Running an ESL program for adults? Use these videos to help them practice English one conversation at a time.

Session #1


 

Topic #1

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  2. If you’ve ever ridden a train, bus, or other form of public transportation, what were the train/bus employees like? Were they friendly and engaging like William, or did they seem “separate” from passengers? Share a story if you have one.
  3. Have you ever felt like “an observer of life” rather than a “participant in life?” Explain.
  4. William believed he was responsible for his separation from others. What are some ways you can choose to “get out of the box” like William?
  5. Think of people you may know from school, work, or other places you go who don’t seem to belong or who may feel that they don’t. What are some ways, like William, you can show them that they do belong?
  6. Why is it important to belong and to show others they belong?
  7. What other ways can you be an “agent of connection” like William Cromartie?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #3

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What are some topics you have clarity on? Where do you lack clarity? Explain why you have or lack clarity in these areas.
  3. “Listen before you talk.” How well do you do this at work? At home? Explain.
  4. Share a time when a conversation helped you to gain clarity about something.
  5. Make a list of the some of the conversations you’d like to have at work or at home. What is keeping you from having these conversations?
  6. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #5

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What would you say is your “lens” for viewing the Bible? Why is this your lense? Explain.
  3. In what ways is the Bible a sword while also not being mainly a sword?
  4. In what ways is the Bible a rulebook while also not being mainly a rulebook?
  5. In what ways is the Bible a roadmap while also not being mainly a roadmap?
  6. Why do you think it’s important that the Bible is mainly a story instead of a mainly a weapon, a rulebook, or a roadmap?
  7. You’re an important part of God’s story. In what ways have you seen this to be true? Are there times when you don’t feel this is true? Explain.
  8. What does it look like to give Jesus the spotlight in your life?
  9. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #7

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. On a scale of 1-10, how thankful of a person are you? Explain.
  3. How has thankfulness impacted your life in the past?
  4. Read Philippians 4:6. Identify all the actions steps this verse tells us to do. What is usually your first response when you face a trial? What is the best way to respond?
  5. Define grace in your own words. How has God been gracious toward you in your life? How can recalling those things give you perspective on the current trials you face?
  6. Read 1 Corinthians 11:23-25. Identify all the things Jesus was teaching or modeling in this passage for his disciples.
  7. Read Hebrews 12:2. Why do you think Jesus could look at the cross with joy? What does it mean for your life that Jesus was willing to endure hardship for your sake?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #9

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What role does Santa Claus play in your family’s Christmas traditions?
  3. If you received a large inheritance, how would you spend it? How is that different from when you were 20?
  4. What impresses you most about the story of St. Nicholas, and why?
  5. How might this topic change how your family approaches Santa Claus? Explain.
  6. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #2

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What are some chores or responsibilities you hate having to do? Why do these things rub you the wrong way?
  3. What are some time-wasting habits you have or some bad ruts you fall into?
  4. How does having empathy (caring about how your actions affect others) change the way you go about handling your responsibilities?
  5. What are some hobbies, extracurricular activities, or school subjects you really enjoy? Why?
  6. Think about the opportunities you have in comparison to other people in the world. How should your good fortune change the way you think about getting stuff done when it comes to studies, training, or even chores around the house?
  7. Why do you think perspective is so important when it comes to doing the things you don’t want to do?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #4

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. There seems to be a stigma about people who care a lot about grammar. They are even called “Grammar Nazis.” Why do you think there is such a stigma against people who care about grammar?
  3. What’s your biggest grammar pet peeve? How would your parents answer that question?
  4. Does proper grammar make you “credible?” Give some examples of why or why not.
  5. Do you think social media is making people smarter (grammatically speaking) or the opposite? Explain.
  6. Are you the kind of person to correct someone when they make a grammar mistake? Why or why not?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #6

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Which of these three behaviors do you struggle with most? Why?
  3. Why do you think these three things can hold you back from success? Explain.
  4. Describe a time in your life when one of these things influenced you. What was the outcome of that situation?
  5. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #8

