Discussion Topics for Agreeing & Disagreeing (ESL)

These are conversation topics I have used to create discussion in my ESL class. They could also be used as speaking topics for speeches. These speaking topics go well with activities to practice giving opinions (agreeing, disagreeing, interrupting, and changing the topic). For a few activities for agreeing and disagreeing, visit here.

If you are looking for discussion questions, I have created a  longer list  (containing similar ideas) on the conversation questions page.

General Topics for Discussion or Speeches

  • English is easy to learn.
  • Money is more important than love.
  • Students should be required to study English in elementary school.
  • Violence is sometimes necessary.
  • Personality is more important than beauty.
  • People who live in apartments shouldn't own pets.
  • No job is perfect.
  • Everyone is good at something.
  • We are not alone in the universe.
  • Life was better 20 years ago.
  • The most important thing about a job is the salary.
  • You can know a lot about a person from the clothes he or she wears.
  • Teachers should be able to use physical punishment.
  • Global warming isn't real.
  • There are actions we can take to stop global warming.
  • There are no such things as ghosts.
  • Everyone has the right to have an opinion even if the opinion is false according to well-known facts.
  • People get offended too easily nowadays.
  • What goes around comes around. (If you do good, good will come to you / If you do bad, bad things will happen to you.)
  • Parents should never hit their children.
  • Table manners and etiquette have become less important in the 21st century.

Crime Discussion/Speech Topics

  • Smoking marijuana should be legal.
  • Police officers should not carry guns.
  • Criminals who take a life (kill someone) should spend their entire life behind bars.
  • Graffiti is art, not crime.
  • Prisoners are sent to jail to be reeducated.

Gender Issues Discussion/Speech Topics

  • Men should open doors for women.
  • Men and women can never really be equal.
  • Women are better at teaching children than men are.
  • Men are smarter than women.
  • Companies should have quotas on their executive boards to make them 50% female.
  • At a bar, men should initiate conversation with women (and not the other way around).

Health Discussion/Speech Topics

  • People who get plastic surgery usually look worse later in life.
  • Nowadays, people are too dependent on medicine.
  • This country's healthcare system needs a lot of improvement.
  • If you feel unwell, you should go to the doctor.
  • Western medicine is more effective than Eastern medicine.
  • People who use acupuncture are crazy.
  • People should be more concerned about their health.
  • Beauty products, vitamins, and mineral supplements generally provide the benefits they promise.
  • Home remedies can be just as useful as medicine from a pharmacy.
  • Obesity is a disease.
  • Humans shouldn't drink the milk of other animals such as cows.
  • There should be an extra tax on unhealthy food.
  • Worrying about cancer can give you cancer.

Politics Discussion/Speech Topics

  • Life would be better without government or rules.
  • People should be able to criticize the government.
  • The government has the right to monitor phone calls and e-mails.
  • The government should increase environmental regulations on businesses.
  • Women should be allowed to wear a niqab (or face veil) to civic ceremonies.
  • We should tax the rich to help the poor.
  • New Canadians who become terrorists should lose their citizenship and be sent back to where they came from.
  • The government should be stricter on immigration.
  • Canada should not participate in the war against ISIS.
  • Voting for a political party that is unlikely to win the election is wasting your vote.

Enjoy your discussion.

- Conversation topics created by Matthew Barton of Englishcurrent.com (Copyright)

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12 comments on “Discussion Topics for Agreeing & Disagreeing (ESL)

  1. sairam (Posted on 12-12-2016 at 05:23) Reply

    Little water was left in the pot,….?(question tag)

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 12-12-2016 at 13:57) Reply

      …, wasn’t it? (but it seems very strange to use a question tag here)

      1. Angela (Posted on 5-7-2020 at 03:36) Reply

        You’re missing “there”; (there was) little water left in the pot, wasn’t there?

        1. Anonymous (Posted on 10-21-2021 at 08:54) Reply

          This sentence has a negative meaning so it should be:

          (There was) Little (not much) water was left in the pot, was there?

  2. Noorullah (Posted on 4-24-2018 at 00:51) Reply

    As the word”Home” has to function as “Adverb of place and Noun”, and you explained that when it works as adverb of place, the preposition ” To” is not used and when it is used as “noun” , preposition is possible,so school is also adverb of place now if we say that school has only form “Noun” and it does not have adverb form, Is it correct

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 4-24-2018 at 01:15) Reply

      Hello. ‘school’ does not have an adverb form. It is only a noun. Therefore, verbs that require a preposition use a preposition when school is the object (“I went to school / I arrived at school.”). You cannot omit the prepositions. If that’s what you meant, then you are correct.

  3. Anonymous (Posted on 9-30-2018 at 15:34) Reply

    Unless you are using the word school for the services it offers. Then you say I go to school. No prep

    1. Peter (Posted on 1-15-2019 at 02:44) Reply

      And what is “to”?

  4. No (Posted on 1-26-2021 at 07:54) Reply

    Put thing abt covid

  5. Thorsten Hadur (Posted on 2-21-2023 at 21:57) Reply

    Actually, there is an adverb form of school, “schoolishly.” It is, however, quite rare and pretty nearly archaic. It seems mainly to have been used to characterize the manners and thoughts of the so-called “schoolmen” (a.k.a., scholastic philosophers.) Wordhippo features the term as do older dictionaries.

  6. Yessica Caballero (Posted on 4-2-2023 at 12:15) Reply

    The English subject is a bit complicated since it requires time and a lot of practice.
    Money is more important than health but it is necessary for life since many people depend on it.
    For teachers to teach English in elementary school, this great help for students is necessary to continue learning.
    Violence is not good but many times anger takes advantage of ourselves by taking revenge for which the act turns into violence.
    Personality is important Since we must have values ​​in our life And try to be a better person, beauty is natural.
    Not every job can be perfect as it can also be dangerous and very expensive.
    We are not alone in the world because there are many people around us but our personality is unique.
    We can all be good at something, it’s just that for some things we won’t have the ability to do everything perfectly.
    Money is one of the most necessary elements since if we work it is because we need the salary and trying to do things with love and commitment is the best.
    The happiness of another person does not have to offend me since we can all be happy as we want.
    Regarding the phrase that says what you sow, what you reap is very true, the world is turning around and what we do today, right or wrong, will have our reward sooner or later.

  7. Heather A. Sicilia (Posted on 4-3-2023 at 18:57) Reply

    English is easy to learn: The english subject its such a beautifu world, you can learn a lot of things about it and you learn to aprecciate it with the pass of the day, It is easy at the way you want to learn it and study.
    No job is perfect: Because sometimes your body get tired of to many things and at this point you just want to through away those works issues, but also we have other days when we realize that we are blessing of have this job, its a constant feelings of high and lows.
    Women are better at teaching childrens than men are: No, because God gave to each one of us, the intelligence and the habbility for do all the things and ideal that we have in life, we just need the strengh and good vibes to do it.
    What goes around comes around: I have always used to think that those things that you sow, you harvest too, thats why we always have to do the good things to our behaviors.

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