For other random topics to talk and write about, try these:
- 650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing (from the NYT Learning Network)
- Imagination Prompt Generator
- Journal Jar
- Writing Prompts (a Tumblr by a teacher)
2-MINUTE TOPIC TALKS
Talk (or write) about…
Try it roulette wheel style! (beware of the volume…)
- All about you
- The past
- The future / alternate realities
- Language, Culture and more
- Family, friends, other people
- Society and community
- Places and moving
- Health, sports, food
Here’s a new one (June 2017):
(These are taken from, or inspired by, the list on this site.)
Or choose from the lists:
- the most difficult travel experience of your life.
- a risk you have taken.
- the best decision you’ve made in your life.
- the craziest thing you’ve done.
- the most memorable moment from your high school days.
- a move you made from one place to another.
- an incident that had something to do with water.
- an incident that had something to do with … a form of transportation (train, bike, car…).
- a time you danced.
- a time you attended a wedding.
- a time you surprised someone.
- a time you helped someone.
- a great present you’ve given or gotten.
- something a teacher or coach told you that really stuck with you.
- a practical joke you played (or was played on you).
- something you lost or forgot, or a time when you got lost.
- one of your favorite childhood stories.
- your first love.
- the last time you laughed so hard you cried.
- your earliest memory.
- a time when you felt really, really lucky.
- who do you want to spend your next birthday with and what will you do?
- where you think you’ll be 10 years from now.
- what you think the world will be like 100 years from now.
- your New Year’s resolutions.
- when do you want to retire and what will you do?
- something you’d like to pass on to the next generation.
- something you’d put in a time capsule to be opened by a future generation.
- if you hadn’t entered this university, what you would be doing now.
- if you could have been born at a different time in history, which you would choose.
- if you could become a character in a movie or book, who you would be.
- if you could have lunch with someone famous, who you’d choose and what you’d talk about.
- what you wanted to be when you were a child, and if you think it’s likely to happen.
- where you’d go if you had a free week/month and nothing else to do.
- one modern convenience you wouldn’t want to do without.
- if you could become a famous (dead) person for a day, who it would be and what you would do.
- which person you would pick as a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse from history.
- if you could go back and relive one day (week, month, year) of your life, what you would do.
- if you could be reborn, what you’d come back as.
- if you were God (or a god), what you’d use your power for.
- if you’d like to live forever.
Family & Friends & Other people
- the best way to make new friends.
- a family tradition.
- something you like about one of your relatives or friends.
- an unusual story about one of your relatives or friends.
- an unusual occupation of a friend or relative.
- some ways you are like (or not like) your parents and siblings.
- something you’d like to ask a grandparent or great-grandparent.
- when you become a parent, what rules you will make for your children.
- someone you know who has a very different background.
- a memorable vacation with family or friends.
- your best friend when you were a child.
- a friend you haven’t seen recently but would like to see again.
- road trips! — what your family/friends do to pass the time on trains/planes or in cars.
- what you usually do when you hang out with your friends or family.
- what you usually talk about when you have dinner with your family.
- the most courageous person you know.
- the kindest person you know.
- the most inspiring public figure you can think of.
- the most important (but not so famous) person from Japan (or a country you’re studying).
- describe your relatives’ or friends’ personalities.
- how your parents met.
- a question you’d like to ask your grandparents (great-grandparents).
- a favorite saying or quotation (from a friend, family member or someone famous).
- your genealogy — where did you come from?
- how you’re very much like (or not like) your parents or siblings.
- how your values differ from the values of your parents’ (or grandparents’) generation.
- one of the best or worst teachers or coaches you’ve ever had.
Places & Moving
- what you miss most about your hometown.
- a place that inspires you.
- a place you liked to play as a child.
- something you really like about where you live now.
- which place you have the most vivid memory of.
- something unusual that happened in your neighborhood.
- where your parents or grandparents are from.
- an unusual form of transportation you’ve used.
- a time when you slept outdoors.
- the farthest place you’ve been from home.
- if you’d like to travel to the moon, Mars, or anywhere else in outer space.
Language & Communication
- your favorite/least favorite word or phrase in English, Japanese, or another language you’re studying.
- if you could speak the language of one animal, which you would choose.
- LINE or Twitter?
- the most effective way you’ve found to learn a language.
- which country you think will be (or should be) the next lingua franca in the world.
- a time when you successfully communicated something important in another language.
Culture & Entertainment & Fashion
- a fad from the decade you were born.
- the most impressive or inspiring movie or book you’ve seen/read.
- the book you’re reading right now / the most recent movie you’ve seen.
- a book or movie that made you laugh or cry out loud.
- your top 5 smart phone apps.
- what ads/commercials affect you.
- a fashion trend you really liked or disliked.
- a TV show that you think is/was educational.
- how long you use your smart phone every day and for what.
- what kind of art intrigues you.
- your favorite anime, cartoon or comic.
Society & Community
- what you’d change about your university.
- why club activities are great (or not so great).
- which local festivals you’d like to advertise.
- how you read or watch the news.
- a current event or issue that really concerns you.
- why people should vote.
- a way that you have served your community or would like to (charity, community service).
- an experience that made you feel close to your community or to nature.
- a way your lifestyle has changed to help the environment.
Health / Sports / Food
- how your exercise patterns have changed throughout your life.
- what you do to relax.
- what you do when it’s incredibly hot/cold/wet outside.
- your favorite food from another country.
- how to cook something, step by step.
- a restaurant you ate in recently / a restaurant where you’re a “regular”.
- explain a Japanese food you think someone from another country has never eaten.
- the most unusual food you’ve ever eaten.
- dieting or health advice you’d give to a friend or family member.
- an unusual home remedy for the cold or other common illness.
- who influenced you to start the sports you’re involved in.
- why you follow the professional sports teams you follow.
More about YOU
- something we don’t already know about you.
- the origin of your name or nickname.
- if you could change your name, what you’d change it to, or what you’d like to name your kids.
- your favorite sound or smell.
- your favorite way to spend a free day.
- your favorite time of day and your favorite time of year.
- a special talent you have and how we can get good at it, too.
- your greatest success.
- your pet-peeve.
- one of your habits (good or bad).
- describe yourself when you were 14 years old.
- a possession you would like to keep if you had to give up everything else.
- a cause that’s very important to you.
- how you wake up.
- whether or not you’re a “plan for today” or “plan for tomorrow” person.
- whether or not you’re a “live to eat” or “eat to live” person.
- you’re an X or Y person (cat/dog, summer/winter, city/country, horror movies/comedies).
- why you chose your current phone/PC wallpaper or background.
Advice / Reflecting on the year
- the biggest change in your life in the past year.
- what advice you’d give next year’s students / incoming freshmen.
- something surprising you’ve learned this year.
- something very satisfying about your work (job, school, club…).
- if someone from another country asks you, “What’s so great about Japan?” how you would respond.
- a part-time job you would (or wouldn’t) recommend.
- advice about your school festival.
And finally, a very original topic:
- “If bears are so scary, why are there so many bear toys?” (from a GLIP student a couple of years ago)