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What are some “dissatisfying” things about your life or “longings” you have? Why do you think these are your dissatisfactions and longings?
  3. Why are we all “looking for love?” What are healthy ways this manifests in our lives? What are some unhealthy ways?
  4. Why do you think God created us with a desire to love and be loved?
  5. We all have goals and desires. What are some of your life goals? Why are these things important to you?
  6. What are some ways that our goals and our sense of purpose can become twisted by sin and the world? Share an example if you have any.
  7. Read Ephesians 2:8-10. Where does a sense of work/purpose come in with our relationship with God? Why is the sequence laid out in Ephesians 2:8-10 so important for understanding the right relationships between faith and good works?
  8. What are some ways Jesus has answered the “why” questions in your life? Or if you have not yet trusted Jesus, what are some “why” questions you have for him?
  9. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #10

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Growing up in your home, was Christmas a time of peace and harmony or conflict and stress? Describe and explain why it was the way it was.
  3. Read Luke 2:13-14. What do you think the shepherd thought when he was told that this newborn child would bring “peace on earth.” Is it the same or different as what you think of today as “peace on earth?” Describe.
  4. Read Colossians 1:21. Is it hard to think of yourself as an enemy of God, apart from salvation? If so, why?
  5. Describe in your own words why sin breaks our relationship with God.
  6. Read 1 Peter 3:8-9. What would it look like to intentionally “pursue peace” in your relationships?
  7. Read Colossians 3:13-15. What does it mean to “make allowances” for each other’s faults? What does it look like to “clothe yourselves with love?”
  8. What would you say to a Christian who says “it’s just their personality” to be contentious and argumentative and doesn’t feel like it’s a big deal?
  9. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Session #2


 

Topic #1

Discussion Questions
  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Why do you think our words are so powerful?
  4. What are some words you would add to this list? Why?
  5. What is an example of a time when words have been powerful in your life or in someone else’s life?
  6. Is it easier for you to say negative things or positive things? Why?
  7. Who is someone in your life right now who could use some positive words from you? What would those positive words be?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #3

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Make two lists: (1) the things you want more of and (2) the things God wants you to have more of. How much do these lists overlap?
  3. Make another list: the stuff you have too much of already. Why are those things important to you?
  4. Read Ephesians 3:20-21. What does this passage say about God’s capabilities? What do you think God wants you to ask for more of in your life?
  5. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #5

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What are some concepts you know you should adopt but have struggled to put into practice? Why are these important to you?
  3. Have you had success in starting new habits in the past? What habits? Were you able to keep those habits long term?
  4. Why is it important to be able to explain a concept to a third grader? What is the Feynman Technique really getting at by saying we should be able to do this?
  5. What is an area you would like to try this model on? Why is growing in that area important to you?
  6. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #7

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. When have you had a conversation with a homeless person? What went well in your conversation? What felt awkward? Looking back on your conversation, what could you have said differently?
  3. Imagine being a homeless person living and sleeping on the streets. What would be your reaction to someone who told you to stop being lazy and get a job?
  4. Instead of just giving someone money and walking away, how can stopping and having a simple conversation with a homeless person make any difference in their life?
  5. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #9

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What is your favorite part of Christmas?
  3. Share what your best Christmas was and why.
  4. Come up with a list of people in our culture today who are looked down upon. Share why you think they have a negative reputation.
  5. Why do you think God first shared the good news of Jesus with a group of nobodies?
  6. Read Luke 2:8-9. Share how you think you would have reacted if millions of God’s angels broke out in the first Christmas chorus right before your eyes?
  7. What is the Good News that the angels were talking about?
  8. Read Philippians 2:5-11. Share the great lengths Jesus was willing to go to come to the earth dumpster dive and jump into the cesspool of sin we live in.
  9. Nobody ever brought the shepherds good news. Who brought you Jesus’ good news? Explain.
  10. Read Luke 2:16-18. Share how you responded when you first heard about Jesus.
  11. God intentionally chooses the rejects to receive his good news. God can use you to reach others. What keeps you from telling others about Jesus?
  12. What can you do so that you will be more willing to tell others?
  13. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #2

