Etiquette & Manners (Intermediate ESL Lesson Plan)

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Etiquette ESL Lesson Plan: Intermediate

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 pay you back if you pick up the check. You agree. You have seen him twice since and he has not offered to repay 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 (khakis & a collared shirt), only to find everyone in 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 disaster. You are not sure whether you should make up an excuse to leave or stick it out.
4. Tipping – You are at a restaurant in the US. The waiter was rude and the food mediocre. You don’t want to leave a tip but your friend says you ought to 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 offer your seat to her because it might offend her. 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 odors are mixed together, you can hardly breathe.
9. The Truth – Your friend wants to be an artist. Everyone (but him) thinks that his work sucks. 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 invading 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.
RSVP (verb)
overlook (verb)
stick sth out (phr. verb)
offend sb (verb)
suck (verb)
invade (verb)
  • RSVP – Repondez s'il vous plait (please reply)
  • overlook – fail to notice sth
  • attire – clothes
  • stick sth out – accept or tolerate sth difficult or unpleasant
  • hideous – very ugly
  • mediocre – average
  • hesitant – uncertain
  • offend sb – make sb feel upset
  • fit – healthy; in shape
  • odor – a small, especially one that is unpleasant
  • suck – am/are/is bad (used to say something is bad)
  • invade – enter a place (usually in large numbers) and disturb it

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

government / uprising
overlook / RSVP
attire / hideous
job / stick it out
mediocre / service
hesitant / speak
offend / comment
hope / fit
odor / bus
invade / privacy

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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5 comments on “Etiquette & Manners (Intermediate ESL Lesson Plan)

  1. Margaret (Posted on 4-22-2014 at 10:46) Reply

    Interesting topic, thanks.

  2. sansao ernesto guilambo (Posted on 4-12-2015 at 07:00) Reply

    well, i liked the lesson plan, it has all necessary steps. however, i only saw ‘warm’ and little of ‘presentation’. why did you go further with presentation?

  3. Diana (Posted on 5-14-2015 at 11:01) Reply

    Great lesson, thanks

  4. Nancy (Posted on 12-14-2015 at 22:13) Reply

    I’m going to try this with my class of college-age students. Thanks for the online and print mode lesson.

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