Etiquette & Manners (Advanced ESL Lesson Plan)

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Etiquette ESL Lesson Plan: Advanced

Etiquette ESL Lesson Plan: Warm-up (Pair Work)

1) Are the people of your country well mannered compared to other nationalities?
2) What customs or social rules does your country have that a foreigner might not know?
3) What examples of bad manners do you often see?
4) Do you have any customer service horror stories?

Dealing with the Situation: Ten Etiquette Scenarios for Discussion (Group Work)

1. The Bill – You go out for lunch with a friend. He claims he forgot his wallet but promises to repay you if you foot the bill. You acquiesce. You have seen him twice since and he hasn’t offered to reimburse you.
2. Dress Code – Weeks ago, you received a printed invitation to a breakfast seminar at a hotel. You RSVP’d but overlooked that it said the dress code was business attire. You enter the conference room in business-casual clothes. To your dismay, everyone else is wearing suits.
3. Bad Date – You are out on a date with a new person. You can sense that the date is going to be a flop. You are not sure if you should stick it out or make up an excuse to ditch him (or her).
4. Tipping – You are at a restaurant in the US. The waiter was rude and the food lousy. You don’t think the staff deserves a gratuity but your friend says you ought to tip because it’s the custom.
5. The Gift – Your partner has just given you a sweater-vest for your birthday. It’s hideous. You are considering asking for the receipt so you can exchange it for something else.
6. The Seat – You are seated on the bus. At the next stop, a woman gets on. All seats are occupied. You are hesitant to yield your seat to her because your gesture might be construed as offensive. She looks fit, but she could be 65 years old. On the other hand, she could be much younger.
7. Team-Player – The new company director has organized a team-building exercise this weekend. The event is a paint balling. You have no desire to go, but you don’t want to be seen as a non-team-player.
8. Smells – One of your coworkers dresses well but wears far too much cologne. Another smells as if he doesn't shower at all. When both stenches are combined, you feel queasy.
9. The Truth – Your friend wants to be an artist. Everyone (but him) thinks that his work stinks. You are considering suggesting to him that he try another career path.
10. Facebook – Your aunt wants to add you as a ‘friend’ on Facebook. You don’t really want family prying into your online social life. But, you know she’d be upset if you refused her request.

Etiquette ESL Lesson Plan: Vocabulary Matching

Match the words with their meaning as used in the news lesson.
foot the bill
acquiesce (verb)
RSVP (verb)
flop (noun)
ditch sb (verb)
yield sth (verb)
construe (verb)
pry (verb)
  • foot the bill – pay the cheque
  • acquiesce – accept
  • RSVP – Repondez s'il vous plait (please reply)
  • dismay – consternation and distress caused by sth unexpected
  • flop – a complete failure
  • ditch sb – get rid of sb/sth because you no longer want them/it
  • gratuity – tip
  • yield sth – give up or surrender sth to sb
  • construe – interpret; take to mean
  • stench – a strong unpleasant smell
  • queasy – nauseous; unwell
  • pry –  try to find information about other people's private lives

Etiquette ESL Lesson Plan: Connect the below idea(s) to make a sentence.

government / uprising
argue / foot the bill
request / acquiesce
RSVP / event
dismay / announcement
worry / flop
ditch / brother
custom / gratuity
courteous / yield
body language / construe
stench / queasy
reporter / pry

Etiquette ESL Lesson Plan: Technology Predictions (Pair Work)

Your company has designed a robot. Your job is now to program the robot to interact properly with humans. What instruction do you give the robot in the following areas?
– greeting people
– driving a vehicle
– international travel
– interacting with women (or men)
– business etiquette
– mobile phone usage
– eating at a restaurant
– dating
– writing e-mails
– _______________ (other)

Etiquette ESL Lesson Plan: Discussion Questions

1)     Is it old fashioned to think a lot about the rules of etiquette?
2)     What rules of etiquette would you like to change?
3)     White Lies: Is it okay to lie in order to avoid hurting someone’s feelings?

Manners ESL Lesson plan copyright Matthew Barton of

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2 comments on “Etiquette & Manners (Advanced ESL Lesson Plan)

  1. ibikeys (Posted on 8-26-2014 at 02:08) Reply

    could you pls always give examples? I think your lesson plans are interesting, but the absence of examples sometimes leaves me with noe option but to leave out some lessons. thanks

  2. vitajumna (Posted on 11-18-2014 at 14:29) Reply

    Good evening, thank you very much fot inspiring topics, i have found three of them really helpful with my intermediate students. Your material is somewhat wider in concept, but full of topical expressions:), which i like. thank you once again. Veronika

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