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English Conversation – Conflict

Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 02:09 PM
posted by Jo

This is the preparation material for an English conversation lesson about conflict.  The word conflict means ‘to come together for a battle’. A conflict is a struggle between people. The struggle may be physical or verbal. Conflicts can either be within one person, or they can involve several people or groups or even whole countries. Conflicts arise because there are needs, values or ideas that are seen to be different and there is difficulty finding a solution to the dispute. 


Download audio discussion about conflict

Download transcript of audio discussion

* Audio courtesy of elllo.org

  • Do you understand what Jeannie means by ‘mouthing off’?
  • Do you think Jeannie had a good or bad reaction when people wanted to fight her?
  • Do you agree with Jeannie that a lot of conflicts are due to people wanting to maintain a certain image? 


Nouns Adjectives Verbs

Point of view




Mutual agreement























  • It’s like talking to a brick wall – I tried to explain why I was upset but it was like talking to a brick wall!
  • I’ve dug myself into a hole – I want to resolve this problem but I have dug myself into a hole now and I don’t know how to get out of it.
  • I put my foot in it – I really put my foot in it today when I asked if Lucy was pregnant and now she is very upset with me.
  • Easier said than done – I know that I need to resolve things with Bill but it is easier said than done. 

Phrasal Verbs 

  • Calm Down – Before you quit your job I think you should try to calm down.
  • Sort out – If you don’t sort out your differences, it will create a negative environment in the office.
  • Deal with – You had better deal with that situation as quickly as possible.
  • Take out on – I know John is upset about losing his job but he shouldn’t take it out on me!  

Conversation Questions 

  • What do you think are the main causes of conflicts between people?
  • What kinds of conflicts can people have with themselves?
  • What do you think causes conflicts between countries?
  • Are you good at handling conflicts?
  • What strategy to you use to deal with conflicts?
  • Is it inevitable to have to deal with conflicts in our lives?
  • Is conflict always negative?
  • What are the best ways to resolve conflicts?
  • What are the worst ways to approach conflicts?
  • Is there always a winner and a loser in a conflict?
  • Have you ever had a conflict with a colleague?
  • How did you deal with it?
  • Can conflicts at work place affect the efficiency of one's work?
  • Have you ever had a major conflict with a friend or family member?
  • How can conflicts in the family be solved?
  • Do you think it is good to try to avoid conflicts?
  • What kind of conflicts appear at school?
  • What can be done to solve those conflicts?
  • What kinds of conflicts could happen between neighbours? How can they be avoided?
  • Should a conflict be solved straightaway or when we calm down?
  • What conflicts are going on around the world?
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