In the height of summer, most of the students get into a happy and relaxed state of mind. They dream of going on a well-deserved vacation or want to chill out at home. Discussions on summer topics will create a pleasant and lively atmosphere in your lessons. In the article, we share ready-to-use conversation openers which can be used as warm-ups or fillers for learners of different ages.
A conversation opener is a phrase or a question that is used to begin a talk. They also work really well for breaking the ice and for reserved learners one-on-one. Some of the questions can appear naturally during the lesson. In group classes, the questions are discussed in pairs or mini groups.
- What would be your ideal summer?
- Do you have any plans for summer?
- How do you feel when summer arrives/ finishes?
- What was the most memorable summer vacation that you’ve ever had? What made it so special?
- What is your favourite summer treat?
- What outdoor activities do you prefer in summer? What was your favourite outdoor activity when you were a child?
- What memories of summer from your childhood do you have?
- Do you enjoy having picnics? Do you have any nice picnic spots?
- Do you observe any summer traditions? Could you share some of them?
- What are the 3 things that you like and dislike about the summer?
- Are there any interesting summer festivals or events in your country?
- What summery clothes do you prefer?
- Are there any films that you like watching in summer?
- What TV shows do you plan to see this summer?
- What things can you do only in summer?
- Is this summer different for you because of COVID-19?
- Have you met any new people this summer?
- What would your perfect summer weekend be like?
- Could you recommend some interesting places for spending time at the weekend in your town/city?
- What things inspire you in summer?
- What new experiences would you like to take on this summer?
- Has summer been a busy time for you?
- Do you have a favourite summertime restaurant?
- Do you like watching sunsets in summer? Can you think of any special places to watch sunsets? (e.g. Santorini — Greece, The Maldives, The Grand Canyon — Arizona)
Fun facts discussion
- The smell of freshly cut grass is said to elicit happy memories. Is it true about you?
- Watermelon, tomatoes and peaches outsell all other fruits during the summer in America. Is it true about your country?
- 1816 was the year without a summer in the northern states due to a volcano eruption in 1815. How would you feel if the same happened in your country?
- The most visible meteor shower takes place in August. Do you like stargazing?
- Mosquitoes, summer’s pests, have been around for more than 30 million years. How do you combat these annoying insects?
- If I could travel anywhere in the world in summer, I would go…
- If I had more free time in summer, I’d …
- If it weren’t so hot,…
- If I had more money in summer, I’d…
- If I’m bored in summer, I will…
- If I could make a new ice-cream flavour, it would be…
‘Would you rather’ questions for children/teens
- …go to a summer camp or visit your grandparents in the village?
- …spend summer with your family at the campsite or in a fancy hotel?
- …go river rafting or go water skiing?
- …live on a boat for the summer or live in a treehouse?
- …spend summer on a farm or in the big city?
- …go to a crowded beach or a deserted island?
- …ride a rollercoaster or a waterslide?
- …eat only hamburgers or only watermelons all summer?
- …have a bouncy castle in your backyard or a movie theatre?
- …go to the mountains for the summer or go to the beach?
We hope that these conversation openers will help you to start an interesting discussion with the learners. Have creative and productive summer lessons!
Speaking activities are, obviously, essential for English language speaking classes. A lot of students join classes particularly to develop their communicative competence, become more fluent, versatile, adaptable, and confident communicators in English. However, designing speaking activities might be time-consuming and nerve-wracking for any teacher. We have prepared a memo with superb ready-made speaking tasks that will make your student talking. Download it here.