Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on June 6, 2019 and last updated on May 12, 2023

Engaging in conversation practice related to protests is a great way to help English learners improve their overall level and fluency in the language. This topic not only allows students to expand their vocabulary and practice grammar, but it also provides an opportunity to learn about different perspectives and current events.

Through discussing the reasons behind protests, their impact on society, and the role of activism, English learners can practice both speaking and listening skills while also developing critical thinking and cultural awareness. Moreover, this is a great conversation topic that can be adapted to different levels and interests, making it a versatile tool for teachers and students alike.

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.

About Protests

Protests are a form of nonviolent demonstration that is used to express public opinion or dissatisfaction. The goal of a protest is to bring attention to an issue and make people aware of it.

However, does protesting work? It’s difficult to say for sure, because the answer depends on what you define as success. For example, if the goal is to get rid of a dictator and there are protests in the streets, but he doesn’t step down from power, then the protests have failed. However, if the goal was just to raise awareness about an issue and make people more sympathetic to it than those protests have been successful.

Useful Vocabulary

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

  • protest (verb)
  • demonstration (noun)
  • freedom of speech (phrase)
  • protester (noun)
  • stand up for (phrasal verb)
  • peacefully (adverb)
  • violent (adjective)
  • Speak out (phrasal verb)

Conversation Questions

My Image
  • Does protesting work?
  • Have you ever been on a protest? What was it for? What was your experience like?
  • If you felt strongly enough about the issue, would you go on a protest?
  • Can you think of any recent protests where you live?
  • What type of people go on protests?
  • What other ways to voice your opinion are there aside from protests?
  • Are protests effective? Were they ever effective?
  • What are some issues or causes that people might protest about in your country or around the world today?
  • What role do you think social media plays in organising and publicising protests?
  • How do you think the media coverage of protests affects public perception and opinion?
  • What are some famous protests from history that you have heard of? What were they about?
  • Should high school or university students be allowed to participate in protests during school hours?
  • In your opinion, is it more effective to organise and participate in large protests or smaller, more targeted demonstrations?
  • How do you feel about the use of force or violence by police to control protests or disperse crowds?
  • What do you think is the future of protests and activism, and how will they evolve in the coming years?
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.