Questions are the springboard for most conversations in English, whether they be “What do you do?”  “Are you from around here?”  or “How was your day?”  These questions are a great way to open or extend a conversation.  In my low-level English class we practice and recycle these questions regularly.  Here’s how:

Conversation Cards

  1. At the end of every class I write any new questions we practiced  that day on cards- one question per card.
  2. At the beginning of the following class , I  place piles of the cards facedown on tabletops around the room.
  3. As students come in, they meet in pairs  and take turns picking up a card and asking their partner the question.
  4. The activity lasts about 5 minutes.


  • The piles of cards grow over time.  If you have open enrollment, change the color of the cards occasionally so you can easily sort out old questions.
  • Students can also write these questions for their own set of cards.
  • This is a great way to absorb  late-comers without disruption, as they can quickly join any group and take a turn without direction or transition.

Sample questions:

  • What do you do?
  • Where do you work?
  • Where are you from?
  • How was your day?
  • How was your week-end?
  • What are your plans for the week-end?
  • Do you have family here?
  • Where do you work?
  • How’s the family?

More Posts about Multilevel Teaching

The Multilevel Teacher:  Creating a Common Classroom Experience http://wp.me/pMYto-b0

Multilevel Dictation Handout  http://wp.me/pMYto-8z

Conversation Cards:  A Warm-up Activity  http://wp.me/pMYto-8d

Mixing It Up!    http://wp.me/pMYto-3w

Building Better Learners:  The Teacher’s Worksheet  http://wp.me/pMYto-a8