Language Exchange Topics (organized by language level & theme)

400+ Language Exchange Topics (which you'll actually want to use)

Once you’ve figured out how to do a language exchange, language exchange topics are going to be incredibly important.

Why?

Because your once-a-week Skype or Zoom call with the same person is going to get incredibly boring incredibly fast if all you do is talk about what you did last week, how work is going, and languages.

One of the best language exchange tips I’ve ever received is to use a menu of conversation exchange topics. But since I do 2-5 language exchanges every week…. I quickly ran out of a lot of smaller (and unorganized) language exchange topics lists online.

So here is the ultimate language exchange topics list ever put together! Hope you enjoy!

How to use these language exchange topics (START HERE)

Before jumping in, make sure you check out this handy graphic for how to make the most out of this list!

(Also, a huge thanks to my own language exchange partner Ingrid! She was the one who first introduced me to language exchange topics and then helped me create this one. Her creative language blog can be found at SecondHalfTravels.com.)

Before you start your language exchange topics: (1) check in on levels. Scan the list and decide what level you want to work with. (2) Ask about topics. Make sure your language exchange partner is interested in and comfortable with the same topics you are.) As you go: (1) split your language exchange time equally between partners (2) if you have a group of people, make sure everyone has time to respond to every topic (3) try one language exchange topic per chat to make the list last longer

Language Exchange Topics

Language exchange topics about life storiesLife Story

These conversation topics are the most basic, but great for getting to know a new language exchange partner!

A1-A2 Exchange Topics

  • ​How would you describe yourself in three words (adjectives)?
  • Have you ever had a nickname? What was it?
  • What gets worse and worse as you get older? What gets better and better?
  • What do you like most about your personality?
  • What’s the best thing about you?

B1-B2 Exchange Topics

  • What was your silliest fear as a child?
  • How old were you when you moved away from home? Why?
  • Do you think your childhood was better than the average childhood in your country now? Why or why not?
  • How old were you when you learned to cook? What motivated you?
  • Do you have any siblings? How do you think being the youngest, oldest, middle, or only child affected you?
  • How old were you when you got your first job? Why did you get that job?
  • What’s one thing that someone has borrowed from you and never given back? Do you miss it?
  • How old are people when they start school in your country? What do you think about that?
  • How old are people when they get married in your country? What do you think about that?
  • When someone retires in your culture, what does that look like now?
  • What do you think is the most important thing you’ve done so far in your life? Why do you think it’s the most important?
  • What’s the best decision you’ve ever made? Did you almost make a different decision? What do you think would have happened if you hadn’t made it?
  • What’s the best piece of advice you ever got?
  • What’s one thing you are so incredibly terrible at that you gave up doing it completely? Will you ever try it again?
  • What’s one thing you’re incredibly terrible at but you still do anyway?
  • What future thing in your life are you looking forward to?
  • What’s one random compliment that someone gave you that really stuck in your memory?
  • What’s the oldest possession you currently have? Why do you still have it?
  • If your childhood had a smell, what would it smell like?
  • Do you remember any big event or situation that everyone else in your life has forgotten about? What happened, and why do you think you remembered it?

C1-C2 Exchange Topics

  • If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would that be?
  • If you could go back and relive one day of your life but with all of the knowledge you have now, what day would you relive and why?
  • If your life was a movie, what actor or actress would you want to play you and why?
  • If you could be the same age forever, what would that age be and why?
  • What are the biggest or most common misconceptions people have about you? Why?

Language exchange topics about daily schedulesDaily Schedule

This topic might feel a bit small-talk, but the real reasoning for including it was to give beginner language students some interesting ways to use the vocabulary and grammar they’re learning, and force advanced students to brush up on some lesser-used daily routine vocabulary.

A1-A2 Exchange Topics

  • What is a normal day for an adult in your culture?
  • What does your normal day look like?
  • What time do people normally wake up and go to bed?
  • Do you work on weekends? Is it normal for people to work on weekends?
  • Are you an organized person? Why or why not? Do you want to change that?

B1-B2 Exchange Topics

  • What kind of schedule is valued in your society? (Early morning, 9-5, leisure, hard work, etc)
  • Did you wear a uniform when you went to school? Are they common where you’re from?
  • What is a common dress code for an office job where you live?
  • Do you drink caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea in the morning? Why or why not?
  • Is it valued in your culture to wake up early? Do you agree that people who wake up earlier are more productive or harder working?
  • What’s the largest amount of people you’ve had to present in front of at work or school? How did it go?

C1-C2 Exchange Topics

  • If you could pick your ideal daily schedule, what time would you get up or go to bed? How often would you eat?

Family conversation topics for language exchange partnersFamily

While “family” doesn’t always make it on the list of taboo topics to talk about, make sure the other person is interested in these before deciding to spend an entire exchange chat on it. (Adoptees, children who immigrated, and many other people might find certain questions painful, although I tried to be cognisant about that while writing these.)

