A Minimum Wage

silver and gold round coins in box
Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on July 16, 2019 and last updated on August 7, 2023

The topic of minimum wage is an excellent conversation topic for English learners as it offers an opportunity to enhance their language skills while discussing a relevant socio-economic issue. Exploring the complexities of minimum wage policies, their impact on workers, businesses, and the economy, allows learners to expand their vocabulary, practice expressing opinions and engage in debates. Furthermore, this topic encourages critical thinking, fosters cultural awareness, and promotes an understanding of labour rights, making it an ideal subject for English learners to develop their language proficiency and broaden their knowledge base.

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 a Minimum Wage

Most people will think of the minimum wage as a good way to ensure people are paid a salary that will at the very least allow them to live with basic means.

The question of whether a minimum wage can have any negative effects is rarely asked as most people only think about it from the worker’s personal point of view. However, when you start looking at the bigger picture it can allow you to answer the question of whether should there be a minimum wage or not.

Useful Vocabulary

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

  • wage (noun)
  • salary (noun)
  • earn (verb)
  • sufficient (adjective)
  • consequence (noun)
  • unfair (adjective)
  • fair (adjective)

Conversation Questions

My Image
  • Should there be a minimum wage?
  • What is the minimum wage in your country?
  • Do you think it should be higher or lower? Why?
  • Should the minimum wage be a living wage, ensuring that it covers basic living expenses for workers?
  • Who benefits from a minimum wage?
  • Who doesn’t benefit from a minimum wage?
  • Who should decide the minimum wage?
  • What effect does a minimum wage have on small businesses?
  • What effect does a minimum wage have on large corporations?
  • Is it the government's responsibility to set a minimum wage, or should it be left to market forces to determine wages?
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.