More conversation questions

MORE CONVERSATION QUESTIONS

Adoption

How is adoption viewed in your country?

Do you know anyone who was adopted? Can you think of any famous people who were adopted?

How does being adopted affect a child’s view of themselves?

What are some of the reasons people adopt children?

What are some of the reasons people give children up for adoption?

What do you think about the adoption system in your country?

What do you think about couples that adopt children from different countries?

What qualities make a couple or a person qualified to adopt a child?

Should the adoption process be more or less difficult than it is now?

Should people be able to decide what type of children they want to adopt? For example: boy or girl, hair color, age, etc.

How much should the government be involved in the adoption process?

What are orphanages like in your country?

Would you ever adopt a child?

What is the maximum number of children a couple should be able to adopt?

What celebrities do you know of who adopted a child?

What are some ways that adoption rates could be improved?

Advice

What three pieces of advice will you give your children? 

Whose advice do you follow more, your parents’ or your friends’ advice? 

If you could give the leader of your country some advice, what would it be? 

If you could go back in time and give yourself some advice, what would you

tell your younger self?

Who was the wisest person in your country’s history? What kind of advice did they give?

Where do you go to get good advice?

Now it’s your turn to give some advice:

What are some things students should do to improve their English?

What should I do to make more money?

How can I get more free time?

What should people do when first meeting their boyfriend/girlfriend’s parents?

What should someone do to be happy?

Aging

What are some of the benefits of getting older?

Do you think humans will ever be able to stop aging?

Is aging more difficult for men or women? Why?

Which celebrities have aged well?

Are older people actually wiser?

What kind of support should children give their aging parents?

How long do you want to live?

Who is the oldest person you know? How is their view of the world different than yours?

How are older people viewed in your country?

How well do you relate to people who are 5 years younger than you? How about 10 years younger?

Aliens

Do you believe there is other life in the universe? How about intelligent life?

What do you think aliens might look like?

Do you think aliens have ever visited earth?

What does UFO mean?

Have you seen a UFO or do you know someone who has seen a UFO?

What is your favorite alien from a movie?

What is the scariest alien movie?

If aliens did come to a country and met with the government of that country, what do you think would happen?

Why are humans so fascinated by aliens?

How many planets do you think are in our galaxy? How about the universe?

Do you think humans will travel to another planet in your lifetime?

How do you think we or aliens will get to other star systems like our own? (If we traveled at the speed of light, the nearest star with planets that we know of is 10.5 years away.)

Animals

What animal best represents you? Why?

What creature scares you? Why?

Except for food, do humans need other animals? Why or why not?

What is the most effective way to save endangered species?

What are some examples of useful traits that help animals survive? (i.e. a giraffe’s long neck)

What is Darwin famous for?

What traits have made humans a successful species?

What are some animals you don’t know much about?

What is the cutest animal you can think of? How about the ugliest?

Why do humans have pets? Do you have a pet? Why or why not?

Are there any animals that we should try to kill off completely?

Appearance

What is the first thing you notice about a person?

What do the clothes someone wears say about that person?

Is there a part of your appearance that you are very proud of? (i.e. eyes, fashion sense, hair etc.)

What is the most interesting haircut you have seen?

Have you ever gone through the entire day without noticing something was wrong with your appearance? (i.e. missing button, food in your teeth)

What kinds of things do you do to improve/maintain your appearance?

Are there any fashion trends in the past you followed but think are silly looking now?

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

Have you ever been intimidated by someone’s appearance?

Do people in your country talk a lot about other people’s appearance?

Is it rude to tell the person that they need to improve their appearance?

Architecture/Building Design

What kinds of materials are buildings made from?

Is there one type of building material you prefer in buildings?

What kind of style of buildings do you like? (Traditional, Modern, Crazy, Functional, etc.)

What do you think of your country’s (modern/traditional) architecture?

What are some buildings around where you live that you like?

Is it better to build concrete block buildings that are cheap, easy to build and all look the same or more expensive buildings that have varied design?

Talk about the construction industry and real estate industry in your country.

There are many types of houses (underground, eco-friendly, rural, apartment) What kind of house would be your ideal house?

How much does architecture affect people’s moods?

Have you ever been interested in architecture?

What makes a good interior for a restaurant? Office? Home? Classroom?

Smart buildings are being built now that can do lots of things. What would you like to see buildings be able to do in the future?

Art

How often do you go to art museums?

Do you consider yourself to be artistic?

What do you think about modern art paintings?

How many forms of art can you name? What is your favorite form of art?

Is graffiti art? Why or why not?

What is the most famous statue in your country?

Who is your favorite artist? Why do you like them so much?

Do you think that art is important to society? Why?

Have you ever tried drawing, painting, sculpting, or something else artistic?

What is the most famous painting in your country?

What is traditional art like in your culture?

What country do you think is the most creative?

Why is art so expensive? Do you think it should be more, or less, expensive?

Do you have any artistic friends? What kinds of art do they create?

Beauty

Do you think beauty is the same for every person?

Do you think that different cultures think about beauty differently?

What do you think of plastic surgery?

What is the most common plastic surgery in your country?

What does “Beauty is only skin deep.” mean?

What kind of beauty contests are popular in your country? Do they have beauty contests for men too?

What celebrities do you know of that have gotten plastic surgery?

Who is the most beautiful/handsome celebrity in your country?

What makes someone beautiful?

Do you think science can measure beauty?

Birthdays

What was your most memorable birthday?

What do you usually do to celebrate your birthday?

Do you think that the person having the birthday should pay for the birthday party or should their friends and family pay for the party? Why?

Where is the best place to have a birthday party?

What gifts do you like to receive on your birthday?

What is the most heartwarming birthday wish you can give someone?

What is the best birthday party for someone else you’ve been to? How about the worst?

What were your birthdays like when you were growing up?

What birthday traditions are unique to your culture?

At what ages do people have a massive birthday party in your culture?

What flavor cake or what type of food do you like to eat on your birthday?

How have birthdays changed from generation to generation in your culture?

Books

Do you read many books?

How often do you read books?

Did your parents read to you when you were a child?

What are some of the advantages of books vs. movies? How about the disadvantages of books vs. movies?

What was the last book you read about?

Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction books?

Do you think people don’t read enough books these days?

If you could only read one more book for your entire life, what would it be?

Can a book change the world?

Who is an author that you like? Why do you like their books?

What is one example of traditional literature in your country? Did you have to read it in school?

Do you like reading the traditional literature of your country?

Brains

What is the most amazing thing about the brain?

What is the most mysterious?

What are some extraordinary things some people can do with their brains?

Will we ever be able to augment our brain with technology? Would you?

What do you wish your brain was better at?

Do you think male and female brains are better at different tasks? Why or why not?

What do you think about most?

What does your brain do that you hate?

Do you think humans will ever completely understand the brain? Why or why not?

When do you use your brain the most?

Camping

What is the best activity to do while camping?

How many times have you gone camping? Did you enjoy it?

Where have you gone camping?

What are the 4 most important things to bring when you go camping?

Is camping with lots of amenities (solar panels, fans, stove, etc.) still camping? How much luxury is too much?

Where is the best place to go camping in your country?

What is the longest time you have spent camping?

Tell a story about a camping trip (it doesn’t have to be your story).

What is the best thing about camping? How about the worst thing?

What is the best food to bring on a camping trip?

Cars and Driving

If you were going to get a new car, what kind of car would you get? A luxurious car? A sports car? A hybrid or electric car?

What kind of cars do you think look the best?

Can you drive?

If yes, are you a good driver? When did you get your license?

If no, do you want to get a driver’s license? Why or why not?

What is the fastest you have gone in a car?

Do you think cars are safe?

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of driving versus public transportation?

What do you think cars will be like in the future?

Do people drive well in your country?

Would you like to drive an F-1 race car?

Do you think the use of cars will increase or decrease in the future? Why?

Challenges

What is a challenge you faced?

There are many amazing challenges to try:

Visiting all continents

Swimming in all of the oceans of the world

Climbing Everest

Can you think of some more interesting challenges that a person can do?

What kind of challenge would you like to try?

Do you have any heroes that have done something amazing?

Challenges don’t have to be amazing. What are some normal challenges people face?

Some people think that facing challenges improves a person. Do you agree or disagree?

