TESOL/English lesson topics

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Your English can be this beautiful!

Interactive or non-interactive[edit | edit source]

Conversation (interactions between two or more people) one person (newscaster talks)
Agreeing and disagreeing Expressing opinions
Making requests and persuading Stating preferences
Expressing displeasure Complaining about circumstances
Congratulations Things you are glad about or regret
Asking about people Describing people
Allocating responsibility Responsibility
Asking about objects Describing objects
Giving advice or recommendations, accepting them Resolutions
Coordinating plans, such as meeting at a certain place Hopes and goals, individual plans
Refusing or asking for help Expressing trust
Reactions Talking about emotions
Talking to a medical professional Describing physical condition
Giving instructions Narratives, describing processes
Nostalgia Trends
Thanks Gratitude
Apology Guilt and shame
Meetings and introductions Self-introductions
Discussing possibilities Speculating about the future
Demanding an explanation Expressing disbelief
Asking where and giving locations Giving locations
Making accusations

Accepting, denying, and assigning blame

Interactive only[edit | edit source]

Changing the subject and returning to a topic

Cross-topic themes[edit | edit source]

politeness and familiarity[edit | edit source]

Requests[edit | edit source]

level of politeness language
  • can I
  • can you
  • could you
  • could I
  • may I
  • could you possibly
  • could I possibly
  • would you be able to
  • would I be able to
  • I hate to ask, but could you possibly
  • Would it be at all possible
    • (for me) to
    • for you to
  • Is there any way
    • that I might be able to
    • that you might be able to
  • could I persuade you to

With "you"[edit | edit source]

Using "ma'am" or "sir" at the beginning or end of a sentence makes the sentence very formal and polite. Do not use it with friends because it is too polite. It would sound cold.

Strength of language[edit | edit source]

In meaning, the difference between "freezing" and "cold" is that "freezing" is colder than "cold," but there is a grammatical difference as well. "Freezing" is a non-gradable word which behaves differently grammatically than a gradable word like "cold." For many adjectives there is a non-gradable word or expression which is stronger. Adjusting the strength of your message requires knowing these stronger words and expressions and knowing how to use them.

Encouraging or discouraging conversation[edit | edit source]

To continue a conversation, use the method short answer + extra information. If you want to stop the conversation, give only a short answer.

Another usual way is the use of question tags.