A1-A2 Exchange Topics

  • Who are you closest within your family?
  • Do you have or want any children? Why or why not?
  • What do you think the ideal family size is?
  • How do last names work in your culture? If someone is married or a child is born, what last names do they have?

B1-B2 Exchange Topics

  • What do you do when you get together with your family?
  • What was the strangest or coolest object in your childhood home? Does it have a story?
  • What is your favorite family tradition? Is it personal or cultural?
  • In your country or culture, how important is family?
  • Does your culture have set gender roles? What do you think about them?
  • In your culture, is it normal for kids to hide things from their parents? What do you think of that?
  • Can you share a good story your parents told you about their lives?
  • Can you share a good story your grandparents or other family members told you about their lives?
  • Can friends be family, or are those two different categories?

C1-C2 Exchange Topics

  • If you could go back and talk to one ancestor, who would it be and why?
  • If you had to change your name, what name would you change it to and why?
  • Would you have been teenage friends with your parents if you all went to high school together and had the same age? Why or why not?

Language exchange questions about jobsJobs

Our weird relationships with jobs and work span cultures. This is a great one for practicing storytelling and polishing your ability to ask good follow-up questions!

A1-A2 Language Exchange Topics

  • What is your job right now? What do you like about it?
  • What do you dislike most about your current job?
  • Do you think you’re good at your job? Why or why not?

B1-B2 Language Exchange Topics

  • What was the first job you ever had?
  • What was the most interesting job you ever had?
  • What was the worst job you ever had?
  • What did you want to be when you were little? Why?
  • Did you get to choose your career path? Why or why not?
  • What are the most valued jobs in your society? Why?
  • What is one important job that is not valued in your society? Why?

C1-C2 Language Exchange Topics

  • If you could have any job in the world, what would it be and why?
  • What would be the worst job for you?
  • If you could try any job for one day, without any training, what job would you want to try?

Language exchange topic questions about educationEducation

The education questions here are a mix of personal and political, and could certainly be split up between two or more language exchanges. So again–ask great follow up questions and really enjoy this one!

A1-A2 Exchange Topics

  • Do you think a university education is important? Why or why not?
  • Do you want to go back to university one day? Why or why not?
  • For how many years do most people go to school in your country?
  • What are the most popular subjects to study in school?
  • What do school students eat for lunch?

B1-B2 Exchange Topics

  • What was your favorite subject in school? Why?
  • What was your least favorite subject in school? Why?
  • Who was your favorite teacher in middle school or high school? Why?
  • What was the most boring class you ever took?
  • What was the most surprising class you ever took?
  • What do you think your country values in their students? (High test scores, critical thinking, practical skills, etc)
  • What is the structure of university in your country? Do you have a credit system, just a focus, etc?
  • What are high schools like in your country? What kind of schools exist at that level?
  • What advice do you have for young people who want to go to university in your country?
  • What do you think is the best way to measure if students are learning? Tests, writing, or something else?
  • Are there divides in who can or cannot attend university in your country?
  • Did you ever read a book in school or university that you really loved? What book?
  • Did you have the option to take arts classes in high school? Why or why not?
  • Do students have homework where you’re from? What is that like?
  • What education did your grandparents receive? Was that common for their generation?
  • Are graduations celebrated in your culture? If not, why not? If so, how do celebrations look like?

C1-C2 Exchange Topics

  • What classes do you wish you would have taken?
  • If you could go to an amazing university for free and be guaranteed any job after graduating, would you go back and study something else? Why or why not/
  • Would you have changed your educational focus if you could?
  • If you could change the unviersity system in your country, what’s the first thing you would change?
  • Would you ever want to be a teacher? What subject? Or why not?

Language exchange topics about languagesLanguage Exchange Topics about… Languages!

Everyone’s favorite topic! These questions were a ton of fun to write, but if you have any other ideas leave them in the comments below so I can take a look and hopefully expand this section.

A1-A2 Exchange Topics

  • What languages do you speak or study?
  • What is your favorite language and why?
  • What languages don’t interest you at all?
  • What do you think about conlanguages? (Esperanto, Klingon, etc)
  • Do you prefer to study multiple languages at lower levels or fewer languages to higher levels? Why?
  • What do you think is the prettiest accent in the world?
  • What do you think the most attractive accent in the world is?
  • What do you think makes a good language teacher?
  • Do you think spelling is important? Why or why not?
  • If schools in your area could only teach a local sign language or an international language, which do you think they should teach and why?

B1-B2 Exchange Topics

  • What languages did you grow up around?
  • What language(s) did your ancestors speak? Do you speak it/them? Why or why not?
  • What languages do you want to learn?
  • What are your favorite words or phrases in one of your languages?
  • What is the hardest part about the language you’re speaking right now?
  • Why did you pick this language to learn or study?
  • What motivates you to keep learning and improving your language?
  • Did you study languages as a child in school? What was that like?
  • What is one stereotype about the language we’re speaking right now? Do you agree with it?
  • What is your all-time favorite language learning tool or resource?
  • What do you do when you’re not motivated to study at all?
  • How important do you think accents are?
  • Can you share the first moment where you felt like you were making progress with your target language?
  • Do you identify with the words monolingual, bilingual, multilingual, or polyglot? Why or why not?
  • What’s the most important piece of advice you have for anyone who wants to learn a new language?
  • Do you think everyone speaking the same second language (English or French for example) is a good thing for communication or a bad thing for linguistic diversity?