Think of some tragic events that happened. Do you remember what you were you doing when you found out about them?

Do you think someone is a better person after they have been through a challenge?

What are some challenges you think the next generation will face?

Should people make their children have easy lives with few challenges or make sure their children face challenges?

Change

Are you someone who likes change?

In what ways have you changed since you were in junior high school?

How do you think you will change in the future?

Which political party in your country is most likely to make big changes? Is that a good or bad thing?

“The only thing constant is change.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain.

What are the biggest changes in the world you have seen since you were a child?

What is the biggest change most people experience in their lives?

Is change good or bad for a person’s mental health?

What is the most positive change you have experienced in your life?

“You are the same person you were 5 years ago except for the books you have read, the people you have met, and the places you have traveled.” Do you think this quote is accurate?

Charity

Do you give to charity or volunteer?

What do you think are some important charities people should give to?

Do you know of any bizarre charities?

Do you give money to homeless people? Do you think people should give money to homeless people?

Who do you think needs charity the most?

How much do you think governments should give to help other countries?

Should rich people and corporations be forced to give to charity?

Do you think there are charities that are scams?

Does your country have a holiday when it is traditional to help out people in your community? If not, should there be a holiday like that?

Do you think it is better to give time or money?

Childhood

What was the best thing about your childhood?

What do you miss most about being a child?

Do you think that children these days have a better or worse childhood than your generation? Why?

What do you think is most important for a happy childhood?

What about your childhood do you wish you could change?

Where did you grow up? How did that affect your childhood?

What were some of your favorite activities when you were a child?

Who, besides your parents, had the biggest impact on your childhood?

What do you want to provide your children that you didn’t have when you were growing up?

Who were you really jealous of when you were a child? Why were you jealous?

What was your experience at school like? (elementary, junior high, or high school)

Choices

Would you rather live in your home country or live abroad?

Would you rather be smart or beautiful / handsome?

Would you rather be poor and happy or rich and unhappy?

Would you rather marry someone plain with a good personality or someone beautiful without much personality?

If war broke out in your country would you rather flee the country or fight?

Would you rather be rich or famous?

If you had to lose one of your senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste) which would you rather lose?

Would you rather marry a rich celebrity or a rich CEO?

Would you rather have a brand-new Mac or PC?

Would you rather take a trip to a new country or get a new TV?

Cities

Do you like cities or the country side? Which is better and why?

You can make one change to your country’s capital city, what will you change?

What are some of most famous cities in the world? What makes them famous?

Why do you think that humans started living in cities?

Do you think that we will still live in cities 100 years from now?

How do you think cities will change in the future?

What city would you like to visit?

What city is best known for: fashion? technology? art? industry? travel?

What makes a city great to live in?

Are cities good for the environment or bad for the environment?

Cleanliness

How clean is too clean?

How dirty is too dirty?

How can bacteria help humans?

If you drop food on the floor, will you pick it up, blow it off/dust it off and eat it?

What is the dirtiest job?

How often do you wash your hands with soap?

What is the grossest thing you have seen someone do?

Did your mom let you get dirty when you were a child?

What is the dirtiest you have ever been?

How often do you clean your house or room?

Do you do the dishes right after eating? How long do you let the dirty dishes sit without washing them?

Do you know anyone who is REALLY concerned about germs and cleanliness?

Cloning

Do you know how scientists clone animals? What is the process?

Do you think scientists should be allowed to clone people?

Would you want to have a clone of yourself?

What problems could cloning people solve?

Could cloning people lead to problems? What kinds of problems?

If we could clone dinosaurs like Jurassic Park, would you want to?

How about if we could clone ancient humans, like Neanderthals or the early homo sapiens? Would you want to clone ancient humans?

What if science could clone famous people like Albert Einstein or Leonardo Da Vinci? Do you think they would be as successful if they were brought back as clones?

How can cloning animals help science?

What do you think cloning will be like in the future? Will cloning stop or expand?

Color

What is your favorite color?

Is color important to you?

Does color affect your emotions?

Imagine being in a room where everything is dark blue how would you feel? What if the room was red? Black? Yellow? Pink?

Why do you think colors affect humans so much?

Do you think that certain colors are only for boys or only for girls?

Which colors do guys usually like more? How about girls?

Why do you think there is a difference?

If you HAD to change your hair color, what color would you change it to?

Most electronics are either black, silver or white. Why do you think this is? Do you think we will have more colorful electronics in the future?

Colorful tattoos are becoming more popular in places like America. Do you think they will become as popular in your country? Why or why not? Would you ever get a tattoo? Why or why not?

Pink and purple are rarely worn by men in western cultures, why do you think this is?

If you bought a car, what color would it be? 

Can you think of some examples of camouflage in daily life?

Communication

How is communication changing between people?

It used to be common to talk to strangers. Do you think it’s okay to talk to people you don’t know?

How often do you start up a conversation with people you don’t know?

Think about how your Grandmother talks with people. Is it the same as how you talk to people?

Use your imagination. How will people communicate in the future?

How have smart phones changed communication?

Name at least 10 forms of communication.

Do you think people can communicate with ghosts and spirits?

How has communication changed through human history?

What is the most basic form of communication?

Computers

Do you know anything about the history of the computer?

Do you own a computer? What do you use it for?

Think about smart phones, like the iPhone. Do you consider them computers? Why or why not?

Do you think the desktop computer is going to become less popular in the future? If so, what will replace it?

Computers are starting to be built into new houses and apartments. Would you like a computer to control your house for you?

Do you think the invention and rise of computers has been a good thing or a bad thing? Why?

Talk about the first computer you ever used.

What will be the future of computers?

Do you think people rely too much on computers?

Do you think computers will ever be able to think for themselves or have “real” intelligence?

What do you think will happen if computers become self-aware?

Talk about the differences between how you use a computer and children use a computer.

Conspiracies and Cover Ups

What are some famous real conspiracies or cover ups?

What are some common conspiracy theories? Do you think they will be proven or proven wrong?

Do you think that newspapers sometimes cover up events?

How often do politicians in your country get in trouble because of cover ups?

Do you think it is possible for global conspiracies to exist?

Whose job is it to uncover conspiracies and expose cover ups?

How open should governments be? Do governments need some secrecy?

Are you a suspicious or trusting person?

What are some secret societies you have heard of? Do you think they really exist?

When are secrets a good thing?

Cooking

How often do you cook?

How good are you at cooking?

What are some things that you can cook?

What dish or food are you best at cooking?

Do you think you can cook better than your mother?

Who is a better cook, your mother or your grandmother?

Are cooking shows popular in your country? Do you watch any cooking shows?

What is the hardest thing to cook?

What are some of the advantages of cooking your meals at home? How about the disadvantages?

Is it important for husbands to know how to cook?

Does your father cook?

Who is the best cook you know?

Would you like to be a chef? Why?

If you had your own personal chef, what meal would you ask for most?

How hard is it to become a chef? What do you have to do to become a chef?

Corruption

Is there a lot of corruption in your country?

What businesses have the most corruption in your country?

What are some problems with corruption in the political system of your country?

Do you think corruption will always be a part of business and politics?

What recent corruption scandal was in the news?

Who is the most corrupt politician or businessperson you know of?

What is the best way to fight corruption in business and politics?

Is corruption ever justified?

Can a corrupt organization ever be more efficient than a less corrupt organization if they are about the same size and in the same industry?

If you were in a position of power, do you think you would be corrupt?

Crime

What do you think the most common crime in your country is?

Should police in your country be stricter or less strict?

Is your country a safe country?

Have you ever seen a crime? (Don’t talk about it if it’s too upsetting for you.)

Do you think criminals can change?

Is shoplifting common in your country?

What kind of people shoplift and what kinds of things do they steal?

Does your country have a big organized crime group like the mafia?

Have you ever met someone from a mafia?

What is the best way for police to keep neighborhoods safe?

Can you tell if a kid will grow up to be a criminal?

Customs

Have you ever traveled abroad?

If yes, where did you go and what was it like? What customs were different from your country’s customs?

If no, would you like to go to abroad? Where would you like to go and what do you think it will be like?

Do you think it is important to follow a country’s customs when you visit there?

What are some of the most important customs of your country? How about Japan or China? How about America or Australia?

Do you follow all of your country’s traditional customs?

