Sunday, November 20, 2016


This is part of a series of lesson plans for teaching basic English to refugees with elementary to intermediate English language skills. The plans are in twos, each pair focusing on a particular thematic point, rather than an area of grammar, function or vocabulary. This choice reflects the fact that the language chosen is for practical (hopefully immediate) use and also that my teaching situation is still fluid, not to say chaotic which means a more involved syllabus attempting to cover all bases is simply not an option at the moment.


AIM - This is designed to introduce the names of various jobs and occupations, vocabulary associated with them and works on practicing for job interviews.

MATERIALS - Photocopies of a  job interview dialogue, small pieces of paper with names of jobs written on them, sellotape.

LEVEL - Elementary/intermediate


1 - Write on the board

       What do you do? 
       What do you do for a living?

Explain what these phrases means, remember to include occupations such as student, mother, housewife etc. Give personal examples of jobs you do/have done.

2 Go around the class and ask each student what they do.and write their answers on the board.. Remember that many students will not be working so might be better to ask them what they did for a living in their home country. Encourage students to describe their jobs in English, if possible and also encourage the use of mime as much as possible.

3 - Elicit the names of other jobs Write their answers in English on the board and ask students to translate them into their own language(s). If possible ask a student to write the word in their own language on the board as well. It's important that you encourage students to use Google Translate (be warned the service has limited success with some languages/dialects) on their smart phones, if that is at all possible.

4 - Pick a job from the list on the board and mime it, The students guess which job you are referring to,

5 - Get students to work in pairs/small groups and each person then chooses a job from the list on the board and mimes it. The others try to guess the job then swap roles.

6 - Now explain that the students are going to play a game. The teacher asks  a person to sellotape a job to their forehead and ask the others questions to find out what the job is (but they can't say the name of the job) The teacher then asks the students questions to find out the job.

7 - Write/ask students to write down useful words/phrases/questions they will need to play this game. Put these on the board.

8 - Place a piece of paper with the job on each student's forehead and ask them to play . Encourage students to stand up and mingle rather than sit down and rely on the person next to them,

9 - Now choose 3-4 jobs and ask students in groups of 2-4 to think of as many words/phrases as possible connected with the job. Do one as an example.

E,g Teacher - class, lesson, school, mark homework etc

10 Elicit answers from the class.

11 Now ask students individually write down words/phrases about their job/occupation.

12 Students then talk about their own jobs/occupations  with the other members of the group.


Ask students to think of the dream/perfect job for them and ask them if possible to look up details of such a job on the internet, for example what qualifications does it need, what does it pay, where can I do this jobs, what do they do in this occupation etc.