Speaking Topics


Welcome to our conversation club!


We invite your students to discuss very interesting and actual topics.

How to start an English conversation club

      A conversation club is fundamentally different from an English language course. The main characteristics of English conversation clubs are as follows:

- The aim of a conversation club in English is development, first and foremost, of speaking skills and, to a lesser extent, of listening skills. Reading and writing skills at meetings of a conversation club are completely ignored, as well as explanation of phonetic, grammar and lexical rules of the English language.

- Meetings of a conversation club in English are not related to each other thematically, so a participant can skip one of them without affecting the entire programme of the course, if it exists.

      The following is recommendations for starting an English conversation club, based on our practical experience, but by no means are the absolute truth.

1. It is not necessary to explain why the venue of a conversation club in English should be comfortable for all its participants. We only note that creation of an atmosphere, which favours pleasant communication, can be facilitated by dim lighting. It distracts attention of the participants in an English conversation club from details of the interior and appearance of their interlocutors, which helps to concentrate better on the discussion.

2. Once you have decided on the venue, you need to set a strict meeting schedule. Do not succumb to the provocations of supporters to negotiate separately for each meeting! This is a road to nowhere. Each member of the club must get used to a fixed schedule and build their own plans around it.

3. The standard schedule calls for meetings to be held once a week. The scheme, practiced by some clubs, to arrange meetings every second week is also fatal to your offspring. First, adults often miss meetings for good reasons anyway. Secondly, it is quite difficult for a busy person to keep in mind the information about which week he has a club meeting and which does not.

4. Like any other training sessions, meetings of a conversational club are best held in the morning, as they say, "with a fresh mind". If your club is open to everyone, then most likely only Saturday or Sunday suits.

5. The optimal duration of one session is between 60 and 90 minutes, depending on the number of participants. They will not be able to become fluent in less time, but they will get tired in more time.

6. If you work with corporate clients, it is better to conduct classes during lunch breakы. For a mini-group of 2-3 pesrons, this time is enough. It is advisable to appoint a chief in each corporate group with whom you will maintain contact on organizational issues. Pairs consisting of the head of an enterprise or division and their deputy work perfectly. In this case, the role of chief may be entrusted to the secretary or, in the absence of such, to the deputy.

7. All the topics we have developed are intended for an adult audience. Therefore, under no circumstances accept teenagers into your club, no matter how much their parents persuade you! Otherwise, other meeting participants will not feel comfortable answering some questions in their presence. If you want to work with teenagers, you need to prepare special topics that are in their range of interests, or completely reformat the classes, using, for example, games.

8. Regarding to the number of participants in a meeting, you should adhere to the golden rule: when more than nine people gather, the joint discussion inevitably splits into several conversations. Thus, without taking into account the host, no more than eight people should be present at a meeting of an English conversation club at a time.

9. If there are too many people wishing to participate in your club, and if you have the opportunity, it is advisible to choose one more day during the work week. In a large group, there are usually freelancers, housewives or people working on a flexible schedule, who would prefer to meet on a working day. Their advantage will be a small group and free weekends. But keep in mind that bright extroverts give priority to large groups, despite the obvious effectiveness of mini-groups. Therefore, do not try to convince them to meet on a work day, even if they have the opportunity! It is advisable that both groups study at the same time.

10. Most English conversation clubs usually inform their participants in advance about the topic of the upcoming meeting, but we do not recommend to follow this practice! Firstly because a meeting of a conversation club should as much as possible stage the real situation of a spontaneous discussion with an English-speaking interlocutor. Secondly, a complete lack of preparation makes the brain work faster, 'lifting deep layers of knowledge to the surface', including ones from the subconscious. Thirdly, as our experience shows, a regular participant in a English conversation club can skip a meeting only because they did not prepare, or comes, but feels timid.

11. We recommend to start the first meeting of a conversation club in English, regardless of the level of its participants, with the topic 'Names'. Firstly becasue it will help you and the participants in your conversation club to memorize faster their names. Secondly, this is the easiest of the speaking topics we offer and so a discussion on it will inspirate the participants in the first meeting and give them a positive attitude to visit your English conversation club in the future.

12. The main mistake that hosts of English conversation clubs make, in our opinion, is that they ask a question to the whole group and wait for anyone who wishes to answer it. As a result of this practice, the same extroverts speak all the time during a meeting, and some introverts leave the venue of an English conversation club without saying a single word! Of course, this is absolutely unacceptable! To avoid this huge mistake, the host of a conversation club in English should ask the same question personally to each participant and, until everyone has given thier opinion, must not move on to the next question.

13. You can encourage the participants in your conversation club to begin their judgments with introductory expressions like 'I think', 'In my opinion', 'From my point of view', as this is common in the English-speaking world, but may be unusual in the hosting country.

14. It is not necessary during one meeting of a conversation club in English to go through all eighteen questions of the chosen speaking topic. The speaking topics, we offer for an English conversation club, are never an academic programme. Rather they serve as a kind of 'pusher', which starts a discussion in English. Moreover, if after the first few questions, the conversation goes into another direction, this meeting of your club can be considered as successful! Remember, that the most important criterion for a successful meeting of a conversation English club is interest of all its participants. If they desire to discuss some other topics in English, but not the one you have suggested, this is really great!

15. Do not allow participants in your English conversation club to keep any notes during a meeting. First, let us repeat that the atmosphere of a club meeting should imitate the real situation of a conversation with an English-speaking interlocutor as much as possible. Secondly, keeping notes distracts attention of the meeting participants from the discussion in English. Strictly speaking, this is the very thing that differs a conversation club from an English language course.

16. As to phonetic, grammar and lexical mistakes, made by participants in an English conversation club, they should not be corrected immediately during the discussion. Only if the same participant makes the same mistake more than twice, it is necessary to gently point it out at the end of the meeting. If necessary, you can advise them to listen to, read or do exercises on this subject.

17. Also at the end of each meeting of a conversation club, it is advisable to remind the participants to read books and to watch films in English, as well as to do various exercises between the meetings. If necessary, you can recommend the most useful resources for learning English.

Speaking Topics