What are some strange foreign customs that you have heard of?

Are there any customs in your country visitors might find strange?

How do people greet each other in your country? Has it changed from the past?

Do you enjoy learning about other countries’ customs?

What are some customs in your country that people should follow when they are eating? Do you think other countries have the same custom?

What are some strange wedding customs in your country?

Dating

Where is the best place in your city to take a date?

What can you do if you want to save money and go on a date?

How common are blind dates in your country?

Do most blind dates go well? If not, why not?

What is the best way to meet boyfriends or girlfriends?

Describe your ideal date.

What was the worst/best date that you have ever been on?

When two people go on a date, who should pay?

How many people should you date before getting married?

What do you think of double dates?

Disabilities

How does the government in your country help disabled people?

What are some common disabilities?

How do you think disabled people feel when people pity them?

Are you comfortable around disabled people?

What is the best thing we can do to help disabled people?

Do you know anyone who is disabled?

Do you think your country’s government does enough to help disabled people?

In your opinion, what are the worst disabilities?

How are disabilities viewed in your country?

What kinds of disabilities do people develop as they grow older?

Dreaming

How often do you dream?

Do you dream in color or black and white?

Have you ever had a flying dream?

Have you ever been falling in a dream and just when you are about to hit the ground you wake up?

Do you think dreams have meanings?

Do you think dreams can tell the future?

Have you ever been dreaming and woken up and couldn’t move?

What was the best or worst dream you can remember? Don’t share your dream if it’s too personal or too intense.

Why do we forget dreams so quickly?

Have you ever kept a dream journal?

Why do we dream? What is the purpose of them?

Do you think animals dream too? What kind of dreams do you think they have?

What does your country’s culture traditionally believe about dreams?

Have you ever had déjà vue?

Eating Habits

Talk about what you have eaten today.

What is the most unhealthy food you can think of?

What do people need to eat more of?

Do you usually eat healthy food?

What are some different types of diets you have heard of?

Do you think your parents ate healthier food at your age than you do? How about your grandparents?

Do you eat a lot of small portions or a few large portions of food each day?

Do you think people from your country usually eat healthy food?

What are some things about your eating habits you want to change?

Do you think that organic food is much better than normal food or are they about the same?

Why is organic food so much more expensive?

What is traditional food in your country like? Is it healthy?

Do you think that a person’s eating habits affect how long they will live?

Electric Cars

Would you ever drive an electric car?

What are some of the benefits and disadvantages of electric cars?

When do you think the first electric car was made?

What technology needs to be improved to make electric cars more popular?

Are electric cars really environmentally friendly if the electricity to charge them comes from coal power plants?

Do you think electric cars, hydrogen cars, or something totally different will be the future of automobiles?

How long does it take to charge an electric car?

Which country do you think is trying the hardest to make electric cars popular?

Do you think electric cars are popular in your country? Why or why not?

Do you think electric planes will become popular soon?

Email

How often do you send emails?

How many email accounts do you have/need?

What email provider do you use? (i.e. Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc.)

How much of the email that you receive is spam?

Have you hand-written a letter and sent it to someone?  If no, why not?  If yes, how often do you send letters and to whom?

Have you ever pressed “send” and then wished you hadn’t?

If you could secretly view anyone’s email, whose email would you spy on?

What was the best or worst email you have ever received?

What can happen if someone steals your email password?

Have you ever gotten a computer virus from email?

Empathy

How much empathy do you feel towards other people?

Do you think it is possible to be too empathetic? 

Why might it be bad/good for a doctor to have a lot of empathy?

In what other jobs is empathy very important?

Who is the most empathetic person you know?

In what jobs is empathy a bad thing to have?

Why do you think humans feel empathy? Do you think animals can feel empathy?

Do you think that people are born with empathy or are they taught it?

If you see a homeless person on the street asking for money, what is the first thing you think about them?

Are you good at knowing when something is wrong with a coworker or family member?

What does the idiom “I feel your pain.” mean? Have you ever felt some else’s pain?

Entrepreneurs

What are 4 pros and 4 cons of being an entrepreneur?

Do you know any entrepreneurs?

Does your country have a lot of entrepreneurs? Why do you think so?

What is the most profitable type of business to open in your country?

Should a restaurant open where there are no restaurants or lots of restaurants?

In your country, is it better for a restaurant or café to be unique or familiar?

How are businesses today different from businesses in the past?

What must a company do or have to be successful?

Are people born entrepreneurs or are they made?

What traits make someone a good entrepreneur?

Would you like to open your own business? Why or why not?

Environmental Problems

What are some of the most serious environmental problems?

What are ten things individuals can do to help the environment?

What are five things governments can do to help the environment?

What is your opinion on climate change?

Which countries cause the most pollution?

How will our children be affected by climate change?

What kinds of technologies do you know of that might help stop environmental problems?

Are corporations responsible for helping the environment?

What are some things that corporations can do to help the environment?

What are some local environmental problems you have noticed?

Do you think houses will be more environmentally friendly in the future?

Where will we get our energy when we run out of oil?

How will India and China affect the environment in the future?

What will happen if we keep polluting the environment?

Will the climate keep changing or go back to normal?

Ethics

Do you consider yourself to be an ethical person?

Have you ever found a smart phone? What did you do? If you haven’t, what do you think you would do?

Would you risk your life to save another person?

Would you jump into a deep river to save a drowning animal?

What should a person do if they find a wallet? What do people usually do? What would you do?

What are some ethical dilemmas you have faced?

Is stealing ALWAYS wrong? When is it right to steal?

If you could save people by killing one person, would you?

How often do you lie? When is it okay to lie?

What makes a person act ethically or unethically?

If you saw a pickpocket stealing someone’s wallet what would you do?

Should poor people be punished for stealing if they are stealing to feed their family?

Facts and Statistics

What do you think about these facts and statistics?

In a lifetime, the average driver will honk 15,250 times.

An office desk has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet.

10 percent of all human beings ever born are alive at this very moment.

Most lipstick contains fish scales.

You have more bacteria cells in your body than human cells.

What are some interesting statistics you know of?

What do you think the saying “Numbers don’t lie.” means?

What are some of the problems with statistics?

Do you agree that “86% of statistics are made up on the spot”?

What are the REAL reasons for these correlations?

Sleeping with one’s shoes on is strongly correlated with waking up with a headache. Therefore, sleeping with one’s shoes on causes headache.

Since the 1950s, both the atmospheric CO2 level and obesity levels have increased sharply. Hence, atmospheric CO2 causes obesity.

People who own vinyl records have a higher rate of heart disease than those who don’t.

Family

How do members of a family support each other?

Who do you think has the most power in the family? Why?

Do you agree with the saying “Children should be seen and not heard”? Why do you agree or disagree?

Are good family members or good friends more important? Why?

What problems do parents have to solve as their children grow up?

How close are you to your extended family? (cousins, aunts, great uncles etc.)

What is the perfect number of children a family should have?

What do you think of people who marry and decide not to have children?

How do you think western families and eastern families differ?

What do you think is the most important thing to make a happy family?

Is it better for mothers to stay at home with kids or go to work to earn more money for the family?

Many families send their children to private institutes or daycares for most of the day. Is this good or bad?

How do you define the word “home”? Is it where you live? Where your family lives or where you grew up?

When married people talk about having children they talk about “starting a family”. Can two married people be a family if they don’t have kids?

How do you think family life is changing in your country? (example: wife working, husband cleaning, kids at institutes) Is this change good or bad?

What do you think of gay marriage?

Is spanking or hitting a good way to discipline children? Why or why not?

What age is too young to get married?

Why do people get married?

If you were offered an excellent job abroad could you leave your family and country for 5 years?

Family Values

What values will you pass on to your children?

Do you think society is losing its values?

How have values changed in society?

What is a value other people think is very important which you don’t think is important?

What values did you parents pass on to you?

Are there any values that your parents tried to make you follow but you weren’t good at doing?

How does a society’s values hold it together?

Some people say that poorer societies have stronger values than richer countries. Do you agree?

What traditional values are not important or not necessary now?

How do you feel when you see someone not following the values you were brought up with?

Fashion

Would you like to be a fashion model? What are their lives like?

Could you date someone if they had a terrible sense of fashion?

Which country or city is the most fashionable in the world?