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. List of some of your goals. How have you done so far?
  4. What typically derails you from accomplishing goals?
  5. How could rewarding yourself along the way help you stay the course?
  6. How do you typically respond when you fail to stay on track? What might be a better response next time?
  7. In your own words, what should the real win of our goals be about?
  8. Read 2 Timothy 1:7. What does this verse say about our ability to accomplish goals? What can you do to tap more into the Holy Spirit’s power in your life?
  9. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #4

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What sorts of things do you find purposeful or meaningful in your life?
  3. What do you think is the purpose of life? Why?
  4. Do you agree that without God life is objectively meaningless? Explain.
  5. Read 1 Corinthians 15:17-20. How do you think a relationship with God gives us both objective and subjective purpose?
  6. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #6

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What are some healthy relationships you’ve seen? Why do these relationships stand out ot you?
  3. Read John 15:13. Define “sacrificial” in your own words. Why is it hard to be sacrificial in our relationships?
  4. Do you agree that the other person will be inspired to be sacrificial by your example? What should you do if that doesn’t happen?
  5. What does a controlling relationship look like? Have you ever been in one? Explain.
  6. “A healthy relationship is reciprocal.” What does that mean? Do you have any reciprocal relationships in your life? Which ones?
  7. Do you have any relationships that are not reciprocal? Is it wise to seek to make them into reciprocal relationships? Why or why not?
  8. Read Proverbs 16:28. What does “beguiling” mean? Do you know anyone who is like that in his or her relationships?
  9. What steps can you take to have healthier relationships in your own life?
  10. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #8

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What are some things that have been easy for you to learn? What are some things that have been harder?
  3. What are some things that you’ve worked hard to get better at in your life? How long did it take for you to master it?
  4. How can this idea that you can learn anything help you when you face your next challenge?
  5. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #10

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. If baby Jesus could have talked, what do you think he might have said about all the events surrounding his birth?
  3. Read John 12:44-46. How does Jesus explain his birth in this passage?
  4. It what ways is the world “dark”? How does Jesus illuminate the world?
  5. Read Mark 2:13-16. Why were the religious teachers upset about who Jesus went to dinner with?
  6. What groups or classes are religious people today uncomfortable building relationships with? Why?
  7. Read Mark 2:17. What was Jesus’ justification for hanging out with disreputable people? What kind of sickness and healing did he have in mind? What does this say about Jesus?
  8. Did self-righteous people at some time ever turn you off toward God? If so, what happened?
  9. On a scale of 1 to 10, how comfortable are you with implementing Jesus’ approach for yourself? Explain.
  10. Read John 12:27 and 32-33. What was the impending “hour” that troubled Jesus so much?
  11. Relating this back to Mark 2, how did Jesus’ death on the cross actually make it possible for broken people to be healed?
  12. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Session #3


 

Topic #1

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Out of everyone in the world, who do you wish you could be? Why?
  3. What three different things would you take from three individual people you admire? Why?
  4. Why do people compare themselves to others?
  5. How would you define success? Would you consider yourself successful? Why or why not?
  6. Do you think other people are envious of your life? Why or why not?
  7. What steps can you take to make your life better?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #3

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Of the three categories above (negative, fearful, destructive), which kind of toxic thoughts plague you the most? What other categories of toxic thoughts do people battle?
  3. Read 2 Corinthians 10:4-5. How can you practically apply this to the thoughts you listed above? Be specific.
  4. Read Luke 11:24-26. Destroying toxic thoughts is only half the battle; replacing them with truth is the other half. How can you keep from being “worse off than before” when you are trying to overcome toxic thoughts?
  5. What truths from the Bible can combat your toxic thoughts? Look some up together.
  6. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #5

