ESL discussion questions about literature.

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  1. Do you have a favourite book or author?
  2. What genre of books to you like to read?
  3. At what time of day do you like to read?
  4. How do you choose what books to read?
  5. Do you like reading e-books? Do you think they are the future?
  6. Have you ever read a book in a foreign language? Would you like to?
  7. If you were to be stranded on a desert island, which three books would you take?
  8. Do you enjoy reading poetry? Do you have a favourite poem?
  9. Why do you think poetry is not as popular as it used to be?
  10. Is it possible to read a play or do you need to see it performed?
  11. Who would you say is the greatest writer in your country’s history?
  12. Who do you think is the greatest writer in world history?
  13. Is literature important or is it just a collection of made up stories?
  14. What are the ingredients of a great novel?
  15. Would you like to write a poem, play or novel yourself?
  16. Do prefer to read classical or modern literature?
  17. Do you think a historical novel should tell the truth about history?
  18. What books do you think children should read at school?
  19. How important is it to read to children when they are very young?
  20. Do you think a book can change the world? How?
  21. How many books do you read every year? Is it enough?
PDF (Individual)
PDF (Pairs)
PDF (Threes)
PDF (Cards)
How to use the literature ESL discussion questions

It is recommended that you download the literature 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 literature 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 literature 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 literature 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 literature 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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