Is fashion important or not important? Why or why not?

Do you prefer functional or fashionable clothing?

What do you think of the fashion industry?

How does fashion affect people’s lives?

What are some of the silliest fashions you have seen?

Do you think fashions changed as quickly in the past as today? Why or why not?

If you were a fashion designer, what kind of clothes would you design?

Fast Food

What is your least favorite fast food restaurant and why?

Does fast food taste good or bad? Why?

Why is fast food so popular?

How often do you eat fast food? What do you usually eat? Where?

What is a food that people think is healthy but really isn’t?

Do you know anyone who has worked at a fast food restaurant? How did they like it?

How has fast food changed in your country?

How is your country’s fast food different from other countries’ fast food?

Can you think of any healthy fast food?

How would you define “fast food”?

First Impressions

When you look at someone, what makes you think they are: dangerous; greedy; intelligent; kind; not smart; crazy; generous?

Do you like to meet new people or do you prefer to hang out with people you already know?

When and where did you meet most of your friends for the first time?

Have you met someone who you hated right away even though you didn’t know them?

When are the most important times to make a good first impression?

What are the best ways to make a good first impression?

Do you make first impressions based on what people wear?

What kind of impression are you trying to make with your clothes?

Do you try to make a different first impression now than you did in high school?

Have you ever tried to make a great first impression but completely messed it up?

In what jobs do people have to make very quick decisions based on first impressions?

Food

What is your favorite snack?

What unhealthy food do you love?

What food did your mother always tell you to eat and not to eat?

What food helps with which health problem?

What is the future of food in your country?

What kinds of food did you eat when you were a child? Do you eat the same things now?

What is the best food to eat when you are sick?

What is your favorite food that your mother/father cooks?

Do you prefer to eat unhealthy or healthy food?

How often do you eat out?

If you could have any food right now, what would it be?

How would you describe your country’s food?

What dishes from your country are often confused by tourists or foreigners? (i.e. sushi / sashimi or lo mein / chow mein)

What is your favorite food? What is in it?

Can you think of any of your country’s cuisine that other countries influenced?

What is your favorite foreign food? How is it different from your country’s cuisine?

How often do you eat foreign food and how often do you eat your country’s cuisine?

Where is the best place to eat in your town? Why is it so good?

Do you eat a healthy diet? Why or why not?

What could you do to improve your diet?

Have you ever gone on a diet to improve your health or lose weight? How well did it work?

Describe your favorite food. What ingredients are in it? Why is it your favorite?

Do you eat different foods depending on the season or weather? Give some examples.

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What kinds of food can you cook? Would you like to learn how to cook more types of food?

Free Time

What are some things you like to do in your free time?

Do you have more free time now than when you were a kid?

What would you do if you had more free time?

Is there such a thing as too much free time?

How do free time activities differ now compared with the past?

Do you think people had more or less free time in the past?

What is the most worthwhile thing a person can do with their free time?

What does the idiom “Time is money.” mean? Do you agree with it?

Is there something you wish you could do with your free time but can’t?

Do you think a four-day work week would be a good idea?

Friendship

Do you prefer to have many friends or just a few that you are close to?

What are the benefits of having just a few close friends? How about the benefits of having many friends?

Describe your best friend.

Are you close friends with anyone who you knew in elementary school?

Why do people need friends? What can happen if a person has no friends?

What is the biggest thing you have done to help a friend?

Do you have any friends who would risk their life to save you?

Would you risk your life to save a friend? How about a stranger?

What kind of qualities do you look for in a friend?

What is the best way to make new friends? Do you like making new friends?

Do you think sites like Facebook are good for friendships or do they stop people from becoming close?

How did you meet your best friend?

Future

What kind of neighborhood will you live in when you get older?

What will cities be like 50 years from now? Think about how these will change (make two or three predictions for each): transportation; pollution; crime; advertising; buildings; work; shopping; nightlife.

When will you graduate?

How will you use English in the future?

Will humans ever meet aliens? What will the meeting be like?

What kind of sci-fi movie will the future be like? (The Matrix, Terminator, i-Robot, Minority Report etc.)

Do you think houses will be more environmentally friendly in the future?

Where will we get our energy when we run out of oil?

How will India and China affect the environment in the future?

What will happen if we keep polluting the environment?

Will the climate keep changing or go back to normal?

Will science find a solution to the environmental problems we have? What kind of solution will it be?

What will you do this weekend?

Do you want to get married? When will you get married?

Will you have children?

What will life be like when you are 40?

Will computers ever take over the world?

Will we be able to add machines to our body to improve it in the future?

How will fashion change in the future?

After you graduate will you go for a higher degree like an M.A. or a Ph.D.?

What kind of music will your children listen to?

When will humans live on another planet?

What will you do after this class?

What will you do after you finish university?

What will you do before you get married?

After your children grow up what will you do?

Where will you move after you finish university?

How will electronics be different?

In 50 years, there are projected to be 10 billion people on the earth. How will that affect the future?

How will medicine and health care change in the future?

China’s and India’s populations and economies are growing quickly, what do you think China and India will be like in 50 years?

What other things will change about life in the future?

How do you think you will change in the future?

Where will you be and what will you be doing in 10 years?

What is something that will happen in the future that you are looking forward to?

How will you change the world?

Games

How many genres of video games can you name?

How are some of these genres unique and different from the others?

What are some more examples of games?

Choose one or two examples of games or video games. What are their rules?

What kinds of games are popular now?

What were some games that were popular in the past?

What makes a good game?

Are games good for you or bad for you?

Are games in the present better or worse than games in the past?

Now it’s time to create a game, in your group think about:

What format will your game be in?

What genre will your game be?

What will be the theme of your game?

What will your game look like?

What will be the name of your game?

How will people play your game? What are the rules?

What kind of music/sound effects will it have?

How will the controls work?

Getting a Job

What is the best way to find a job?

What do you think are the five most common questions asked at a job interview?

What are some things you should do for a job interview? How about things you shouldn’t do?

How is the job market in your country, is it easy or difficult to get a job?

How many jobs have you had? What were the interviews like to get those jobs?

If you were going to change jobs or try to get a job, what kind of job would you want to apply for?

How should a person dress when they go for a job interview?

How should you act when you are in a job interview? Confident? Polite? Humble?

What are resumes like in your country? What information do employers want to know?

What are some good things to have on your resume?

Golf

Have you ever played golf on a real golf course?

Have you ever been to a driving range?

Does your country have putt putt / miniature golf?

What do you think about golf being in the Olympics?

Have you ever watched golf on TV? What did you think of it? (e.g. boring, exciting, interesting, etc.)

Is playing golf a part of doing business in your country?

How many famous golfers do you know?

Do you think golf is a rich person’s game or is it open to everyone?

Who in your family loves golf the most?

What would make golf more exciting to play or watch?

Habits

What are some things you do every day?

What are some good habits you have?

Do you have any bad habits?

Can your group give you any advice for your bad habits?

What is something you should do every day but don’t?

What are some activities you like to do?

How much do you exercise every week?

What is a successful life? What habits should you have to have a successful life?

What three habits will improve your life?

What are some habits that can improve your English ability?

What is something you do about once a week, month or year?

Having Children

How does having children change someone’s life?

What kinds of things do people have to give up when they have children?

What are some of the benefits of having children?

Do you think it is better to have children when you are older or younger?

What is the best number of children to have? How many boys or girls?

Do you want to have children? If not, why not?

Have you told your parents about your decision? What do they think about it?

If so, when do you want to have children and how many do you want to have?

Do you want your first child to be a boy or a girl? Why?

Most families in wealthy countries are having less and less children. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Why?

How do children who have no brothers or sisters act?

What age did women start having children sixty years ago? How about now?

Health

What is the best thing to do to stay healthy?

What do you think the worst disease to have would be?

Do you consider yourself to be healthy? Why?

How often do you exercise?

What is your diet like? Do you eat mostly fruits and vegetables?

What do you think about the health care system in your country? How could it be improved?

People are living longer and longer thanks to medicine. How long would you like to live? How about forever?

Are there any diseases like small pox that you think humans could totally get rid of if we tried?

Where do you think the future of medicine will be? Genetics? Cybernetics? Chemistry?

Would you like to get your genome sequenced?

If you could find out that you were at risk to get a certain disease, would you want to know?