C1-C2 Exchange Topics

  • Do you wish you had done anything differently during your language learning journey?
  • If you could suddenly be instantly fluent in one language, what one language would that be?
  • What languages do you wish you spoke?
  • Do you think that language learning is really accessible to everyone? Why or why not?

Home life language exchange questionsHome Life

Our relationships with the people we live with and where we live are not only unique culture-to-culture but person-to-person. This is great for practicing or revisiting beginner vocab, especially if you go into a lot of detail about specific objects and how they’re used.

A1-A2 Exchange Topics

  • Do you prefer the city or country, and why?
  • Who do you live with? What is the hardest part of that arrangement?
  • Do you have any pets? Why or why not?
  • What are popular pets in your area?
  • What are popular pet names in your country or region?
  • What architecture is popular in your region or city? What does it look like?
  • What do homes look like in your region? Size, bedrooms, etc?
  • How many people normally live together in your culture?
  • Do you like to clean? Why or why not?

B1-B2 Exchange Topics

  • Have you moved around a lot? Why or why not?
  • Where did you grow up? What was it like?
  • How has your city or town changed over the past 20 years?
  • Is gentrification a problem where you live? What’s your relationship to it?
  • If you have pets, how did you pick their names? If not, what is your favorite pet name?
  • Did you have any pets growing up? Why or why not?
  • What do kitchens in your region normally have?
  • What do bathrooms in your region normally look like?
  • In your community, where do elderly people live? What do you think about that?
  • Do many people own their homes in your town or city? Why or why not?
  • Is the interior design of your house important to you? Why or why not?

C1-C2 Exchange Topics

  • If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
  • What would your dream apartment or house look like?
  • If you could safely live with any animal of any species, what would that animal be?

Language exchange questions about cultural politenessPoliteness

This section was absolutely inspired by all of the faux pas and groseros that have tripped me up before with friends from other countries. Again–if you have any other ideas for what else could go in this section, please leave the questions in the comments for consideration to be added!

A1-A2 Language Exchange Topics

  • What are polite topics of conversations with strangers in your culture?
  • When you are paying for food at a grocery store, is it polite to talk with the cashier or not? Why do you think that is? What do you think about that?
  • In your culture, do the colors black, white, red, green, blue, pink, green, yellow, or purple represent anything important?

B1-B2 Language Exchange Topics

  • Can you give a good example of how someone in your country should act with a waiter or taxi driver? What should tourists do or avoid in order to be polite?
  • What is one thing that everyone in your culture really cares about that you don’t care about at all? (Ex: personal space, beauty, social obligations, politics, etc)
  • What is one very rude thing that foreigners sometimes do when visiting your country?
  • Who do you give tips to in your country? How much? Why or why not?
  • Is it appropriate to touch friends or people you are talking to in your country? Can you explain when or why?
  • Can you show some examples of non-verbal body language from your culture?
  • What topics should be avoided when speaking with people you don’t know in your culture?
  • What’s a rude question that someone from another country might ask you? How do you respond?
  • When making plans in a group, should a person wait to be invited or invite themselves?
  • Do you think people say things very directly in your culture, or very indirectly? (“That shirt doesn’t look good” vs “I think another shirt might be better”.) Do you think this is important?

C1-C2 Language Exchange Topics

  • What’s one thing you wish you knew about language learning before you started?
  • If you had a time machine but could only use it once, what is the one dormant language you would go back to learn?

Language exchange theme topics about friends and datingFriends and Dating

Who do we know outside of our families? And how important are those people to us?

A1-A2 Exchange Topics

  • When you go out with friends, what do you like to do?
  • What personality traits are most important in a new friend? What about in a romantic partner?
  • Is it normal in your country to have friends and relationships from different religions or politics? Why or why not?
  • How do you greet strangers in your culture? How do you greet friends?
  • How important is community in your culture?
  • What qualities do you value in a friend?
  • In your group of friends, what social roll do you play?

B1-B2 Exchange Topics

  • Who was your first celebrity, movie, or TV crush?
  • Can you give anyone advice on flirting with someone in your culture?
  • What is dating like in your culture?
  • If someone moves to your country or city, how should they find new friends?
  • What was the best date you ever went on?
  • What was the worst date you ever went on?
  • What kind of casual parties do you have in your country? (Dinners, birthdays, etc.) What do they look like?
  • What do weddings look like in your culture?
  • What was the best party you ever went to?
  • How should people dress when they go to weddings in your country?
  • How should people dress when they go to a friend’s house for a casual evening?
  • Who is your longest friendship with? Have you both changed, or not?

C1-C2 Exchange Topics

  • Is there anyone who’s no longer in your life who you wish you could reconnect with? Why?
  • Is there anyone who you wish you had met earlier in life? Or had never met ever?

