnaires, using them to interview their peers and foster interaction.

Other Activities

Outdoor Activities

Escape the hot, stuffy classroom and reinvigorate your students with outdoor activities they’ll enjoy.

Lying Games

Encourage laughter and fun in the classroom with speaking games that challenge students to keep a straight face.

ESL conversation questions

Boost Your Students’ Fluency with Our Photocopiable Conversation Cards

Looking for an engaging way to help your students practice their English speaking skills? Our ESL Conversation Questions section has hundreds of discussion questions grouped into themed cards for printing and cutting out. But if you’re serious about improving your students’ fluency, you need our A4-sized book of photocopiable conversation cards!

With questions covering 50 topics, our book is perfect for teachers who want to provide their students with meaningful opportunities to practice speaking English. Each card is designed to encourage natural conversation, boost your students’ confidence, and improve their fluency. But that’s not all – our book also includes additional exercises presenting relevant vocabulary and idioms to support the discussions.

Don’t just take our word for it – here’s what some of our satisfied teacher customers have to say:

My TEFL students love this book!! I quite often use it with them, to introduce the next part of the lesson. Thumbs up from me!!” – Sarah T.

I love to use this in my classes so much because I always get such a surprise reaction from my students as they relate to the questions on a personal level and bring into the total discussion such rich experiences.” – Juan M.

Ready to get started? Purchase our 50 ESL Conversation Classes book now.

4 thoughts on “Effective ESL Speaking Activities for Students of All Levels

  1. Love this book! I will be taking an ESL teacher training course in a few months. In my present volunteer job, I’ve been asked to teach some English to the staff. They are all beginner to intermediate level. We are in a rural area of a poor country, so there aren’t many resources available, except what I can print out. Your book will help me do some fun conversation classes with them. Thanks for the great ideas!

  2. This conversation class book is brilliant! I’m very happy both with the sample, which I got first, and the purchase of the whole book. I’ll be using it for years!

  3. I`ve been using “50 conversation classes” since I started working with adult people and It`s great! We love them! thanks a lot!

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