This restaurant role play is how I teach beginner students to order at a restaurant. The goal of the lesson is to get them to do a role play of being at a restaurant, so the focus of the lesson is as communicative as possible. In addition, I have an intermediate/advanced level restaurant lesson that you can check out.
Restaurant roleplays are a great way to teach students survival skills. They also provide a basic customer service dialogue that they can modify. And I like how they absorb more complex grammar such as “would” without having to parse it just yet.
This full lesson plan helps ESL false beginners and low-level students practice ordering at a restaurant. The lesson includes:
complete teacher notes
an exercise that elicits key language
an exercise to write a sample dialogue
work with some target vocabulary and grammar
materials for a role play including sample menus and a sample dialogue for students to follow.
To give students practice ordering in a restaurant
To practice the structures “I would like” and “May I have”
Hana posts a few questions to answer and reflect on how to get rid of literal or metaphorical clutter in our professional lives or teaching. I was thinking of this in terms of my recent post on the Pareto Principle which states that you can get 80% of your output from 20% of your inputs. In other words, we should be able to dump 80% of our content and still get pretty good results from our students.
Of course, it’s debateable if the principle applies to education where results are complex and multiple. But I thought it would be interesting to take a lesson and strip it down as much as possible.
Looking at one of my more popular lessons which I wrote years ago: At the Restaurant, it seems so full of clutter. It’s presenting a sample dialogue, some key vocab and some follow-up questions. Yet it’s very long and I’m not sure what some parts are aiming at. Here’s an example of cutting a lot of weight, and rewriting to make it clearer:
The Food lesson plan is one that goes over very well with students. It’s accessible to everyone. Beginners can handle describing their native dishes simply and you can push more advanced learners to describe detailed recipes. The lesson also has a multicultural aspect as the teacher can introduce common foods from his/her home country. Finally, the plan moves on to discussing holiday meals, which means this lesson can be used for any holiday, especially holidays that have associations with special foods: Christmas, New Years, May Day, Nauryz, Easter, Ramadan, Passover.
Or use it in conjunction with At the Restaurant to discuss restaurants and eating out.
This is a pretty simple discussion lesson plan to get students talking about food from different perspectives. It can be used as part of a lesson, or supplemented with activities, games, and so on. I found this was a good lesson to do when I was still getting to know students because it is a pretty universal topic and as a foreigner in a foreign country, students love telling me about their traditional food!
This is a pretty simple discussion lesson plan to get students talking about food from different perspectives. It can be used as part of a lesson, or supplemented with activities, games, and so on. I found this was a good lesson to do when I was still getting to know students because it is a pretty universal topic and as a foreigner in a foreign country, students love telling me about their traditional food. I talk about US foods and holidays here because I am American but obviously it could be used to talk about your own native cuisine instead. If you are American, it’s a great way to introduce Thanksgiving or other traditional holidays that revolve around food!
To promote fluency and discussion
To practice vocabulary related to food, tastes and ingredients
To encourage students to describe in detail
To talk about holidays and traditions and customs related to food
Food Adjective Cloze or Brainstorm Worksheet
Pictures of typical American food (or food from your culture)
To prepare, put pictures of some typical American food on the board. For example:
but without the captions. Ask students to guess what these typical foods are. Then explain that in the US we also eat a lot of international foods. See if they can guess where these typical “American” foods come from.
Now ask students to name some of their national foods. Prompt them to describe the food in detail: what it is made out of, how it is made, how it is eaten, what it looks like, what it tastes like, etc. If you are familiar with their national cuisine you can prompt them. If you are not familiar, you can use your ignorance to elicit details. You can also get into what international foods have been absorbed into their culture and are now typical foods.
This activity has been moved to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. If you like this sample, you can purchase and download the full Food and Holidays Lesson Plan there.