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Describe the “love” climate in your home growing up (affectionate/affirming or cold/distant?)
  3. How have those family dynamics affected the way you express love to your kids?
  4. Read Matthew 3:16-17. What stands out to you about what God said? Why do you think God spoke those words?
  5. How does praising your kids for specific things encourage their self-esteem?
  6. How well do you speak love to your kids? How could you improve?
  7. How well do you show love to your kids? How could you improve?
  8. What does spending time with your kids communicate to them?
  9. Are you familiar with the 5 love languages? What would you guess is your kid’s language? How can knowing their language help you love them more?
  10. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #7

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
  3. Do you tend to be a grumpy person or a joyful person? Explain.
  4. Read Psalm 100. How does the picture of worship in this Psalm compare to a normal worship service at your church?
  5. What sort of mood are you usually in when you get to church? How can you prepare yourself to have an attitude of joy and thankfulness at church?
  6. List some of the typical things you experience in your life that prevent you from being thankful. How does this Psalm teach you to deal with these things that make you unthankful?
  7. Share some things that God has done in your life that cause you to be thankful.
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #9

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What was the best Christmas gift you ever received, and why?
  3. Read Matthew 2:9. How has your picture of the wise men changed?
  4. Think about how God led the wise men to Jesus. What lessons can we learn from this?
  5. Read Isaiah 9:6-7. How does this prophecy relate to the expectations surrounding the coming “king of the Jews”?
  6. Read Matthew 2:11. How would you define “worship”? Why is bowing down an expression of worship?
  7. Read Matthew 2:11. What do the three gifts of the wise men represent?
  8. What can you tell about a person from the gifts they give?
  9. What do the gifts of the wise men suggest about how we might respond to Jesus?
  10. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #2

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What stresses you out? Why?
  3. Do you think your family knows what stresses you? Why or why not?
  4. Parents, what are some challenges you faced as a tween/teen? Explain.
  5. Kids, what are some challenges you’re facing these days? Explain.
  6. Why is it important for parents not to ignore or brush off kids’ stress? Share an example if you have one.
  7. What are some ways kids can be more open and honest with their parents about stress?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #4

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Who is the best listener you know? Who is the worst? What grade would you give yourself?
  3. Which of the four items above is hardest for you? Which is easiest?
  4. What are some other things that make someone a good listener? Make a list.
  5. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #6

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Have you ever had an experience that caused you to think about the shortness of life? Explain.
  3. Read James 4:14. Why is it important to reflect on the shortness of life?
  4. How much do you think about eternity in an average week? How much do you think about temporary stuff?
  5. Read Colossians 3:1-2. How should the reality of eternity change our priorities?
  6. Read Philippians 3:13-14. Summarize Paul’s mission statement from these verses? What is yours?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #8

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. From Jesus’s first appearance as a baby in the Gospel of Matthew, he is opposed. How should this inform our understanding of his earthly ministry?
  3. What are some ways in the past you’ve refused to let Jesus speak to you? What are some ways you are not listening to him presently?
  4. Read Matthew 6:20-21. Herod was so committed to his “little kingdom” that he sought to kill Jesus. Are you actively submitting your “little kingdoms” to Jesus? Why or why not?
  5. Read Ephesians 2:12. The Apostle Paul taught that a life without Jesus is a life “without God and without hope.” How have you seen this to be true in your own life or in others’ lives?
  6. Read Matthew 7:21. Explain the difference between “knowing” Jesus is the lord and living under his lordship.
  7. How does trusting Jesus change us?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Topic #10

Discussion Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What do you think most people in your neighborhood hope for out of life?
  3. Do you think most of your neighbors will get what they hope for? Why or why not?
  4. What happens to people when they lose hope?
  5. How is the biblical concept of hope alike and different from the world’s definition?
  6. What are some characteristics of God that give his people hope?
  7. What are some promises of God that we can put our hope in?
  8. How does the Christian hope affect how we face the difficult circumstances of life?
  9. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.