Food questions for language exchange partnersFood

Food vocabulary is often taught at lower language levels. But do you know how to name herbs, explain cooking instructions, or critique a dish? Hopefully you can get really expansive with these questions and your answers!

A1-A2 Language Exchange Questions

  • What’s your favorite dish?
  • What’s your favorite cuisine?
  • What is one important cultural dish that everyone should try when visiting your region or city?
  • What food is popular where you live?
  • Does someone in your family have a special dish that they always cook? What is it?
  • What is the worst food from your culture?
  • What food do you eat the most? Why?
  • What do people in your culture normally think about “foreign” cuisine? Are any foreign foods really popular? (Americans eating at Mexican restaurants; Germans eating different Turkish dishes.)

B1-B2 Language Exchange Questions

  • What was the most interesting restaurant you’ve ever been to?
  • What was your favorite food when you were a small child? How do you feel about that now?
  • What was the most interesting food you’ve ever eaten?
  • What’s the spiciest food you’ve ever eaten? How did it go?
  • What food do you really want to try that you haven’t yet?
  • What was the one meal your parents made that you hated growing up?
  • Are you a vegetarian or vegan? Why or why not?
  • When you go out with a group of people to eat, who pays? How is it decided?
  • Do you think you’re a good cook?
  • If you eat out at a restaurant and the food is terrible, what do you do?
  • Does your culture have any special beverage that you think everyone should try if they visit?
  • What is the most common beverage in your culture? Tea, coffee, or something else? Do you like it? Why or why not?

C1-C2 Language Exchange Questions

  • If you were a fruit or vegetable, what fruit or vegetable would you be?
  • If caffeine became illegal, what would you do? What lengths would you resort to in order to continue to use it?
  • If you could only ever eat one food for the rest of your life, what would that food be?
Language exchange topics about religion and politics

Language exchange topics about religion and politics

Religion and Politics

I tried to make these questions less about the individual and more about society as a whole. But if either you or your partner isn’t excited about these, you can skip this section of topics.

A1-A2 Exchange Topics

  • How is your town or city run? (Mayor, council, village meeting, etc)
  • How do people dress when going to a religious service?
  • Do you vote? How and where do you vote?
  • What are the language laws like where you live? What is taught, spoken in government, or used in businesses? Are any languages illegal, or are their language protection laws?

B1-B2 Exchange Topics

  • What religion is most common where you live?
  • Is religion viewed as important to daily life where you live?
  • What is the relationship between religion and the government where you live?
  • Is there any big problems in your local community or city right now? What are they?
  • What do you think the biggest problem for all of humanity is right now?
  • What do you think the most harmful law in your country is right now? Why?
  • What’s one thing that is currently legal where you live, but you don’t think will be in 20 years?
  • What has been the biggest political change in your lifetime been?
  • You wake up one morning as Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world who makes about 8,961,187 USD per hour and has 196 billion (a million million) dollars. You have 24hrs to do anything you want without it being reversible by Jeff the next day, but you can’t let it get traced to you. What do you do?

C1-C2 Exchange Topics

  • If you could change one law in your country, what would it be and why?
  • If you could make one international law that every country had to comply with, what would it be and why?

Holiday questions for online language exchangesHolidays

Time for some nostalgia! Have fun explaining these to someone who’s maybe never heard of them before.

A1-A2 Exchange Topics

  • What is your favorite holiday? Why?
  • What is your least favorite holiday? Why?
  • What holiday is most important in your culture? Why?
  • What are birthday celebrations like in your culture?
  • Is there one celebration that’s local to where you’re from, that no one else celebrates?
  • What kind of festivals exist in your culture? Are they for any holiday, season, or occasion?
  • When someone goes party in your city, what’s the 1 song everyone will know the words to?
  • Do you prefer to get gifts or give gifts? Why?

B1-B2 Exchange Topics

  • What kind of bank holidays / federal holidays do you have in your country? Do you think they’re important?
  • Is there any holiday that you celebrate where you give gifts? What is the gift-giving like? (If not, why not?)
  • What’s the best gift you’ve ever gotten?
  • What’s the worst gift you ever gotten?
  • What do you do with gifts you don’t want? Why?
  • Does your culture have any unpopular or controversial holidays? What are they, and why?
  • Is there any special food that you love, but that is only eaten for one certain holiday or celebration?
  • If you go over to someone’s house for dinner, should you bring something with you? How do you decide what to bring?
  • What are some common wedding gifts for adults?
  • What kind of gifts do you get someone for their birthday? How should you pick one out?
  • What would an example of a really bad gift be?

C1-C2 Exchange Topics

  • If you could start your own holiday, what would it be?

questions for online language exchanges about myths and the paranormalMyths and Paranormal

Dig into some really culturally-relevant vocabulary and C-level grammar. Unfortunately I couldn’t think of any interesting A-level exchange topics here, but if you’re excited to talk about this hopefully you can use it as inspiration to improve the language you’re learning!

