a tray of food on a table at mcdonalds
Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on May 24, 2023

Talking about McDonald’s is great for ESL students because it’s a popular fast-food brand worldwide, so it’s easy to relate to. Students can improve their English by talking about its food, culture and business model.

By discussing its various areas related to McDonalds like menu items, marketing strategies, or its impact on global culture, students can practice listening and improve their speaking skills in a meaningful context.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabaulry where possible when discussing the different conversation questions.

An Brief Overview of McDonald’s

McDonald’s is a famous fast-food company that started in the United States in 1940. It has now spread to over 100 countries with more than 39,000 restaurants. People around the world know it for food like Big Macs, Chicken McNuggets, and fries. Its Golden Arches logo and ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ catchphrase are well-known too.

Even though there are some concerns about health and the environment, McDonald’s still has a big effect on our lives and our culture around the globe.

Useful Vocabulary

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • unhealthy (adjective)
  • menu (noun)
  • convenient (adjective)
  • order (verb)
  • cut down on (phrasal verb)
  • fast food (noun)

Conversation Questions

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  • When was the first time you ate at McDonald's?
  • What is your favourite item on the McDonald's menu?
  • If you could change one thing about McDonald's, what would it be?
  • Do you think McDonald's is healthier now than in the past?
  • What do you think of the 'Happy Meal' concept?
  • What makes McDonald's so popular worldwide?
  • How does McDonald's compare to other fast-food chains in your opinion?
  • Should McDonald's stop selling toys with their 'Happy Meals'?
  • Do you think McDonald's food is good value for the money?
  • What's your opinion about McDonald's breakfast menu?
  • Is McDonald's responsible for obesity issues in society?
  • If McDonald's were to introduce a new item to its menu, what would you want it to be?
  • Should McDonald's be required to display nutrition facts more prominently?
  • Does McDonald's have a responsibility to promote healthier eating options?
  • Should governments regulate fast-food advertising, like McDonald's, aimed at children?
  • Do you think McDonald's should pay higher wages to its workers?
  • Should there be an 'unhealthy food' tax on fast food chains like McDonald's?
  • Would you support a move by McDonald's towards a fully plant-based menu?
  • Is McDonald's unfairly demonised in discussions around unhealthy food and obesity?
  • Does McDonald's have a negative impact on local cuisines when it enters a new market?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.