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A list of conversation topics suitable for advanced level learners of English.

  It's a good idea to pre-teach essential vocabulary before beginning a discussion.
  This will help students feel more comfortable and encourage them to participate.

  1. Annoying things
    • Do people have habits that annoy you?
    • Do you annoy people with some of your habits?
    • What does 'pet peeve' mean?
    • Do you have a pet peeve?
    • What annoys you when you are driving a car?
    • What are some things that car drivers do that annoy you?
    • Does it annoy you if someone cuts in front of you when you are waiting in line?
    • Does smoking bother you?
    • Does something that your parents do annoy you?
    • Do some people in your office/company do annoying things?
    • Can you think of any celebrities that are annoying? Why?
    • What do people do on public transport that annoys you?

  2. Success-Failure

    • How would you define success?
    • Do you have the same idea of success as your parents?
    • To what extent will your encourage your children to become successful?
    • Do you think failures can contribute to a person's success?
    • Can you think of any famous people who encountered failure before success?

  3. Social Networking

    • What is social networking?
    • Can social networking sites be dangerous?
    • What precautions would you advise people to take?
    • Should the use of social networking sites be banned at work?
    • Are social networking sites changing our daily behaviour?
    • Is it possible to become a social networking addict?

  4. Diseases

    • What dangerous diseases are people scared of nowadays?
    • Should we be better-informed about the dangers of these diseases?
    • What is the best way to stop diseases from spreading?
    • Do diseases have an effect on travel?
    • Which disease is it urgent to find a cure for?

  5. Manners
    • Are good manners important?
    • Do people have better manners today than before?
    • Can you give examples of what you think are good manners?
    • What do you think are bad manners?
    • Can good manners in one country be bad manners in another country?
    • What about table manners? Can you give examples of some good table manners?
    • How about bad table manners?
    • Can manners affect your success in life? How?
    • What's the best way to teach manners to children?
    • What advice about manners would you give a foreigner visiting your country?

  6. News coverage in the media today.

    • Do you think news coverage today correctly describes what is going on in the world?
    • Do you trust everything you hear or see on the news?
    • What improvements would you make?
    • What is the most important current news story?
    • Do certain types of events get too much/too little coverage?
    • Do you trust the media? Are you sure the information given is always true?
    • Is it important to keep up with current events?

  7. Job interviews

    • Is it necessary to prepare for a job interview?
    • How can a person make a good first impression?
    • Is there a recommended dress code for an interview?
    • Can you think of any difficult questions one should be prepared for?
    • Is there anything a candidate should avoid mentioning?
    • Is it ok to make negative comments about your present employer?
    • Is it ok for interviewers to ask questions about age, marital status, etc.?
    • What information should a candidate have about the company?

  8. Environment
    • What are some of the most serious environmental problems today?
    • Can you find ten things that each of us can do to help preserve our planet?
    • What is your opinion on climate change?
    • In what way will our children be affected by climate change?
    • How can we make our homes more environmentally friendly?
    • What can companies do to help preserve the environment?
    • Which countries cause the most pollution?
    • If we run out of oil, where will we get our energy from?

  9. Shopping on the internet

    • Do you often do your shopping online?
    • What do you buy online? :
      - food
      - clothes
      - furniture
      - services : airline tickets, theatre reservations, flowers, greeting cards ...
      - other
    • Are the prices the same as in the shops/agencies or less expensive?
    • Have you ever had any disappointments or bad surprises?
    • What are the advantages of shopping online?
    • What are the dangers?
    • What advice would you give future online shoppers?

  10. Risk
    • What is your definition of risk?
    • Do you know any risk takers?
    • In your opinion why do people take risks? (pleasure, work, challenge ...)
    • What risks do you come across in your work/life?
    • Are some people obliged to take risks in their jobs?
    • When is a risk stupid or unnecessary?

  11. Politicians' personal lives.

    • Does a politician's personal life have an effect on their ability to do their job?
    • Do you think the media pays too much attention to politicians' personal lives?
    • Why do certain types of media give excessive coverage to minor offences?
    • Information concerning personal lives circulates quickly on social networks.
      Is this good or bad?

  12. History for future generations.

    • You are asked to select a number of objects to represent life at the beginning of the 21st century.
      The idea is to help future generations better understand how we lived and what major events affected us.
      What objects would your choose and why?

  13. Technology

    • What technology would it be difficult to live without today?
    • Has technology changed our everyday lifestyle?
    • What technology, if any, has made our homes more comfortable?
    • Has technology changed education methods?
    • Will online education one day replace the classroom?

  14. Travelling has become easier and cheaper.  What has it changed in people's lives:

    • speed, comfort, health, family relationships, etc.
    • work/employment
    • holiday habits
    • way of life/standard of living in certain countries

  15. Describe the best or worst trip you ever took:

    • Where did you go?
    • Did you travel alone or with a group?
    • What did you do / what had you intended to do?
    • What made it your best (or worst) trip?
    • What advice would you give someone planning the same sort of trip?

  16. Work

    • Do human beings need to work to be happy?
    • What motivates people to work long hours?
    • Can perks (or fringe benefits) compensate for a boring job?
    • What are the advantages/disadvantages of working from home?
    • How do people find a balance between work and personal life?
    • What would make you leave your job?
    • In your opinion, what is the worst job in the world?

  17. Is life today better than in the past? Think about the following:

    • Education - employment - job satisfaction
    • Health : prevention, treatment, new discoveries, social security, etc.
    • Comfort : standard of living (housing/transport/leisure)
    • Violence
    • Social issues : single mothers, unmarried couples, homosexuality ...

  18. Inventions

    • What invention has had the greatest impact on our lives?
    • Are there some things that never should have been invented?
    • Do some countries encourage inventors more than others?

  19. What are the 5 most important decisions in a person's life?
    After making suggestions and defending their ideas, the group retains five and decides on the order of importance.

  20. It is impossible to have a successful career and a happy family life.
    You have to choose one or the other. Do you agree?

  21. Careers today: how to advise young people

    • How important is it to have a good (well-paid/secure) job?
    • What advice would you give a young person today?
    • Would you encourage your children to accept a job in another country?
    • Would you be disappointed if your children
      • left school early?
      • chose a manual job?

  22. The internet is an essential communication tool in today's world.
    • The first and most popular use is the email. What others can you think of?
    • Has fraud increased since the arrival of the internet? How?
    • What steps would you advise to protect data and privacy?
    • What do you think the internet will be used for in the future?

  23. Recent physical achievements (crossing the Atlantic, mountain climbing, etc.).

    • How many can you think of?
    • Which achievement was the most impressive?
    • Are the world's best athletes present at the Olympic Games?
    • What do you think of 'extreme' sports (bungee jumping, tightrope walking...)?

  24. Has violence increased in recent years?

    • What are the causes (unemployment, poverty, minority issues, tv series,
      poor parenting ...?
    • What are the effects on young children?
    • What could be done to reduce violence?
    • Is the increase in violence a worldwide phenomenon?

  25. The effects of medical and scientific progress:

    • health (prevention, treatment, organ transplants, rare diseases, etc.)
    • beauty (plastic surgery, dental care, etc.)
    • comfort in the home
    • transport

see also:
Unfinished sentences - advanced

Conversation topics - intermediate

Conversation topics - business

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Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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