Free TESOL lesson plan.
Level: Upper-intermediate (multilingual class)
Time: 55 minutes approx.
Assumptions: Students are familiar with the topic of informal and formal introductions, questions tags, making offers, and keeping a conversation going on varied topics such as likes and dislikes, jobs and occupations, music, travel and hobbies. They are also familiar and fluent with all tenses.
Material/aids: Handouts with activities and cue cards for role-playing
Aim: Introducing the topic of socializing. Talking about personal experiences.
Time: 5 minutes – Interactive pattern: T-S; S
Introduce the students to the topic of socializing and ask the students if they have found it easy or difficult to start a conversation with a stranger in English. Allow the students to talk about their experiences, if any. Then, tell the students that in this lesson they will review different ways of starting a conversation.
Aim: To present different ways of starting a conversation. Identify appropriateness.
Time: 20 minutes – Interactive pattern: S-S; Group work
Step 1: Pair students up and get them to brainstorm different ways of starting a conversation when meeting someone at a party or social event. Write the following headings on the board and have them categorize their answers. Give at least one example for each category.
Introducing yourself for the first time: How do you do. I’m Sherry Thomas. Nice to meet you.
Checking if you know someone: You’re Susan’s husband, aren’t you?
Offering something to drink/eat: Can I get you something to drink?
Comments on the party/social event: Isn’t it lovely music?
Step 2: Elicit their answers and add more examples if necessary. Write them on the board and discuss them with the class as a whole. (Note: You may need to review question tags structure and their appropriate intonation.)
Introducing yourself for the first time formally or semi-informally
How do you do. I’m Sherry Thomas. Nice to meet you.
Hello. I’m Pat.
My name is John, by the way.
Hi. I am Dustin. I’m a friend of Lilly’s.
Checking if you know someone:
You’re Susan’s husband, aren’t you?
Your name is Aaron, isn’t it?
I think I’ve seen you somewhere before.
I think we’ve met at John’s party last year.
Haven’t we met before?
Aren’t you a friend of Vilma’s?
Offering something to drink/eat:
Can I get you something to drink?
Would you like one of these cup cakes?
Do you want a coke?
Comments on the party/social event:
Isn’t it lovely music?
It’s a fantastic party, isn’t it?
I loved the documentary they showed. Great job!
Step 3: Hand out the following list of conversation openings and have the students give their opinion on what is acceptable or inappropriate when meeting people for the first time in a formal or semi-informal situation. Have them discuss why they are not appropriate.
a. Hi, babe! You look great! My name is Mark, by the way.
b. Pleased to meet you. My name is Alex McDonald.
c. Hi. I like your shoes. Where did you buy them?
d. Who are you?
e. Hello. What’s your name?
f. Your jacket is gorgeous. How much did you pay?
g. Hi! What’s up?
(Note: It is not polite to use very direct or intrusive conversation openings as well as asking a stranger how much he earns or paid for something.)
Aim: To develop the students’ speaking skills by role-playing and discussion.
Time: 25 minutes – Interactive pattern: S-S; Group work
Step 1: Role-play
Give each student a card with personal information. Choose names and details of famous people and who are still alive. Students go around the class, pretending they are at a cocktail party and making conversation with at least 3 other people. Tell them they have to use some of the phrases discussed in the Study Phase of this lesson, and that they have to make sure that the conversation flows and does not stop at the first few exchanges. It may take the direction they want.
Step 2: Discussion
Students discuss the following questions in pairs or mini groups:
a. How do you greet your elders in your country?
b. How do you greet people of your own age?
c. Are there any questions/topics that should be avoided when you meet someone for the first time? Are there any questions/topics that you should not forget to mention when you meet an acquaintance?
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