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Upper-Intermediate Skill Builders: Speaking

Each of the below speaking topics has a mix of yes/no questions and wh-questions. There are twenty per topic. Each set of discussion questions has not only been selected and tested for quick understanding for upper-intermediate students, but consideration has also been given to the students' abilities in terms of vocabulary, grammar, and the ability to support ideas. Select some of the questions to practice speaking in warm-up activities, discussions, or debates. Some ideas to try include:

1: Select one question to discuss in the warm up. Students pair up to speak for two minutes. Next they switch partners and repeat/continue the conversation. After two more minutes, switch partners once more to discuss. Students will benefit from a high speaking time, as well as the chance to reuse ideas from past conversations. This increases fluency.

2: Select a yes/no question to debate. Allot students two or three minutes to think of ideas, take notes, or check dictionaries. Pair them up for a quick debate. Don't forget to assign who will support and who will oppose the idea.

3: Hand out a different question to each student. (You can print out the pdf file and cut the questions into strips.) Students speak in pairs for two minutes. Next they exchange questions and find a new partner. Repeat the process as often as you deem necessary.

Here are some additional resources: