Topic: Dating (Upper-Intermediate ESL Lesson Plan)

Download the Dating ESL Lesson plan here: Topic-Love-Dating-UppIntermediate-18122011.doc

The Love & Marriage Unit: Upper-Intermediate

Note to teachers:

This is lesson 2 of 3 in a unit on love and marriage. The lessons are as follows:

a lesson plan on dating

Lesson 3 of 3: Dating ESL Lesson Plan

1) What do people commonly do on dates in your country?
2) What was the worst date you’ve ever had?
3) Have you ever tried to set up a friend with someone? Did it work out?
4) What is the `right age’ to get begin dating? Get married?
5) What do you think about meeting someone through a dating agency or dating website?

Dating ESL Lesson Plan: Reading: Key Vocabulary in Context

Dating has come a long way. Prior to the late nineties, if you had a crush on a girl and school was out, you had to search through town in hopes of physically finding her. If you had her number, you could gather your guts and phone her on her family’s telephone line, but you’d have to get through her father (or mother) just to talk to her. Nowadays, teens exchange emoticon-filled messages on cell phones and social networking sites. Online, users post flattering photos (which probably conceal their major flaws) on their profile and flirt with other users on the site. It almost seems like some kids prefer communicating their emotions behind the protection of an electronic screen to talking face to face.
Speed dating has also become more commonplace. These ultra-efficient events are arranged to give bachelors and bachelorettes the opportunity to meet as many eligible candidates as possible within a specific time. These events can be massive in countries like China, where a nationally imbalanced ratio of men to women has intensified the pressure to get married by the right age. More traditional approaches, such as posting personal ads in a newspaper’s classified section, are still around as well.
Morally speaking, Western society seems to be becoming increasingly promiscuous. One-night stands and flings are becoming commonplace. Due to the rise of STDs, contraceptive use and medical testing has become increasingly important as well.
An interesting question concerns the issue of chivalry: the custom from in the Middle Ages of treating women with honor by opening doors for them (commonly expressed by the “ladies first” mentality). Nowadays, people say chivalry is dead. That may be true, but the question remains: who killed it — men or women? [289 words]

Dating ESL Lesson Plan: Comprehension Questions

1) How has dating changed since the late nineties, according to the author?
2) True or False: the author thinks dating requires more courage nowadays.
3) According to the author, why is speed dating important in China?
4) How has western society changed, morally, for the author?
5) “Chivalry is dead.” — what does this statement mean? Do you agree?

  • It has become increasingly technological. Kids communicate with cellphones or the Internet, instead of expressing themselves face to face.
  • False.
  • It is important because of the heavy pressure caused by the imbalanced birth ratio to find a partner.
  • People have become more sexually active.
  • It means that men no longer treat women in the honorable way knights treated ladies in the Middle Ages.

Dating ESL Lesson Plan: Vocabulary Matching

Match the words with their meaning as used in the news lesson.
crush (noun)
flirt (verb)
one-night stand
  • crush – a feeling of love for sb (not usually long-lasting)
  • guts – courage
  • emoticon- typed symbol used to express emotion
  • flattering – making sb look more attractive
  • flaw – fault, imperfection
  • flirt – act romantically interested in sb (often for amusement)
  • bachelor – single man
  • eligible – qualified, able
  • promiscuous – having many sexual partners
  • one-night stand – a one-night sexual relationship
  • fling – a brief sexual relationship
  • STD – Sexually Transmitted Disease
  • contraceptive – item used to prevent pregnancy
  • chivalry – courteous behavior, especially that of a man towards a woman.

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

government / uprising
crush / fling
guts / emoticon
flattering / photograph / flaw
flirt / secretary
bachelor / eligible / marriage
promiscuous / lifestyle
one-night stand / STD
contraceptive / prevent

Dating ESL Lesson Plan: Turn Ons and Turn Offs

A turn on is something that causes you to become excited, stimulated, and attracted to someone. A turn off has the opposite effect. Categorize the below characteristics as either turn ons or turn offs.
Turn On
Turn Off
Turn On
Turn Off
Brings you flowers
B.O. (= (bad) body odor)
Bad breath
Designer clothes
When finished, add four (or more) items to the bottom of the list. Discuss your list with a partner.

Dating ESL Lesson Plan: Pick up Lines and Break Up Excuses

1. A pick-up line is something a person says (usually a sentence) to make someone romantically interested in him or her, for example, “Hello beautiful.” What are some common pick-up lines in your country? Are they effective?
2. Break-up excuses: what are some common reasons for ending a relationship with someone?
3. Discuss the excuses and pick-up lines in the below table as a group.
Clich©d Break-up Excuses
– “It’s not you; it’s me.”
– “I need my own space and time to myself. You’re smothering me.”
– “I’m not ready for a serious relationship right now.”
– “You deserve someone better.”
– “I need to figure myself out.”
– “I really need to focus on my career right now.”
– “I love you but I’m not in love with you.”
– “There are other fish in the sea.”
– ”You’re really great, I’m just an idiot.”
– “I just want to be friends.”
Funny (or Cheesy) Pick-up Lines
-If I could rearrange alphabets, I would put U and I together.
-Is that bruise from when you fell from heaven?
-Are your legs tired? Because you’ve been running through my mind all day long.
-Are you from Tennessee? Because you’re the only ten I see!
-What’s your sign?
-You might not be the best looking girl here, but beauty is only a light switch away.
-Excuse me I have lost my phone number. Could I borrow yours?
-Hi. The voices in my head told me to come over and talk to you.

Dating ESL Lesson Plan: Role-play #1: Whipped (Pair Work)

Background: A man is said to be whipped when his girlfriend controls him. This expression means the man is like a slave to his girlfriend, who is the whip-holding master.
(note: each student reads his/her role only)
Student A:
You used to be best friends with Student B, however, now you hardly meet. His new partner is controlling his life. He never goes out anymore or does his hobbies. His girlfriend has dominated his life and you’re sick of it. Call him on the phone and convince him to break up with her.
Student B:
You are in a new relationship. You live with your new partner, and do everything together.

Dating ESL Lesson Plan: Role-play #2 (Pair Work)

(note: each student reads his/her role only)

Student A:
You have a date this evening. You have gone to your date’s house and his/her parent has answered the door. Speak with the parent.
Student B:
A young man/woman (Student A) has come to your house to go on a date with one of your (teenage) children. You are a very strict and protective parent. Ask questions to determine if he/she is good enough to go on a date with your teenager.

Dating ESL Lesson Plan: Fill in the Blanks

smother, whipped, turn on, cheesy, clich©d, pick up
  • Leroy put on some (                  ) R&B music to (        ) his date (      ). She laughed.
  • Her boyfriend’s break-up excuse was so (                  ) that the words had no meaning.
  • Victor spends his evenings trying to (                  ) drunk women at college bars.
  • Diane’s husband is maybe too loving — she sometimes feels like he (                  ) her.
  • Alan is so (                  ) that his only friend now is his wife. Everyone else has given up on him.

Dating ESL Lesson Plan: Comprehension Questions

(Write your answers in the Comments section below if you wish)

1) Do you think it is okay to date a co-worker?
2) Jealousy: is it possible to control this emotion?
3) Is society becoming more promiscuous? If so, what factors have caused this?
4) What are the pros and cons of going out with an older woman (or man)?
5) Should the man pay on a date?

Dating Lesson plan copyright Matthew Barton of

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9 comments on “Topic: Dating (Upper-Intermediate ESL Lesson Plan)

  1. Pingback: Topic: Marriage & Life-Long Loving (Upper-Intermediate Lesson Plan) English Current

  2. Pingback: Topic: Reasons for Love (Upper-Intermediate ESL Lesson Plan) EFL English Current

  3. Jean Paul Sara (Posted on 11-26-2012 at 05:05) Reply

    Hello. I just wanted to say thanks for posting this. I find it easy to adapt and perfectly appropriate for my lower intermediate adults.

  4. johntravoltapst (Posted on 5-31-2013 at 19:53) Reply

    I’m very fortunate that the Honeybee and I
    rarely have a disagreement regarding money.
    In fact, I can only remember it happening once in more
    than 16 years of marriage —
    and it was all due to a silly misunderstanding.

  5. Iryna Zhuravel (Posted on 4-6-2014 at 13:27) Reply

    What do you think about meeting someone through a dating agency or dating website?

    Few years ago  I thought that it is stupid to find "love" using Internet or some agencies. But today I understand that  many people spend in virtual world more time than in real.  It is not bad when you make acquaintance with some girl or boy on website like "Your love is here". Why not? When you like to communicate with person in the Internet, you can continue this "relationship". If not, don`t worry! There are many candidates for you)

  6. Eugenebype (Posted on 5-11-2014 at 11:39) Reply


    I’m really pleased as punch to join you, and assumption I drive be able to learn a assignment of things here.

    Acknowledge gratitude,


  7. Sidonie (Posted on 10-8-2014 at 02:59) Reply

    Thank you so much for the inspiring idea! I am a teacher but I learned a lot from the lesson plan!

  8. David Wilson (Posted on 3-31-2015 at 03:50) Reply

    Great stuff, My students loved it

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