B1-B2 Exchange Topics

  • Do you have a good luck charm? What is it, and why? Or why not?
  • What’s one conspiracy theory that you actually believe in or think could be true?
  • Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?
  • Do you believe in aliens? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever seen something supernatural? (Bigfoot, an angel, a UFO, etc?)
  • Do you think time travel will be possible one day? Why or why not?
  • Does your culture believe in witches? What are the historic and current opinions?

C1-C2 Exchange Topics

  • Does your culture have any mythical creatures? (Fairies, dragons, Big Foot, Moth Man, etc?)
  • You encounter the exact opposite version of yourself. What would they be like?
  • If you could level up your life in a video game, what ability would you level up next? (Health, intellegence, speed, strength, etc.)
  • Time has stopped for everyone in the world but you for 24hrs. What would you do?
  • If you could perfectly communicate with all animals, what would you do with that power?
  • If you could trade one year of your life for a million dollars, how many years of your life would you trade?
  • You drink a magic potion that makes you never have to sleep again. What would you do with the extra time every night?
  • Do you have a myth or folktale you really like? Can you tell it?
  • If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
  • What would the worst superpower be, and why?
  • If aliens exist, what do you think they look like?

Language exchange questions about pastimes and hobbiesPastimes and Hobbies

With the workday getting longer and longer, do people still have hobbies? (This section is also a bit sports-centric, but you can find more arts questions in additional categories below.)

A1-A2 Language Exchange Questions

  • What do people do outside on a nice day?
  • What do people do when the weather is bad outside?
  • Do you like to read? Why or why not?
  • When you watch TV, you prefer movies or series? Why?
  • What are some popular sports in your culture or region?
  • Do you prefer to watch or play sports? Or neither? Why?
  • What popular games do small children play in your culture?
  • Are there any seasonal activities that are popular in your region during one specific time of year?

B1-B2 Language Exchange Questions

  • Did your parents’ generation have any hobbies that your generation doesn’t have?
  • What was the first hobby or interest you remember as a child?
  • What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
  • Do you play board games? If so, what’s your favorite? If not, why not?
  • Have you ever collected anything?
  • If you had to go onto a reality TV show for one season, what TV show would you pick and why?
  • Do you care about any sports team rivalries? Or are there any in your local area?
  • What do children do during school breaks in your region? Do you have any good memories?
  • What sports were popular in your high school?
  • Do you think learning languages is a fun hobby or a chore you have to do so you can speak it?
  • What do you think about the Olympics? Do you watch them?
  • Do you know how to swim? If not, why not? If you do, when did you learn?
  • If time and money weren’t an issue, what’s one hobby you would pick up that you can’t right now?
  • What do you think about “hustle culture”, ie: only having hobbies if you can make money off of them?

C1-C2 Language Exchange Questions

  • If you could suddenly be amazing at one sport, what sport would you pick and why?
  • If you could meet one sports icon, who would you pick and why?
  • If you could cheat at a board game to guarantee that you won and not get caught, would you cheat? Why or why not?

Language exchange questions about health and healthcareHealth and Healthcare

Not only is health personal, but it’s also political. Remember not to ask questions that are too direct about someone else’s health unless they volunteer that information.

A1-A2 Language Exchange Topics

  • How does someone find a doctor in your country? How do they make an appointment?
  • What do you think of the use of things like magnets or crystals in healing?
  • When someone goes to the doctor, who pays?
  • Do you do anything in your daily routine to stay healthy? What and why, or why not?
  • What is your routine right before going to bed?

B1-B2 Language Exchange Topics

  • What kind of training to doctors need in your country? Who pays for that training?
  • What do you think about the use of antibiotics in your society?
  • What is your country’s policies towards marijuana use? What do you think about that?
  • How do you see the future of healthcare in your country?
  • What are some of the problems in healthcare in your country?
  • What do you think about alcohol? Do you drink?

C1-C2 Language Exchange Topics

  • If you could change one thing about your country’s healthcare system, what’s the one rule you would make?
  • If you could change your country’s laws about drugs, what would you change and why? Or why wouldn’t you change it?

Questions for online language classes about climate, geography, and urban lifeClimate, Geography, and Urban Life

Language learning often focuses on cultures. But what about that places we live? What do they look like, and how do we survive them?

A1-A2 Exchange Topics

  • Is there anything outdoors for tourists to do if they visit your region?
  • What is the biggest city near you? What are the buildings or architecture like?
  • What kind of transportation is the most and least popular where you live?
  • What are your favorite and least favorite modes of transport?
  • What are your favorite and least favorite seasons, and why?
  • During the coldest days where you live, what’s the best activity to do?
  • During the hottest days where you live, what’s the best activity to do?

B1-B2 Exchange Topics

  • What is the terrain like where you live? (Deserts, plains, forests, mountains, etc)
  • What sort of bad weather do you have? (Blizzards, thunderstorms, monsoons, tornados, etc)
  • If you could rename the street you live on, what would you rename it and why?
  • Is your region known for anything important?
  • What is your favorite climate type to visit? Why? (Desert, tropical, subarctic, etc.)
  • Is there any natural phenomenon you haven’t seen yet but want to? (Snow, aurora borealis, the ocean, the rain forest, mountains, the arctic, etc)
  • What was the worst disaster that’s affected your region in your lifetime? What do you remember?
  • What are popular attitudes towards plastic bags or cups in your region?
  • What is the garbage or recycling system like where you live? What do you think about it?
  • If you could design your ideal city, what would it look like? (Describe housing, transportation, green spaces, shopping, industry, and anything else)
  • At what age do you think children should be taught about climate change, and why?
  • What is the coldest you’ve ever been? Where were you, and what was happening?
  • If a micronation is badly affected by climate change, do you think larger governments who have contributed to climate change (the US, China, the EU) have any responsibility towards that smaller country? If so, what should they do? If not, why not?

C1-C2 Exchange Topics

  • What are some urban planning problems in your city or region? What are the causes and solutions?
  • Has the climate in your area changed in the past 10 years? If so, how?
  • What do you think is the scariest part about climate change?
  • If you could implement only one law to stop climate change, what would that law be and why?

Language exchange topics about travel and tourismTravel and Tourism

My goal with these questions was to make them as inclusive as possible. Remember to not assume your language partner’s passport has the same accessibility as yours, or that they’ve traveled as widely as you have.

A1-A2 Exchange Topics

  • What places would you recommend tourists visit in your city?
  • What places would you recommend tourists visit in your country?
  • What is your favorite place you have visited?
  • Are there any places in the world that are important to your family? (A town your grandparents grew up in, a favorite beach, a cemetery or church, etc)
  • What do you think the most enjoyable mode of transportation is? Why?
  • What’s one country you can name, but besides the name know almost nothing about? (Can anyone else in the group teach you something about it?)

B1-B2 Exchange Topics

  • How is travel viewed in your culture? Why do you think that is?
  • When you go somewhere new, do you prefer cities or the country?
  • Do you go to museums? Why or why not?
  • What was the most lost you’ve ever been? What happened, and how did you find your way back?
  • What do you think about AirBNB, which converts apartment buildings into hotels and lodging? Has it affected any city or place in your life?
  • What do you think about the phrase “open borders”? What does it mean to you, and how do you feel about it?
  • Describe your first memorable encounter with another culture.

C1-C2 Exchange Topics

  • If you could visit one planet, what planet would you visit?

Language exchange questions about fashion and styleFashion and Style

This category of language exchange topics isn’t just for fashionistas! Plenty of nostalgia, politics, and culturally-interesting questions for anyone to enjoy.

A1-A2 Conversation Exchange Topics

  • What do you normally wear every day?
  • What is your favorite thing in your closet?
  • How do you like to wear your hair or facial hair? Why?
  • Do you think shopping is fun or a chore?
  • What celebrity has the worst fan base?

B1-B2 Conversation Exchange Topics

  • Do you check labels for ethical stickers? (Cruelty-free, Made in America, etc) Why or why not?
  • Do you have a certain style?
  • What’s one trend that’s popular now but will be the most embarrassing thing in 5 years?
  • Do you think it’s fair for employers to mandate uniforms if their employees have to pay for them? Why or why to?
  • What’s the worst fashion trend you’ve seen in your lifetime?
  • What is one fashion trend from history or your lifetime you wish would come back?
  • What is the one piece in your closet you almost never wear (or have never worn)? Why?
  • What do you think about makeup?
  • What’s the best pair of shoes you ever owned? What made them “the best”?
  • When you were in high school, what was the coolest accessory anyone could have?
  • Can you name one traditional piece of clothing from you culture? How do you feel about it?
  • Have you ever had a horrible hair cut? What did it look like?
  • What do people think about shaving in your culture?
  • What is a popular place to get clothing in your area? What’s it like? What do they sell?
  • Are there any fashion brands or designers you really like? What is their clothing like?

C1-C2 Conversation Exchange Topics

  • If you had to wear the same outfit every day, what outfit would that be?
  • If you had endless money just for buying clothing, accessories, or grooming products, how would you dress?
  • What do you think about animal testing? Why is it necessary, or what are some alternatives?
  • Do you own products made from leather, wool, or other animal parts? Why or why not?
  • If you could change your hair for one day, and after that, it would go back to normal, what hairstyle would you have?

Online language exchange conversation ideas about art and musicArt and Music

Do you use music in your language learning routine? Do you know the history of the language you’re studying? You don’t have to be a professional artist to enjoy these questions!

A1-A2 Language Exchange Topics

  • Do you have any art in your house? If so, talk about your favorite piece. If not, why not?
  • What’s your favorite music genre?
  • What genre of music do you hate and why?
  • What do you think of modern art and why? (Examples: Jackson Pollack, Juan Mirro)
  • What are some artists who make music in your language that you want to recommend to your exchange partner?