Holidays

What is your favorite holiday? Has your favorite holiday changed since you were a kid?

On what holiday do people in your country eat a lot of food?

Do you give gifts on any holidays?

What foreign holidays do you know about?

What is the strangest holiday or festival you have heard of?

Do you think that all countries have similar holidays?

Talk about your best memory from a holiday.

Are there any holidays that you really don’t like?

Do you think your country should have more, or less, holidays? Why?

Does your country have parades during holidays? Have you ever been to a parade?

What is the most important holiday?

Homes

Is your home clean? Are you a very organized person?

Do you have a lot of decorations in your home or is it bare?

Are you happy with the size of your home?

What is your favorite appliance, electronic device, or piece of furniture in your home?

If you had $3,000 to improve your home, what would you spend it on?

Do you agree with the saying “Wherever I lay my head is home.”?

How is your home different from your childhood home?

What would you say the decoration style of your home is?

What would your ideal house or apartment look like?

What do you do to maintain your home?

What household chores do you hate doing?

Hotels

Which do you prefer to stay in when you travel:  hotels, hostels, or another type of place? Why?

What are the best and worst things about staying in hotels?

Have you ever been to a really disgusting hotel? Did you stay or leave?

Couch surfing is staying for free at people’s homes in different countries. Is this a good idea or bad idea? Why?

Do you feel comfortable when you are staying at a hotel?

Have you ever ordered room service?

Do you have any interesting stories about staying somewhere other than your house, like a hotel or hostel?

Are hotels common in your country? If not, where do people stay when they travel?

What is the nicest hotel you have stayed at?

What would it be like to work in a hotel as a cleaning person or front desk staff?

Have you ever eaten anything out of the minibar (the refrigerator with snacks and drinks)? Was it expensive?

Human Wonders

How many of the seven ancient wonders can you name? How many are left?

100 million votes were cast for the new human wonders of the world, the new seven wonders are: Chichén Itzá, Mexico; Christ the Redeemer, Brazil; The Great Wall, China

Machu Picchu, Peru; Petra, Jordan; The Roman Colosseum, Italy; The Taj Mahal, India.

Have you been to any of them or do you know someone who has been to one of them?

What do you know about each one?

Which ones would you like to go to?

Why do you think people voted for these wonders?

Are there any you would add to this list of human made wonders?

Can you think of any wonders made in the last 50 years?

What are some of the human made wonders of your country?

If you could build another wonder of the world, what would it be?

Do you think it is a good idea for governments to fund “wonders” for their countries? Why or why not?

Which would you prefer to see, human wonders or natural wonders? Why?

Idol Worship

Who are the most popular singers or groups in your country?

What are some crazy examples of fan worship you have heard of?

How far is too far when talking about fan worship?

Are there any groups that you are huge fans of?

What were some of the groups that you really loved when you were younger?

You are going to create an idol group:

What kind of music will they play?

How many group members?

Will the group members have different “styles”? (i.e. the sporty one, the naughty one, etc.)

What will be their names? Will you create new names for them?

What kind of merchandise can you sell for them?

What is your target audience?

How will you promote them?

Immigration

When is immigration helpful to a country and when is harmful?

Do you think your country needs more or less immigrants?

What nationalities are most immigrants who come to your country?

What would happen if we erased all country borders and let people live wherever they wanted? Would it be a good or bad thing? Why?

Does your country have strict immigration laws? Should the laws be less strict or stricter?

What should immigrants know before they can become citizens?

What is the best method to slow or stop immigration? Can immigration ever be completely stopped?

Do you think immigrants to a country work harder than people born in that country? Why or why not?

Do you have any friends or family who are immigrants? How does that affect your view of immigration?

How do immigrants help a country’s economy?

Individuality

What makes you unique?

Is it okay to look different from other people or should you look the same as other people?

What do you think when you see someone who looks very different?

If you went to a job interview with green hair, what do you think would happen?

If you see someone with a lot of tattoos what do you think of them?

If you had to change your hair color, what color would you change it to?

Have you ever felt like a square peg in a round hole?

What are some things you do to blend in?

If you had to do one crazy thing to your appearance what would you do?

If you got a tattoo, what would it be?

Intelligence

Can intelligence be measured? If so, what is the best way to measure it? If not, why not?

What is the most intelligent animal?

Do you think that intelligence is only based on genetics or can things in a child’s environment boost intelligence?

How intelligent do you think you are?

Why are very intelligent children born to parents who are not very intelligent?

Some people say that there are many geniuses born around the world but they can’t reach their full potential because they live in a poor country. Do you agree?

What separates a person from being very intelligent and being a genius?

Do you think that we can create artificial intelligence?

If scientists could put a chip in your head that would make you twice as intelligent, would you have the surgery done?

Very intelligent people are often not very good at being social, why do you think this is?

Jobs

What are some of the worst jobs you can think of?

What are some of the best jobs you can think of?

How long do you want to work?

Is it better to be a boss or an employee? Why?

What would be the most satisfying job for you?

What is one of the most exciting jobs you can think of? How about one of the most boring jobs?

What kind of job do you want to get in the future?  What kind of tasks will you have to do?

Do you think what job someone has determines who they are?

What is the most dangerous job?

How difficult is it to get a job in your country?

What company is the best to work for?

Languages

Which languages are the most difficult to learn?

Which languages are the easiest to learn?

How many languages can you speak?

Does one of your family members or friends speak a lot of languages?

What is the angriest sounding language?

What do you think the oldest language is?

How many languages can you say “hello” in?

What do you know about the Esperanto language?

What is the most romantic sounding language?

Should languages be preserved? Why or why not? What is the best way to preserve languages?

Learning English

Why are you learning English? How will you use the English you learn?

Which of these do you do: attend English classes at school, learn English with a tutor (private teacher) or study English yourself (on your own)?

What materials do you use for learning English?

Since when (how long) have you been learning English?

Is it effective to practice English your own with ready-made materials and checking your own progress?

Are there any vowels or consonants you have problems with?

Do you do grammar exercises based on real life situations?

How do you practice speaking English?

What do you use to improve your listening ability?

In what ways do you expand your English vocabulary?

Do you try to use what you have learned already in what you are learning now?

Do you also make up your own samples of conversation sentences and examples of vocabulary usage in sentences?

Do you sometimes communicate in English with native English speakers? In what ways?

Do you do oral and written translation exercises from your native language into English?

What is the most difficult thing about learning English?

What typical mistakes do you make?

What area of English are you best at (pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, listening comprehension, speaking, reading or writing)?

What do you think your level is (beginning, intermediate, advanced)?

How do you remember difficult spelling traps like desert vs dessert?

Love

Do you believe that love can be understood by looking at the brain and chemicals?

How is attraction different than love?

Why do you think some people fall out of love?

What is the most romantic movie you know?

In public, how much affection is too much?

How is showing love different now from in the past?

In all cultures there are famous love stories (i.e. Romeo and Juliet). What is a famous love story in your country?

When you see a couple, how do you know they are in love?

Do you believe in love at first sight?

What do you think of valentine’s day?

Think of two different cultures, how do those cultures express love differently?

Why are most songs about love?

Luxury Items

What is one luxury item you really want to have?

What is imported by your country?

Do developed countries focus too much on luxury items?

What is exported by your country?

What do you think is the most popular luxury item in your country? Who is it made by?

What is the craziest example of a luxury item you have heard of?

Have you ever been jealous that someone had something you didn’t?

Do you think that luxury goods make people happy? Why or why not?

What do you think expensive perfume is made from?

What is something that you can spend money on that will make you happy?  How long will it make you happy for?

Who are the best electronics made by?

Do brand name prices mean quality?

Which types of products must have brand names if you are going to buy them?

How often do you spend money on things you know you shouldn’t? What kind of things do you buy?

Who are the most expensive cars made by?

Are rich people really happier?

Name five things a person can do to make themselves happier without spending money.

Manners

What are some examples of bad manners on the bus?

What are some examples of good manners on the subway?

What are some examples of bad manners that you HATE?

Do you think people are more polite or less polite now than in the past?

Do you know someone who is often rude?

Can you think of some examples of how manners have changed in your country?

How are manners different in other countries?

How important is it to be polite to older people even though they are often rude?

What is something that isn’t considered rude but should be?

