ESL discussion questions about history.

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  1. Why is it important to learn history at school?
  2. Did you enjoy studying history at school?
  3. Do you feel you have a good knowledge of history?
  4. Can you think of a great historical film you have seen?
  5. What is more important, world history or your own nation’s history?
  6. If you could meet one historical figure, who would it be?
  7. Who is your nation’s greatest hero?
  8. Who is the most influential person in history, for better or for worse?
  9. Should we learn about the great heroes of history or about ordinary people?
  10. Are you proud of your country’s history?
  11. What is the most important historical site in your country?
  12. How much of the history we know about can we really trust?
  13. If you could travel back in time, which period would you visit?
  14. Are you happy you were born at this moment in history?
  15. What has been the most important historical event in the past 30 years?
  16. Was the 20th century a great century?
  17. Is there anyone alive today who will be remembered in a thousand years?
  18. If you could erase one event from history, what would it be?
  19. Do you think human beings have made progress over the course of history?
  20. Have you ever witnessed a historical event? What about on television?
  21. Do you think that history repeats itself?
PDF (Individual)
PDF (Pairs)
PDF (Threes)
PDF (Cards)
How to use the history ESL discussion questions

It is recommended that you download the history ESL discussion questions in PDF format using one of the links above. The best way to encourage classroom interaction is to download and print the history discussion questions in the 'pairs' or 'threes' PDF format and then divide the questions by cutting along the dotted lines. This allows students to take turns asking and answering the history discussion questions in groups of two or three. Alternatively, you could use the 'cards' format to distribute the questions to any number of students to ask and share.

It is advisable to prepare students for using these discussion questions by first introducing them to the topic of history in an interesting and engaging way. An anecdote, quiz question or a related image or video could all be used to achieve this. Depending on the level, it may also be necessary to pre-teach any challenging vocabulary related to history contained in the discussion questions.

For more ESL discussion questions, see this site's main page. There are discussion questions on a range of topics including general, grammar and business English topics.

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