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Lower-Intermediate Skill Builders: Speaking

There are twenty questions in each of the below topics for students to discuss. Each set contains a mix of yes/no questions and wh-questions, which provides flexibility. As a teacher, you can select the number of questions, the difficulty level of the questions, and just when the questions will appear in the lesson. For example, a few easier questions may be selected as a warm up, or the lesson can finish with open ended questions to discuss.

Consideration has of course been given to the abilities of lower-intermediate students, and so the topics and the language used for the questions should fit well with this skill level. Most questions look for concrete answers, based on the lives, experiences, and interests of the students. There are a few questions in each set that may prove more abstract, and therefore difficult, which can be used to challenge stronger students.

Because these questions are designed to improve fluency, students should be encouraged to avoid an interview-like pattern. In other words, students shouldn't do the following:

Student A asks the question.
Student B answers the question.
Student A asks a new question.

Encourage students to ask follow-up questions. You can do this by directing students to do the following:

Student A asks the question.
Student B answers the question.
Student A adds a comment based on the response, and may even ask a related question.
Student B asks a new question based on the response from student A.

You may also instruct students to speak about each question for several minutes, thereby forcing them to extend the language and avoid a conversation that feels more like an interview.

Here are some additional resources: