If you’re doing a language exchange with someone then sometimes you can find yourself in the position where you have nothing to talk about. This can be very stressful, especially if you just end up looking at each other and smiling awkwardly. One way to get around this is to decide on a topic or grammar type before hand and practise that with your partner. If you’re not sure how to go about finding a language partner then check out our handy guide here.
At Lingo Press Books, we have lots of different questions prepared for lots of different topics in English to help you out if you get stuck in a language exchange. Here is a selection of some of our more general topics for a language exchange. If you’re on this page then it’s likely you’ve settled on religion and ethics as your next language exchange topics. So let’s have a look at some of the questions you can ask your partner.
First of all it is important to remember that when talking about religion, you are talking about someone’s faith and it can be quite easy to cause offence or for things to be taken in a different way. Remember first of all, you are in a language exchange, not a debate. If you want to talk about religion, try and keep it neutral and just have an interest in how religion differs in that person’s country. You’re not trying to change their mind, you’re just trying to learn about different cultures and to increase your vocabulary or ability to talk about this topic.
If you think that you can’t talk about religion without it becoming heated, then maybe this topic isn’t for you, and it would be better to choose a different topic to talk about instead. If you do think you can remain neutral and that the conversation will be comfortable then here are some questions that you can use to talk about religion with your language partner.
- What is the main religion in your country?
- What is your religion?
- Are you religious? If not, why?
- What is the most important holiday in your religion? How do you celebrate it?
- Do you have different religions within your country? How do they coexist?
- Have you noticed new religions becoming more popular in your country?
- What is your temple of worship called?
- Who is the head of the religion?
- What role do women have within your religion?
- How are your religious holidays celebrated in school?
- Do you believe that religion is more important on a community level or on an individual level?
- How are weddings celebrated in your religion?
- How are funerals celebrated in your religion?
- What role do you think religion has in the modern world?
- Are their any aspects of your religion that you would change if you could, what are they?
- Are there any issues within your religion that you think are problems?
- What benefits do you think religion has in society?
- What negative impacts do you think religion has on society?
- Do you know anyone who is religious because it is expected of them by their family.
- Are you a vegetarian? If yes/no then why?
- Do you believe in animal testing?
- Are zoos unethical?
- Should we have private schools in a society or do they give some an unfair advantage?
- If a colleague doesn’t come to work, would you cover for them?
- Is happiness the most important thing?
- Do you think gambling is ok?
- Do you think it should be illegal to take drugs?
- Do you think it should be illegal to drink alcohol?
- Do you think someone can be responsible for their actions when they have been drinking alcohol?
- Do you think it’s ok to steal if you’re desperate?
- Should it be illegal to have many wives?
- Should it be illegal to marry your brother or sister?
- Is it considered stealing if you take pens from work?
- Is it ok to fantasise about other people while you are with your partner?
- Is cheating ever ok?
- Should you always tell the truth? When is it ok to lie?
- Do you think euthanasia is ok?
- Is it ever ok to hide money from your partner?
- Would you abort a child if it had a mental condition?
These are situations in which you have to think of an answer and discuss why you chose your answer to your partner.
A train is out of control and is racing down the track where four men are working. They haven’t seen the train, there’s no way you can get their attention and if the train hits them it will kill them. The only thing you can do is press a button which will divert the train onto a different track where there is only one person. It will definitely kill them but it will save four other lives. Do you press the button and switch the track, killing the man or do you let the train continue and kill the four men working? What would you do and why?
It’s war time and you’re hiding in a house from enemy soldiers. The soldiers have found the house and have come inside so you and four other families are hiding underneath the floorboards. As the soldiers come in a baby starts to cry. If the baby continues to cry, the soldiers will hear you, they’ll find you and you will all die. If you suffocate the baby then you can all survive. What do you do?
We hope you’re found these religious and ethical questions for a language exchange useful. If you have any questions that you think should be added to the list, or if you have any topics that you would like us to cover then please let us know in the comments below. We always love to receive your feedback.
Here are some other topics that we have covered previously: