Immigration conversation questions

From Teflpedia
You are free to use this material in class. For general advice on using conversation topics, see our ESL conversation questions article. For our complete list of topics click here. For more help on editing teflpedia click here. To add new questions to this page:
  1. Click the Edit tab above
  2. Type your question into the appropriate section preceded by an asterisk (*)
  3. Click the Save changes button at bottom of that Edit page

This is a potentially controversial subject in some societies, and consequently some teachers may want to carefully consider if they wish to use all of these questions.

The history of mankind is based on migrations and whole nations such as the United States of America, Canada, Australia, to name a few, are based on huge numbers of immigrants. On the other hand, the modern economies of some developed countries depend on immigrant workers to sustain their standards of living.

People may decide to leave their home country for financial reasons such as the desire to improve the opportunities for oneself or one's family; or they may be forced to for reasons of religious or political persecution, war, famine or drought.

Immigration[edit]

  • What is immigration?
  • What is the difference of immigration from emigration?
  • What do you think are the main reasons for immigration?
  • Is foreign immigration an issue in your country/region/city? If so, why?
  • Do you feel there should be any controls on immigration? If so, what controls and how should they be implemented?
  • Have you heard about Ellis Island? What was its function?
  • When was the last great migratory movement within your country?
  • Do you know any immigrants? What are they like?
  • What kind of jobs do they do?
  • Should economic migrants be treated differently from those who have moved for political reasons?

Rights[edit]

  • When an immigrant arrives in a new country should they have the same access to healthcare and other rights as an existing citizen? Why, or why not?
  • Should economic migrants be treated differently from those who have moved for political reasons? In what way should they be treated differently?
  • What rights to vote should immigrants have in a new country?
  • What should be the standard for giving citizenship to migrants?
  • Do you know what the existing standards are?
  • If an individual has entered a country illegally, what should be done with that individual?
  • What responsibility, if any, do you think an immigrant's home country has for repatriating the individual?
  • The experts say that the European Union needs to absorb three million migrants a year to maintain its economic sustainability. So why do you think that politicians, especially before elections, try to equate immigration with delinquency, with causing high unemployment figures, with collapsing the social welfare system, the education system, etc.?
  • The EU needs these immigrants because it has a static or declining natural population. It would prefer to attract qualified doctors, engineers etc from developing countries to fill its own needs. What do you think of the morality of rich countries attracting these trained professionals from developing countries?
  • Is your English teacher an immigrant?

Closer to home[edit]

  • At some level everybody comes from somewhere else. When did your family move into their current area?
  • Have you or anyone in your family recently emigrated?
  • If your country has many immigrant workers, what would the impact on industry, agriculture etc if they were all to leave?
  • If your country has many emigrants working abroad what would be the effect of them all coming home?
  • In many countries with relatively high numbers of immigrants, there is a tendency to reject them. What do you think are the reasons for this?
  • Do you know of anyone who has suffered any kind of discrimination because they come from another country?
  • It is sometimes suggested that there is a link between immigration and crime. What is your opinion?
  • The experts say that the European Union needs to absorb three million migrants a year to maintain its economic sustainability. So why do you think that politicians, especially before elections, try to equate immigration with delinquency, with causing high unemployment figures, with collapsing the social welfare system, the education system, etc.?
  • The EU needs these immigrants because it has a static or declining natural population. It would prefer to attract qualified doctors, engineers etc from developing countries to fill its own needs. What do you think of the morality of rich countries attracting these trained professionals from developing countries?
  • Is your English teacher an immigrant?

Assimilation[edit]

  • Do immigrants have a duty to assimilate themselves into the local culture, or should they do their best to retain their own identities? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the two strategies?
  • Should immigrants have a legal obligation to learn the local language? Why, or why not?
  • Should immigrants have the right to have their children educated in their native language? What are the arguments for and against?
  • In an effort to help immigrants settle down should legal papers be written in the immigrants' home language? Why or why not?

See also[edit]