B1-B2 Language Exchange Topics

  • Did you ever play any instruments growing up?
  • Have you ever met or seen a celebrity? What was your reaction like?
  • Have your music tastes changed since high school? How? Why or why not?
  • What album have you listened to the most times? Why that one?
  • Have you ever done karaoke?
  • What are the 5 most popular songs at a wedding in your culture?
  • What is your favorite style of art and why?
  • What musician made the biggest impact on your life?
  • Who was the most popular band when you were in high school, and how did you feel about them?
  • What is one song that your parents played that makes you think of them? Can you talk about it a bit?
  • Do you like to make visual art? If so, what do you like about it? If not, when did you stop liking it?
  • Who do you think the most important visual artist (painter, sculpture, architect, designer, etc) is of all times? Why?
  • Do you think fashion is art? Why or why not? Or under what circumstances?
  • What do you think about elaborate nail art? (Google it if you need any pictures.)

C1-C2 Language Exchange Topics

  • If you could master one musical instrument, what would you pick and why?
  • If you could choose one famous painting to hang in your house, what would you pick?
  • If you could meet one musician, who would you meet and why?
  • If you could only listen to one album the rest of your life, what would that album be?
  • If your life was a painting, what would the title be?
  • If your life was a music album, what would the title be?

Online language exchange conversation ideas about books and literatureBooks and Literature

This is another great list of topics to help you give and receive awesome recommendations, as well as deepen your understanding of other cultures.

A1-A2 Exchange Topics

  • Do you like to read? Why or why not?
  • What’s your favorite book genre?
  • Do you prefer paper, digitial, or audiobooks when reading in another language? Why?
  • Do you like poetry? Do you read it often?
  • What is your favorite poem and why? If you don’t have one, what about your favorite song lyrics?
  • Do you think song lyrics can be poetry? Under what conditions?

B1-B2 Exchange Topics

  • Who’s the most important writer to come from your region, culture, or country? Why?
  • What book protagonist do you have the most in common with and why?
  • What is the one book in your language you think everyone should read?
  • What is the most read book from your culture or country by students?
  • What was the last book you read, and do you recommend it?
  • What was your favorite book as a child? Why?
  • What was the first book you ever remember reading or having read to you?
  • Have you ever written a book, or wanted to write one?

C1-C2 Exchange Topics

  • If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would that book be?
  • If you could meet one writer, who would it be and why?
  • If you could go to any book universe (Hogwarts, Hunger Games, the Shire etc) which would you go to and why?
  • If you could have lunch with any character from any book, who would it be and why?

Online language exchange topic questions about movies and showsMovies and Shows

This is probably going to be the most beloved part of this list. Remember: don’t spoil a new show for your partner if they haven’t seen it!

A1-A2 Conversation Exchange Topics

  • What is your all-time favorite series?
  • What’s one movie you think is overrated?
  • What’s one TV show you think is overrated?
  • What is one movie from your culture or language that you think everyone should see?

B1-B2 Conversation Exchange Topics

  • Did you have any film or TV crushes as a kid? Do you remember your first?
  • What’s the most recent movie or show that you saw? Would you recommend it?
  • What movie have you watched the most times in your life?
  • What was your favorite show or movie as a child? Why?
  • Do you feel represented in mainstream movies or shows? Why or why not?
  • What’s the worst cliché in movies or TVs that you hate?
  • What is your favorite movie or show that you’ve seen in the language we’re speaking right now?
  • What country do you think makes the best movies and TV? Why?
  • Do you prefer subtitles or dubs? When do you use them?
  • Would you rather never watch a movie or series again, or never read a book again? Why?

C1-C2 Conversation Exchange Topics

  • If you could have dinner with one character from any TV show or movie, who would it be and why?

Language exchange partner questions about plants and animalsPlants and Animals

Language learners tend to love people, but what about all of the other species we coexist with?

A1-A2 Exchange Topics

  • Does your home have a garden, terrace, or yard? What does it look like, or why not?
  • Do you keep any plants in your house? Why or why not?
  • What are the world’s cutest and ugliest animals in your opinion?

B1-B2 Exchange Topics

  • What kind of plants or gardens are popular where you live? Can you describe them?
  • What animals are you afraid of?
  • What kinds of animals can you find in your region that are unique to where you live?
  • Are there any plants that are significant to your culture or region? What are they and why?
  • How does your culture view eating animals? Do you agree with that?
  • Have you ever grown your own food? Is it common where you live?

C1-C2 Exchange Topics

  • If you were a flower, what flower would you be? Why?
  • If you were an animal, what animal would you be? Why?

Online language exchange topics about tech and the internetTechnology and the Internet

Since you’re reading this online, you almost certainly have some opinions about cyber space…

A1-A2 Language Exchange Topics

  • What piece of technology are you the most reliant on, and why?
  • What is your favorite app?
  • Do you think Wikipedia is a reliable source? Why or why not?
  • Do you follow any bloggers or vloggers? Why or why not? If so, who?
  • Video game championships are now the most-watched sporting events on the planet. Do you consider them sports?
  • What is the most overrated tech product on the market? Why do you think it exists?

