Etiquette & Manners (Upper-Intermediate ESL Lesson Plan)

Download the Etiquette ESL lesson plan here: Etiquette-Manners-Upper-Intermediate-01052012.doc

Etiquette ESL Lesson Plan: Upper-Intermediate

Let's study the rules of etiquette.

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 agree. You have seen him twice since and he has not 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 (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 huge 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 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 yield 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 stenches 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 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 lesson.
foot the bill
reimburse sb (verb)
RSVP (verb)
flop (noun)
stick sth out (phr. verb)
ditch sb (verb)
yield sth (verb)
suck (verb)
pry (verb)
  • foot the bill – pay the cheque
  • reimburse sb – repay sb
  • RSVP – Repondez s’il vous plait (please reply)
  • attire – clothes
  • flop – a complete failure
  • stick sth out – accept or tolerate sth difficult or unpleasant
  • ditch sb – get rid of sb/sth because you no longer want them/it
  • hideous – very ugly
  • yield sth – give up or surrender sth to sb
  • stench – a strong unpleasant smell
  • suck – am/are/is bad (used to say something is bad)
  • 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
company / reimburse
attire / hideous
worry / flop
job / stick it out
ditch / brother
courteous / yield
stench / bus
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

English Current recommends Grammarly as a learning tool to reduce English mistakes. If you found this page helpful, consider a donation to our hosting bill to show your support!

7 comments on “Etiquette & Manners (Upper-Intermediate ESL Lesson Plan)

  1. Dee (Posted on 9-21-2012 at 12:31) Reply

    This website is great!!! Full of useful vocabulary words..

  2. kathy (Posted on 10-4-2012 at 16:15) Reply

    thanks for help guys this is really useful

  3. Dong Uk. Kim (Posted on 12-4-2014 at 22:50) Reply

    I think that this topic interesting. Because this topic has fun story

  4. Anonymous (Posted on 12-30-2015 at 09:20) Reply

    great job overall… nice visiting experience

  5. Alison Sattler (Posted on 1-19-2016 at 14:41) Reply

    Thank you for this lesson plan! It has great ideas!

  6. Cavin (Posted on 11-21-2016 at 13:20) Reply

    I am not sure how to implement this as there’s no explanation to the set-up for the questions. Then the multiple choice refers to a news lesson but which one ?? Very confused.

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 11-21-2016 at 15:01) Reply

      Cavin: You can set up or segue into the topic however you’d like. Please disregard the word ‘news’ in the above section (I’ve removed it); typically the lessons here are based on the news, but this one was an original. Everything else should be fairly straightforward. If you need help on how to use our lessons, visit here: . Please download the lesson in .doc format above for a better layout.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.