English XP

ESL Questions List

The right question can really get a student thinking and passionate about speaking English. A good idea is to try to ask interesting questions and / or ask about topics that the student can relate to.

You can either use these questions to illicit answers during conversation or use them as essay type questions. To get the most from these questions it is a good idea to set a minimum length for the answer (e.g 5+ sentences) to avoid getting 1-word answers or simple sentences.

What is…

  1. What is your favourite movie?
  2. What is your favourite hobby?
  3. What is your favourite band / artist?
  4. What is your favourite food?
  5. What is your favourite drink?
  6. What is your worst habit? 
  7. What is the best thing you have ever bought?
  8. What is your idea of a perfect christmas?

Which is better?

  1. Which is better? Rewards or punishments?
  2. Which is better? Happiness or wealth?
  3. Which is better? Having more friends or having closer friends?
  4. Which is better? Intelligence or knowledge?
  5. Which is better? Healthy eating or exercise?
  6. Which is better? A big party or a small gathering?
  7. Which is better? Jogging or hiking?
  8. Which is better? Working hard or working smart?

If you could…

  1. If you could go back in time, where would you go?
  2. If you could trade a year of your life for £1000,000 how many years would you trade?
  3. If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
  4. If you could make any fictional character real, who would you pick?
  5. If you could make one person disappear from the planet, who would you choose?
  6. If you could change your name, what would it be and why?
  7. If you could live in a computer game, which would you choose and why?
  8. If you could meet meet someone from the future, what would you ask them?


  1. Why is the sky blue?
  2. Why do we yawn?
  3. Why do we dream?
  4. Why do we sneeze?
  5. Why do people smoke?
  6. Why do we cry?
  7. Why do we like sport?

What would you do if…

  1. What would you do if you won the lottery?
  2. What would you do if you could fly?
  3. What would you do if had an extra weekday?
  4. What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
  5. What would you do if you were immortal?
  6. What would you do if you could make time stand still for a week?
  7. What would you do if you found a briefcase full of money?

Where would…

  1. Where would your ideal holiday be?
  2. Where would you go if you could visit another planet?
  3. Where would you bury treasure (if you had any)?
  4. Where would you go in a zombie apocalypse?
  5. Where would you escape to if you were running from the law?
  6. Where would you hide if you were playing hide and seek?
  7. Where would you go to do volunteer work?