When someone is rude in a public place, do you say something or try to ignore the person?

Marriage

What makes a happy marriage?

How does the idea of getting married make you feel? Excited? Scared? Happy? Nervous?

What do your parents tell you about getting married?

Some people say that marriage is outdated (too old-fashioned and not needed), do you agree or disagree?

Describe your perfect spouse.

What do you think married life will be like?

When do you plan on getting married?

What do you want your wedding to be like?

What are some wedding traditions in your country?

What do you think of arranged marriages?

Massage

How is massage viewed in your country? How common is it

How are masseuses and masseurs viewed in your country? Are they well respected?

Does your country have a long history of massages? Or is massage somewhat new to your country?

What types of massage are popular in your country?

When was the last time you got a professional massage? How about a nonprofessional massage?

Are massage chairs popular in your country?

Have you tried many different types of massage?

Have you ever used a massage chair or some other massage device? How was it?

Some massage chairs cost thousands of dollars. Do you think expensive massage chairs are worth the price?

Can a massage chair ever be as good as a human masseuse or masseur? What are the pros and cons of a massage chair vs. a human masseuse or masseur?

What do you think the future of massage will be?

Meeting New People

If you don’t know your partners very well ask them some questions to get to know them.

Do you like meeting new people? Why or why not?

What are some things that you usually talk about when you meet a new person?

If you see a handsome boy/beautiful girl that you want to get to know, what is the best way to approach them?

Why don’t strangers talk to each other as often as they used to?

Have you ever had a stranger come up and start talking to you? How did you respond?

Do you know any funny “pick-up lines”?

Do you think that some people are destined to meet?

Where is the best place to meet new people?

Have you ever met someone you hated right after meeting them?

Memory

What is the best memory you have?

Who was your most memorable teacher? (Bad or good)

Do you have any strong memories linked to a particular smell?

How do you want people to remember you?

How good is your memory?

What do you wish you were better at remembering?

Are computers making our ability to remember better or worse? Give some examples.

How much do you think memories change over time?

Why do you think some people remember the same events differently?

Is the ability to memorize lots of things important? Why or why not?

Motivation

What motivates you? Why?

Are you very motivated to do things or do you need motivation?

What activity do you have no motivation to do?

What is a great motivational quote?

Have you read any good motivational books or articles? What were they about?

Does motivation come from inside a person or from their environment? Explain why you think so.

How can you help someone who has no motivation?

How often do you exercise or workout? What is the best way to motivate yourself to work out?

What song do you listen to for motivation?

What do you think of motivation posters in offices, do they actually help?

Movies

What is your favorite genre of movie?

Who are some of your favorite actors?

What kind of movie is best for a date?

Do you cry during movies?

What is the best movie you have ever seen?

What was the scariest movie you have ever seen?

How often do you see movies?

Do you usually watch movies at the theater or watch them at home?

Do you buy DVDs or download movies?

What is the best snack to eat during a movie?

What do people do during movies that really annoys you?

Which is more important, acting or special effects?

If you could make a movie, what would it be about?

If someone made a movie of your life, what kind of movie would it be?

Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardner created the theory of multiple intelligences. The theory says that there are 8 different types of intelligence (logical-mathematical, spatial, linguistic, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic).

Can you name two jobs that would be ideal for each intelligence category?

Which one do you think you would score highest for?

If you could choose one for your child to have, which one would you choose?

Which do think is the most likely to improve the world?

Which intelligence is the one that is usually thought of as the most important?

Which one is the least important?

Which intelligence is the hardest to measure? How about the easiest one to measure?

If you had people who each had high intelligence in one area, who would make the most money?

Do you think that people can be labeled a “genius” if they score very high for one of these intelligences?

Do you agree with Gardener’s theory of multiple intelligences? Why or why not?

Music

Who are your favorite bands or artists?

How often do you listen to music?

When was the last time you bought a song or album?

Do you usually buy albums online or CD’s from the store?

Have you ever illegally downloaded music? Do you think it is okay or not okay to download music illegally?

What kind of music do you listen to when you want to dance?

What kind of music do you listen to when you are sad?

Is there a certain song or type of music that makes you really energetic?

Do you think music is getting better or worse?

What kind of music will your kids listen to?

What music did your parents listen to?

How do you feel about your country’s traditional music?

Should people try to modernize traditional music?

How is your country’s traditional music different from other countries’ traditional music?

Natural Disasters

How many types of natural disaster can you name? Which is the worst?

What natural disasters are common in your country?

Have you ever been through a natural disaster? Tell your group about your experience if it isn’t too traumatic.

What is the best / worst natural disaster movie you have seen?

Think of three natural disasters. What can you do to stay safe during and after those natural disasters?

Do you know that difference between a hurricane, a typhoon, and a cyclone?

Which country has the most natural disasters?

Would you ever volunteer to help after a natural disaster hit? If yes, what would you like to volunteer to do? If no, why not?

How can technology lessen the damage caused by natural disasters?

Can natural disasters ever be a good thing?

What do you think about people who follow tornadoes around to get data, video and photographs?

Can you think of any country that doesn’t have natural disasters?

Natural Wonders

What are the three most famous natural wonders in your country?

What natural wonders are in danger from climate change?

Should humans try to protect natural wonders? If humans protect natural wonders, are the wonders still natural?

Have you ever been to a natural wonder?

What makes something a natural “wonder”?

What are three natural wonders you would like to see before you die?

Should people be allowed to visit a natural wonder if the visitors hurt the natural wonder just by visiting it?

Do natural phenomena (i.e. the aurora borealis) count as natural wonders? How about things like thunderstorms?

Are natural disasters like volcanoes and earthquakes also natural wonders?

How many countries with natural wonders can you name? Which country do you think has the most natural wonders?

Would you rather visit natural wonders or man-made wonders?

Neighborhoods

Did you like the neighborhood where you grew up?

Where is the best place to eat in your city?

Where is there a lot of crime in your city?

What is the worst thing a neighborhood can have?

Where is the best place to shop in your city?

What did you think about your neighbors when you were growing up? Did you have any weird or odd neighbors?

What did you like most about the neighborhood you grew up in?

What kind of neighborhood do you want to raise your children in?

Do you think it should be the government’s responsibility to clean up neighborhoods or are the people in the neighborhood responsible for cleaning it up?

Do you think neighborhoods are more, or less, friendly these days?

What will neighborhoods be like in the future?

Neighbors

What do you think of your neighbors?

Is there anything that your neighbors do that annoys you?

Did you play with kids who were your neighbors when you were a kid? Do you still keep in contact with them?

Here is an idiom: “Good fences make good neighbors.” What do you think it means? Do you agree?

Do you think that neighbors were friendlier to each other in the past or are they friendlier now? Is this a good or bad thing?

Have you ever asked to borrow something from your neighbor? Has your neighbor ever borrowed anything?

What kind of person would be the perfect neighbor? Name at least three characteristics.

How are countries that border each other similar to neighbors?

Do you trust your neighbors? Would you leave them a key to your house?

Think back in your life, who was your most memorable neighbor?

News

Where do you get your news from?

How important is it for people to follow the news?

Do you think that news agencies sometimes tell lies to make a story more popular?

How much do you trust newspapers, television news, and news from the internet? Which is the most reliable source of information?

What kind of news stories interest you the most?

Do you think the news is too depressing?

How has technology changed the way we consume news? How has it changed how the news is reported?

What is the purpose of news companies in society?

What do you think about how the news is reported in your country?

Should news be more entertaining or informative?

Would you ever consider getting a job in the news industry?

Numbers

Who invented the number system we use today?

What do you know about the history of numbers?

Why are numbers so important?

What are the two most important numbers in the world?

Some people say that math is the language of the universe. Do you agree? Why or why not?

What is your favorite number? Why is it your favorite number?

What numbers are unlucky?

Should students be allowed to use calculators to do math in school or should they learn to do it without calculators first?

Ask your partner two how many/how much questions.

What is the first thing you think of when you think of three?

Online Dating

Can two people fall in love over the internet without meeting each other first?

How acceptable is online dating in your country?

What are some of the good and bad things about online dating?

Do you know anyone who has met their husband or wife online?

What are some popular online dating sites in your country?

When getting to know someone is it better to talk with them or text them?

How do you think apps like Tinder have changed online dating?

