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TEFL Activities: Present Continuous Practice
March 10, 2020
TEFL students talking

Conversation Starters in the TEFL Classroom

TEFL students talking

Need some help getting the conversation flowing in your classroom? Here are some of our favorite conversation starters you can put to work today!


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What comes after, “Hello, how are you…”? Students often struggle to continue the conversation after the initial greeting. There are lots of great conversation starters that you can teach your students so that they feel more prepared for real life. Plus they won’t feel so “deer in headlights” if this ever gets asked to them.


Here are some of our favorites:

1. How’s (summer) treating you?
It’s just another way to ask, how’s your summer. This is a great one because it is so versatile. You can insert any season, event, person etc. into the structure to create a great opportunity to chat with someone.


2. What have you been up to lately?

The phrase “up to” is one of my favorite natural expressions to teach to my students. I never realized how much I said this myself until a student pointed it out to me. Be prepared for students to answer with things like “I’ve been up to a lot of work lately”. Explain that the expression is typically not used in the answer.


3. So what do you do when you’re not (working)?
I like this question because it can help steer the conversation in a new direction when you’ve possibly had enough of one topic. It shows that you’re engaged enough to know that person works a lot but you’d like to know more about them.


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4. What’s your take on (topic/current event)?
This is a great way to ask someone’s opinion about something. In an English class, just like in polite conversation, staying away from really hot topics is generally a good idea. However, you still want to teach your students how to successfully navigate current events in conversation.


On TEFLPros’ 120-hour course, we teach you how to build highly effective, fun lessons to incorporate natural English expressions like these into you class.

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