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Teacher Challenge 2010

EnglishClub learners are challenged every day. Here is a challenge for the English teachers!

2010 Teacher ChallengeThe EnglishClub team is always challenging learners! We call on learners to take quizzes, play games and accept writing challenges. We ask them to try new technology, answer daily Facebook questions, and take Survival English dares. Sometimes we even ask learners to fill out surveys so that we can improve this site. We know that you are challenging your students too! Every quiz, homework assignment, project, film and class activity you introduce brings your students one step closer to their goals. In 2010 we would like to invite EnglishClub teachers to accept a challenge too!

One of the most useful resources for teachers to have on hand is a list of interesting discussion questions. Teachers use conversation questions to:

  • get students talking
  • break the ice in a new class
  • fill extra time before or after a lesson
  • supplement textbook material
  • change the pace of a class
  • challenge students to use vocabulary on a certain topic or theme
  • learn more about student interests
  • evaluate speaking skills and student needs
  • use when substituting

At EnglishClub we have many different places to find discussion questions, including Talking Point Worksheets, The Learning English Video Project, MyEC Groups and Blogs, The Monthly News Digest, Discussion Boards, etc… What we don’t have is a database of theme-based discussion questions that are easy to print or download by topic.

If one theme came out of education in 2009 it is this: When teachers put their heads together great things happen! In 2010, we would like to challenge English teachers worldwide to help us build this resource. Our goal is to provide 2010 discussion questions based on the following 21 topics:

  1. People and Relationships
  2. Places and Travel
  3. Arts and Entertainment
  4. Health
  5. Current Events (from the year 2000 and above)
  6. Social Media
  7. Technology
  8. Business
  9. Science and Weather
  10. Education
  11. Plants and Animals
  12. History
  13. Food and Drink
  14. Sports and Leisure
  15. Life and Death
  16. Crime and Punishment
  17. World Issues
  18. Culture and Spirituality
  19. Jobs and Money
  20. Random Questions (questions for non-theme based class discussions)
  21. The most important question you can think of.

Are you up for the challenge?

Teachers’ Task

1. Review the list above and choose some topics that interest you.

2. Write a number of conversation questions based on the topics of your choice. (We need 100 for each category from 1-20. Contribute as many as you like!)

3. Post your questions in the comment section of this page. Make sure to include the reference letter of the topics from the list above.

Our Goal

When we have 2010 solid questions we will compile them in an easy-to-print list format on We will feature 10 of the best answers to topic U for a total of 2010. The goal is to complete the database for your use by 2011!

Homework Tip

Regular reminders will be sent out to teachers to help us build this resource throughout the year. Why not get a head start on your homework? Add your own 21 questions today! You can even ask your students to help you.

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub | December 2009
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

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