What are some of the most interesting or unique dating apps you have heard of?

What dating apps are popular in your country?

Do you think that all the tech solutions to dating have made dating easier or more complicated?

Past Ability

What was something that you were really good at when you were a kid but aren’t good at now?

What was something that you couldn’t do at all when you were a kid but you can do really well now?

When you were younger could you play: soccer; cards; baseball; a musical instrument; basketball? Etc.

How good were you?

What was something you wished you could do when you were a child?

What is something you wished you had learned when you were younger?

Ask your partner or group about what they could or couldn’t do in the past.

Personality

Describe your personality.

What kinds of people do you get along well with?

What kinds of personality traits do you hate?

How important is personality when you are choosing a spouse?

Do all of your friends have similar personalities?

What kind of personality traits are best for running a business?

What kind of personality should a doctor have?

Is your personality more similar to your mother’s or father’s?

Do you think we are born with our personalities, or do we develop them because of what happens to us?

What personality trait would you like to develop?

Which of your personality traits would you like to lose?

Pressures of Being a Student

In what countries do you think it is hardest to be a student? Why?

In what countries is it easiest to be a student? Why?

What’s the hardest thing about being a student in your country?

Do you think it would be easier or harder to be a home-schooled student? Why?

What should be changed about the school system in your country?

What do you think about standardized tests? Is there a better system for evaluating students?

What do you (or did you) struggle with most as a student?

How much of a student’s stress is caused by other students and how much is caused by the teachers / educational system?

Is it more stressful to be a student or to be an adult? Why?

What do you think are the main differences between Eastern and Western education systems?

What is most difficult about each of the different levels of schooling in your country (elementary/primary school, high school/secondary school, college/university)?

Privacy

How much do you value your privacy?

Do you think that websites like Facebook take away too much of your privacy?

Do you think people have the right to privacy? How about convicted criminals?

The only people who need privacy are people who are doing something illegal. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Do you think the Internet increases privacy or takes away privacy?

What is the greatest threat to privacy?

How private should corporations be? Should the public have access to corporate records?

How transparent should a government be?

Where do you like to go when you want to be alone?

Should there be more, or less, security cameras around cities?

How is privacy viewed in your culture?

Productivity

Are you a very motivated person or do you wait until the last minute to do things?

What technology helps you to be productive?

Do you think that some people are more productive because of genetics or how they were raised?

How can people improve their productivity?

Who is the most productive person you know personally? How about really productive famous people?

Do you think people today work harder than their parents?

What are some things you want to do but don’t have time for?

What is the biggest waste of time for you?

What advice will you/do you give your children?

Do you think smart phones increase or decrease productivity?

What do you think was the most productive period of your life so far?

Remedies

What do you do when you have a cold?

What ailments is western medicine better at curing?

What ailments is eastern medicine better at curing?

What do you do when you have a hangover?

What are some old remedies that you know of to help with ailments?

What should you do to stop the bleeding if someone is hurt badly?

What are some strange remedies you know of?

Have you tried any strange remedy or cure before?

Do hospitals make you nervous?

What do you think the idiom “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” means?

What is the best cure for a bad day?

Responsibility

How involved should governments be in individuals’ lives?

Are criminals ever NOT responsible for the crimes they commit?

What responsibilities do university students have? How about children or adults?

Who is responsible for retired people’s welfare? Themselves? Their family? Their government?

At what age do you think someone becomes responsible for his or her actions?

What should companies do to protect the environment?

How much responsibility should individuals have for protecting the environment?

Who has more responsibility for the environment, companies or individuals?

What are some of your responsibilities?

Who is responsible for taking care of the poor?

Restaurants

What is your favorite restaurant near where you live?

What is the best restaurant you have ever eaten at?

What types of foreign food restaurants have you eaten at?

Have you ever eaten at a restaurant abroad? What was it like?

What (besides good food) makes a restaurant great?

Do you prefer to eat at your parents’ house or a restaurant?

What is the worst restaurant you have eaten at?

What is the strangest restaurant you have heard of?

How do you feel about theme restaurants?

Do you prefer darker or brighter interiors for restaurants? Why?

Seasons

What is your favorite season?

What do you think of when you think of winter?

What are some things your family did when you were a child in spring?

What is the worst season in your country?

Does it snow in your hometown in the winter? Did you use to make snowmen?

What is your favorite thing to do in summer?

What festivals or celebrations does your country have during the changing of the seasons?

Do you ever go hiking when the leaves change in fall?

Where is the best place to be in summer? How about winter?

Does your country have a special food for any of the seasons?

Secrets

Do you like knowing and finding out secrets? Why?

Are you good at keeping secrets? Why or why not?

Should governments keep secrets from their people? Why or why not?

What kinds of secrets do you think your government has?

What is something that lots of people dislike but you secretly love?

Should husbands and wives keep secrets from each other?

Should parents keep secrets from their children? If yes, what kind of secrets?

What is a well-known secret?

Do you know any secrets about celebrities?

What kinds of secrets are dangerous?

Can you tell us any of your secrets?

Shopping

Where is your favorite place to shop for clothes?

What products do you prefer to shop online for?

What products do you prefer to shop in stores for?

How do you feel about sales people following you and helping you when you shop?

What makes a pleasant shopping experience?

How do you feel about shopping at department stores or malls?

What is your favorite ecommerce site? Why?

Do you know anyone who is addicted to shopping? Are you addicted to shopping?

Have you ever bought any counterfeit products like fake designer bags, clothing, or jewelry?

Do you enjoy shopping for other people?

Singing

How good are you at singing?

Where do you sing most (e.g. shower, car, while doing housework, etc.)?

How often do you do karaoke?

What song are you best at singing?

What song do you have to sing along with when you hear it?

Whose singing do you hate?

Can you sing your country’s national anthem?

Who is the best singer you personally know? How about the worst?

Can singing be learned or are people born with the ability to sing?

When was the last time you sang in front of someone?

Single Life

What are some of the differences between married life and single life? Are the differences the same for men and women?

What are the pros and cons of single life?

Are you single or in a relationship? Do you wish you had a different relationship status?

Why do some people choose to remain single?

Who are some famous people who are single?

Are there more single people in the city or the countryside?

Are most of your friends married or single?

Do you ever try to set your single friends up on dates?

How do your habits change when you are single versus when you are in a relationship?

Do you have any friends who love being single or who can’t stand being single?

Smoking

Does smoking make you look cool? Why or why not?

How many friends do you have who smoke? Do you smoke?

Should people be allowed to smoke in public? If so, where?

Is raising the price on cigarettes a good way to get people to quit?

What do you think about electric cigarettes?

What are some bad things about smoking?

Are there any benefits of smoking?

Should smoking cigarettes be illegal?

How popular is smoking in your country?

Should smoking be banned in movies? Why or why not?

Space

Would you like to travel into space? Why or why not?

What do you think about space tourism?

How important is learning about space?

Will humans ever travel to different solar systems?

What is the most interesting thing you know about space?

What is your favorite space movie or TV show? How realistic is it?

Would you agree to help colonize a planet if you knew you couldn’t come back to earth?

What is the most interesting planet (besides Earth) in our solar system?

What is the most important thing for astronomers to research?

What characteristics make a good astronaut?

What do you think of your country’s involvement in space?

Sports

What are some sports you like watching? Why?

What are some sports you dislike watching? Why?

Do you play any sports? If so, which ones?

Would you like to learn how to play a sport or do an activity? What would you like to learn?

Why are sports so popular?

Do you know of any interesting or strange sports or activities?

What two sports would you like to mix?

Do you prefer to watch sports or play them? Why

What do you think is the most dangerous sport?

What do you think of athletes making so much money? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

Stories

What are the best kinds of stories? (i.e. funny stories, ghost stories, amazing stories)

Who told you stories when you were a child? What kind of stories did they tell?

What are some famous Korean stories? Do they teach the listener/reader something?

There are many ways to experience a story. For example: book, movie, TV show, spoken, radio, podcast, video game. What is your favorite way to experience a story?

What is your favorite story?

Tell your group a scary story.

Tell your group a true story that happened to you.

Tell your group a funny story.

Tell your group a story that you heard when you were a child.

Tell your group an unbelievable story.

Tell your group a story with moral lesson in it.

Tell you group a story from history.

