Consumerism conversation questions
Consumerism is the act of buying material things. It is used for things we both need and often don’t. It is a popular modern-day trend that is usually encouraged to bring economic benefit to a society or country.
Like it or not we are all consumers, it is just the amount that differs. These consumerism conversation questions make for an interesting discussion with upper-intermediate level ESL learners and above.
The most difficult terms in this speaking exercise include – packaging, commercial, shortage, product, positive, advertising, storage, jealous, minimalism, upgrade, and status symbol.
The consumerism conversation questions are –
Do you enjoy going shopping? How often do you buy new things?
Do you think that there is too much packaging? Where does all the trash go?
Which holidays are very commercial in your country? What do people usually buy?
If you were going to reduce the amount you consume, what could you buy less of?
Has there ever been a shortage of a product in your country? What was it and why?
Are there any positive things about consumerism? What are they?
Does your country produce most of its own goods or are they imported?
If you could change one thing about consumerism in your country, what would it be?
What is something that you think your country consumes too much of?
In what ways is consumerism bad for the environment? How can you help?
Does advertising affect how much and what you consume? In what ways?
Have you ever gone into debt to buy something? What did you buy?
Do you own a lot of one kind of product? What is it and why have you bought it?
Does your home have cupboards and storage areas that are full? What of?
Have you ever been jealous of someone who bought something you wanted?
What do you think about minimalism (The idea of having less, not more things)?
In what ways do you think that consumerism has changed over the past 50 years?
What was the last thing that you upgraded and bought new? Did you need to?
Who do you think are bigger consumers, men or women? Why do you think so?
Which 3 countries in the world do you think are the biggest consumers?
What was the last thing that you bought that you didn’t really need?
How do you decide if you need to buy something or just want to buy it?
What kinds of things do people often buy as status symbols in your country?
What do you plan on buying next? Do you think that you could live without it?
Interesting consumerism expressions
Here are some consumerism-related expressions that you can introduce and discuss after completing the consumerism conversation questions.
Keeping up with the Joneses is an idiomatic expression that means buying things because other people have them. It is 8usually used in regards to neighbors, what they own, and maintaining social status.
If you pay through the nose, you pay too much for something.
If you tighten your belt, you make an attempt to spend less money in your day-to-day life.
To live beyond your means is to spend more money than you make or have available. It is not sustainable and you will eventually run out of money.