B1-B2 Language Exchange Topics

  • What is your first memory of the internet?
  • What was the first social media platform you used? Do you still use it?
  • Do you fear automation in your industry? Why or why not?
  • If you could add one rule that everyone must follow when they use the internet, what rule would that be?
  • Could you turn off your phone for 24hrs without anxiety? What do you think about that?
  • What’s the most annoying thing about smartphones?
  • Do you think social media has been a good or bad thing for politics? Why?
  • Do you think your relationship with your phone is healthy? Why or why not?
  • Can people you know from the internet be real friends, or are online friendships not real friendships?
  • Have you ever met someone from the internet in real life? What was that like?
  • Have you ever tried online dating? Why or why not?
  • Do you think the Internet should be a human right? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever had a blog or vlog? If so, what about? If not, would you want to one day?
  • What would an artificial intelligence robot have to do or have in order to be considered a legal person with rights? Or is that impossible?

C1-C2 Language Exchange Topics

  • If you were in charge of Facebook, what’s the one policy you would change?
  • If you were in a foreign city and your phone stopped working, how would you get back home?

Online language exchange topics about self-care and growthSelf-care and Growth

To close off this list, let’s look to our future with some optimism.

A1-A2 Exchange Topics

  • What do you do every day that makes you really happy?
  • Name something nice that happened to you today.
  • Do you look up to anyone? Who and why? Or why not?

B1-B2 Exchange Topics

  • What are you most proud of in your life?
  • What should be put inside a mental-health first aid kit?
  • In your culture, is it polite to talk about your victories or pride? How can you do it politely?
  • Are you good at accepting compliments?
  • What’s one bad habit you have?
  • How should success be measured? Is that how you currently measure your own success?
  • What are you looking forward to most in the future?
  • If money were no issue, how would you spend your time?
  • Where do you see yourself in a year?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • In what areas of your life do you have the highest hopes in the future? In what areas in your life do you have the lowest hopes for in the future?

C1-C2 Exchange Topics

  • If you had an extra free hour every day, what would you do?

Pinterest tag photo for 400+ topics for language exchanges

Bonus: how to do a language exchange tips

Honestly, this list is going to change how you do language exchanges. But on top of using this menu, here are the biggest lessons I’ve taken away after two years of awesome (and terrible) language exchanges.

  1. Ask a lot of people, but make sure you screen them. Many people you ask simply won’t reply, won’t have schedules that line up, or won’t have things in common with you. After that, plenty of people will drop off or just not be a great fit. So ask plenty of people, but make sure you want to talk about the same language exchange topics and have schedules that work well together.
  2. Don’t put up with a bad conversation exchange partner. Is someone flaking on dates or always coming late? Has someone made uncomfortable comments? Or do you just have nothing in common, and spending time together is like pulling teeth?? If you don’t love your language exchange partner, you don’t have to stay with them. Another reason why asking a lot of people is a great idea!
  3. Spend each lesson 50/50 between your languages. Doing Day 1 in Language 1 and Day 2 in Language 2 can be extremely frustrating if schedules changes or someone doesn’t show up. At the halfway point of your language exchange, just put on your biggest smile and announce that it’s time to switch into the other language. It might seem awkward at first, but it’ll feel normal really soon! (And it’s much, much better this way anyway.)
  4. Don’t forget about non-native speakers. Most people want to trade conversation in their native language for a conversation with a native speaker of their target language. But advanced students of a language might have more linguistic understanding of that language than a native–and making friends who are studying the same language as you at the same level can mean more time speaking that language. So don’t discount fellow learners!
  5. Communicate about corrections. I love to receive written corrections if one of my partners notices a mistake or knows the word I’m looking for. Do you prefer to just try your best without corrections? Or ONLY work with people who will give you notes? Or are afraid to get your self-esteem destroyed? If this is important to you, make sure you communicate!
  6. Ask awesome follow up questions. “Why is that?” “How did that feel?” If someone seems shy to really elaborate on any of these questions, asking them questions is a great way to make your conversation go deeper and longer.
  7. Consider a language exchange book club or film club. Another way to make your language exchanges more interesting is by using an extension to watch Netflix together in your target languages, or reading the same book together and coming together to discuss. I’ve done both, but you really need a reliable buddy–so make sure you find someone just as committed as you! (This also works best with someone who’s studying the same language as you when you’re both at B2-C2 levels.)

Do you have any questions or language exchange topics you think should go on this list? Let me know in the comments so I can consider adding them and making this list truly inexhaustible!

Build a language learning habit: (1) share this list with tutors, teachers, and language exchange partners (2) bookmark it yourself on Pinterest or in your browser bar

 

Multilingual Marissa

I'm Marissa, and not only did I fail out of high school Spanish, but I also managed to forget my native language (Polish) in the process. After 10 years of establishing my career in the arts I decided to give language learning one last chance, and many years (and languages) later, I now help others online learn or relearn languages. I now speak English, Spanish, French, Catalan, Portuguese and am relearning Polish, my heritage language. I've also studied Italian, German, and other languages to low- or intermediate-levels for fun. If you want to relearn a language, I'd love to help!

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