Success and Failure

Success

Describe a successful person.

Is your idea of success the same as your parents’ idea of success?

Do you think people focus too much on appearing to be successful?

Why is money the most common way of judging success?

Can money buy happiness?

How much pressure do your parents put on you to be successful?

How much pressure will you put on your children to be successful?

Failure

Have there been any failures that made your life better?

Is there a right time to give up and stop trying? Or should you never give up?

Can you think of any famous people who failed spectacularly at something?

Talk about a time you failed at something you tried. Don’t talk about anything that will make you uncomfortable or embarrassed.

Can you think of any famous quotes or idioms about success or failure?

Super Heroes

Who is your favorite super hero? Why?

What super power would you like to have?

If you had super powers would you be a super hero or a super villain?

Do you prefer dark super heroes like Batman or purely good super heroes like Superman? Why?

Does a person’s favorite super hero tell you anything about their personality? What does your favorite super hero say about your personality?

Are there any real super heroes?

What is your favorite super hero movie?

Why have super hero movies become so popular?

Do you think comic books are good or bad for children?

How have super heroes changed over the years?

Technology

Talk about how technology has changed in your lifetime.

What do you think has been the most important new invention in the last 100 years?

Are there any new gadgets that you really want to get?

What do you think will be the next biggest technological advance?

How can countries help to create more inventors?

What is your favorite piece of technology you own?

How will computers change in the future?

Do you think that there will be more or less new innovation in the future?

Is there a piece of technology that you really want that doesn’t exist? (i.e. flying cars, teleportation, etc.)

Give some examples of technology that have made the world worse.

What do you think is the most important thing that humans have created?

Do you think that people will travel outside of our solar system? How will they get there?

Do you like new gadgets or do you prefer to use technology you are comfortable with?

What are the possibilities of technology in clothing?

What is the future of transportation?

Television

About how many hours of TV do you watch every day?

What are some of your favorite shows?

Do you like any foreign TV shows?

What is the funniest show on television?

Do you think people watch too much television?

Are TV shows getting better or worse?

Would you like to be on TV?

Do you have a favorite channel?

Do you have cable, satellite television, or neither?

Can you recommend a TV show to your classmates?

What is the best drama on TV now?

The Five Senses

What is your favorite sense? Give some examples why it is so good.

If you had to lose one sense, which would it be?

Do you think we have any other senses? (i.e. when you can feel that someone is staring at you even if you can’t see them or ESP)

Which sense would you like to improve if possible?

What is the most beautiful thing to see?

What is the most wonderful smell?

What is the best taste?

What is the greatest sound?

What is the most wonderful thing to touch?

Which of your senses is the most sensitive?

Which of your senses is the least sensitive?

The Internet

How much time do you spend on the Internet?

What are some of the benefits of the Internet?

What are some of the dangers of the Internet?

How much time should children spend on the Internet?

How has the Internet changed the world?

What will the Internet be like in 10 years?

Are you part of any social networks like Facebook or Google+?

When did you get your first email address?

What is your favorite website?

Should the Internet be regulated or censored?

Tell your partner/group about one website you really like.

The Media

Where do most people in your country get their news?

Does the media in your country report the whole truth, mostly truth, or mostly lies?

How has the internet changed the news in your country?

Who has the most control over the media in your country?

How does the media help create a healthy society?

Should the media just report the facts or should the media interpret the facts?

Can you think of a politician who used the media in a successful way? How about a politician who was destroyed by the media?

Should the media show graphic violence? Why or why not?

How has the media changed in your country during the last 20 years?

What is the most fair and balanced media outlet in your country?

The Past

Who used to be your hero when you were young?

Did you use to have a pet?

Who were some of your favorite sports stars in the past?

What did they play?

Why were they your favorite?

Name some of your country’s famous sports stars of the past.

Why were they famous?

What was your best memory from when you were a child?

What is your earliest memory?

Which was better for you: elementary school, junior high school or high school?  Why?

What was your country like when you were a child?

Do you think the past was better than the present? Why or why not?

What were some of the benefits of living in the past?

Talk about your country’s past (100 years ago), how was the past different from the present: Food; Weddings; Clothing; School; Work; Recreation (free time activities); Communication.

The Supernatural

What supernatural things do you believe in (ghosts, ESP, fortune tellers, etc.)?

Do you think science will ever prove any supernatural beliefs?

What supernatural beliefs are unique to your culture?

What are some of the scariest supernatural movies?

What supernatural thing do you fear?

Why do so many people believe in supernatural things that can’t be proven?

What are some supernatural holiday beliefs in your country?

Where are supernatural occurrences most often reported?

Do you think some people have supernatural abilities?

Tourism

How important is tourism in your country?

What is the biggest tourist destination in your country?

What are the benefits of international tourism? Are there any drawbacks?

Do you prefer tourism package tours or do you prefer to plan your own vacations? Why?

Is it better to go to popular tourist destinations or lesser known tourist destinations? Why?

Should a government try to improve domestic tourism or try to attract international tourists instead? Why?

What’s the best way to travel when you visit a country? Train, car, bicycle, bus, some other way? Why?

If you could create a tourism slogan for your country, what would it be?

What’s the best way for a country to bring in more tourists?

How do you feel about tourists who visit your country?

Transitions

What was your best memory from when you were a child?

What is your earliest memory?

Which was better for you: elementary school, junior high school or high school?  Why?

Did you study hard in high school?

How would you change your life if you could?

Starting university was a big transition. What are some of the good things about starting university? What are some of the bad things?

One of the biggest transitions for people is marriage. What are some of the good and bad things about marriage?

How will your life change after you have children?

What do you think are the biggest transitions in a person’s life? Which is the most important?

What kinds of problems did you have when you went from elementary school to junior high?

When does a child become an adult?

Travel

Where do you like to go on vacation?

Where would you like to go on vacation?

Tell your partner about your best travel story.

What are some things you always take with you on a trip?

Do you prefer package tours or making your own trip?

Where did you spend your last vacation? What did you do?

What are some of the benefits of traveling alone?

What are some of the benefits of traveling with a group?

What is the longest journey you have ever made?

What’s the best way to travel? (By plane, ship, train, car, etc.)

Where is the most amazing place you have been?

Where are the best places for: Adventure vacations? Historical vacations? Shopping vacations? Party vacations? Relaxing vacations?

What is the best and worst thing about traveling to a new country?

Where do you prefer to stay when you go on vacation? (Hotel, hostel, Airbnb house / room, etc.)

What are your best travel tips?

What is the strangest food you’ve seen or eaten while on vacation?

What do you like to do while you are traveling? (i.e. relax, shop, sight see, experience local culture…)

How often do you travel?

What souvenirs have you brought back from traveling?

Where are you going for your next trip?

Where are the best places to go on vacation in your country?

Who in your family travels the most?

What popular travel destination do you want to avoid?

How adventurous are you when you travel?

Do you try to learn some of the local language before you travel to a new country? What phrases do you try to learn?

What is the longest trip you’ve taken?

How much vacation time do you get a year?

What do you usually forget to bring when you go on vacation?

What do you miss most when you are traveling?

What was the worst flight that you have taken?

What is the ideal length for a vacation?

What is the most interesting tourist attraction you’ve traveled to in your own country?

Water

How much water do you drink every day?

How many glasses of water should people drink every day?

How long can a person live without drinking any water? How long have you gone without drinking anything?

Can you swim? How often do you go swimming?

Where is a good place to go swimming near here?

Try to name 10 water sports.

Not being able to get clean drinking water is a big problem in many places. What are some ways we can help people get clean drinking water?

Think of the biggest river in your country. How polluted is it? Would you swim in it?

Where does the biggest city in your country get its clean water from?

The world’s population is increasing rapidly. Getting clean water for everyone might become difficult in the future. Think of three ways we can avoid this problem.

Wishes

If you could have three wishes that would come true, what would they be? (No, you can’t wish for more wishes)

What do you wish you could change about the world?

Many cultures throw things into water (like a fountain) and make a wish. Why do people do that?

What do you wish you could do after this class?

What do you wish you could eat right now?

What do you wish would happen today?

When do people make wishes in your culture? (for example, when you see a shooting star)

Have any of your wishes ever come true?

Do you ever wish you could travel back in time?

What do you wish you had right now?

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