Shyness is Nice — a Talking Points lesson for English reading and speaking

This is a lesson for any English speaking class. Feel free to use it in your ESL conversation classes or it could easily be used for an IELTS speaking class too.

The topic of the lesson is all about shyness.

This lesson takes the form of a quiz which should be fun and engaging for the students.

Please let me know how it goes in the comments below!


Are you a shy person? Why/why not?

In your country are the people naturally shy? Or not? Why is this so?


Are You Shy? Take the Test!


  1. The teacher asks a question in class. Do you think:
    1. Choose me! I want to talk. Me, me, me!
    2. Oh, I really hope he doesn’t look at me.
    3. I don’t really have anything to say.
  1. You are at a party. Do you:
    1. Stand close to the wall and hope that no one looks at you?
    2. Walk around the room and strike up a conversation with everyone and anyone?
    3. See one person you know and only talk to them?
  1. There is a group discussion in class. Do you:
    1. Immediately take charge and select which people to be in your group?
    2. Stay seated and hope that someone asks you to join in your group?
    3. Find two or three people sat near you and join their group?
  1. You are in a coffee shop and a student you vaguely know comes in. Do you:
    1. Shrink down in your chair and hide behind your book?
    2. Immediately stand up and call out to the student?
    3. Wait until a suitable moment and grab their attention?
  1. It is your first day in a brand new job. Do you:
    1. Sit at your desk and stare at the computer all day?
    2. Go round the office and introduce yourself?
    3. Strike up a conversation with the person sat opposite to you?
  1. In class you find you can’t finish an English exercise. Do you:
    1. Raise your hand and call out to the teacher?
    2. Wait until the end of class and ask the teacher?
    3. Raise your hand and wait for the teacher to notice you?
  1. You are at a karaoke. Do you:
    1. Grab the mic and wait for the next song to come on?
    2. Keep quiet and hope no one asks you to sing?
    3. Enjoy watching other people sing then sing later?
  1. Someone tells a very funny joke. Do you:
    1. Raise your hand to cover your mouth and hold your laugh in?
    2. Tilt your head back, close your eyes and laugh like a seal?
    3. Laugh quietly?
  1. What is the perfect job for you?
    1. A TV host?
    2. A librarian?
    3. A job best suited to your skills?
  1. You are on a long flight. Do you:
    1. Curl into a ball and stare at the free magazine?
    2. Turn to the person next to you and start a conversation?
    3. Chat to the person next to you for a little then fall asleep?




Download the entire lesson plan today. It comes as a complete lesson plan in easy to use PDF format.

Click the link below!





  1. Are you shy?
  1. What makes people shy? What are the causes? Think about the way they were brought up, their family background.
  1. Can shyness be cured? How?
  1. What are the best jobs for a shy person? Why?
  1. What would be the worst jobs for a shy person? Why?
  1. How should other people treat shy people? Give examples and explain.
  1. What are the signs of a shy person? Give examples of their behaviour and their body language and explain.
  1. Do you know anyone famous who is shy? How do you think they deal with being in the spotlight and shy?
  1. Do you anyone in your friends or family who is shy? How do you talk to them?
  1. Do shy people just lack confidence? Or is it more than that? What is the deep personality of a shy person?
  1. Is the internet making people more socially awkward?
  1. Are certain countries’ people more shy than others? Give examples. Why do you think so?

Teachers Notes

There is no reading for this exercise—just a quiz.

Simply go through all the questions and see what responses you can get. This lesson may present some difficulty if you are in a country where the people are naturally shy or quiet.

At the end of the lesson you could talk about how different countries people can be less or more shy than others. For example, compare Brazilian people with Korean people.

Ask why this is so.

Was this lesson useful? I would like to hear from you. Please tell me in the comments below!

Download the entire lesson plan today. It comes as a complete lesson plan in easy to use PDF format.

Click the link below!


2 thoughts on “Shyness is Nice — a Talking Points lesson for English reading and speaking”

  1. Shyness can be a real problem for ESL/EFL learners anywhere. The more practice they get the better their language skills will progress. Conversely, the less practice they get the less their skills will develop. Therefore overcoming shyness is an important thing for the learner. I think providing ways for students to participate indirectly is best (like taking turns). This way they don’t have to volunteer but feel obliged to give input when their turn comes up.

    1. Yes, it can be a very tricky situation in the classroom when handling shy students. Asian students especially I think. Good points, Leona. Many thanks for sharing!

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