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Asking Permission and Making Requests - ESL EFL Teaching Resources

Asking Permission and Making Requests

ESL EFL Lesson - Elementary -  1 Hour

This impressive lesson teaches the learner how to ask for permission and make requests in different work situations. The lesson contains the use of modal verbs and other expressions. Students work in pairs to fill in the blanks from two dialogues about asking permission and making requests. Then, students identify the phrases used in each dialogue. This is followed by a gap-fill looking at the verb forms that are used when asking for permission and make requests. Finally, the students produce a conversation where they use the phrases they have learnt.

Asking Permission and Making Requests.PDF 


Asking for Permission and Help

ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary -  25 Minutes

Here is a link to a worksheet that helps students to practice asking for permission and help. Students ask their classmates for permission or for help by using the indirect question structures: Could you…?  and Is it OK if…? The students write down the names of the people they talk to and their answers.

Asking for Permission and Help.PDF


Could you...?

ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary -  25 Minutes

This engaging group activity can be used to teach requests and offers using modal verbs. Students practice the language of requests and offers by asking individual students to do things. Students are divided into groups of four, and each given a card. The students play a game where they make requests and try to find the student in their group who has the Yes, of course response to their request on their card. The aim is to be the first to cross off all three requests.

Could you....PDF Exclusive


Missing Words

ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary -  20 Minutes

In this pairwork activity, students guess the missing words in sentences that make requests, and that ask for and deny permission. Students sit face-to-face with their partner, holding their part of the worksheet. The bold sentences with gaps are where they have to guess the missing words, and the ones without gaps are the ones their partner has to guess. The missing words are can or can’t and a verb. Student A then says the first sentence to Student B, who has to tell them if their guess is right or wrong. If it's incorrect, they must try again. Then, Student B says the next sentence to Student A, and so on. When a student has guessed a sentence correctly, they write the missing phrase on their worksheet.

Missing Words.PDF


Permission and Requests Lesson

ESL EFL Lesson - Elementary -  30 Minutes

This productive lesson is ideal for teaching students how they can ask permission and make requests using the modal verbs can and could. The lesson starts with an introduction on how we use can and could  to ask permission and make requests. After that, there are three writing and speaking activities to help students master the language. The lesson also looks at how to make language more polite.

Permission and Requests Lesson.PDF


Permission and Requests Mingle

ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary -  20 Minutes

This practical speaking task enables you to teach different ways of asking permission and making requests. Students speak to as many partners as possible. They ask for permission and make requests using cards as prompts. The expressions covered include modal verbs and can be formal or informal depending on the context you want to teach.

Permission and Requests Mingle.PDF Exclusive


Ask Permission and Make Requests

ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate -  30 Minutes

In this supplementary worksheet, students practice making polite requests and asking for permission, with positive and negative replies. Students begin by making indirect questions for ten situations in which they must ask for permission or make requests. Then, students fill in the missing letters in the five positive replies, and put the words in the right order in five negative replies. Finally, students work with a partner. One student asks permission and makes requests using the situations from the worksheet. The other student gives positive and negative replies. Then, they swap roles.

Ask Permission and Make Requests.PDF


Could you do me a favour?

ESL EFL Lesson - Pre-intermediate - 1 Hour +

Here is a unit from Interchange that will prove useful for teaching students to make requests. In the unit, students learn how to make requests using modals verbs, if clauses and gerunds. This unit also looks at indirect requests. Students get plenty of practice at making requests through a mixture of reading, writing, listening and speaking activities.

Could you do me a favour.PDF

Deal with it

ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate -  30 Minutes

This fun speaking exercise teaches students the language people use when they want to make requests. It also can be used to teach the language for complaining and dealing with complaints. First of all, the whole class, brainstorm areas of problems/complaints that people experience, e.g. in a hotel, at an airport, hiring a car. The students in the classroom are then split up into twos and provided with a set of speaking cards. The students role-play some of the situations they brainstormed earlier. The aim is to use the expressions on the cards as part of their role-plays. Then, they must try to reach a satisfactory agreement. Each student takes one of the cards from the top of the pile. The students begin the role-play and as quickly as possible, they try to use the expression on the card in a complete sentence and in a natural way. When they have done this, and while continuing the role-play, they take another card and repeat this process. The aim is to use as many of the expressions as they can during the role-play.

Deal with it.PDF


Do me a Favour

ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate -  30 Minutes

For this teaching activity, students have to ask others for help with planned activities and fill in a weekly schedule with the information. This speaking task will teach students to use modal verbs and other expressions for polite requests. They use the polite requests to find different classmates who are free to help them with their planned activities. The students also have to fill in the rest of their schedule with activities with which their classmates have asked them for help.

Do me a Favour.PDF 


Help me out

ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 Minutes

This ESL activity will help you to instruct your students how to make requests and ask for favours. First, students write five activities they plan to do and need help with in a calendar. Students then mingle and try to find classmates who are free to help them with their five planned activities. When they ask for help, they use one of five expressions for making a request. When a student finds someone who agrees to help them, they ask for the student's signature under the activity. Students also fill in the rest of their calendar with activities with which their classmates have asked for help.

Help me out.PDF 

 ESL Asking Permission and Making Requests

Hotel Problems

ESL EFL Miming Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 Minutes

This compelling group activity can be used to revise or teach hotel language and making requests such as Could you / Could I have ...? Students are told to imagine they are at a hotel reception in a country where they can't speak the language. They mime their problem and try to communicate it to the hotel receptionist. Students work in teams and play against each other. The first team to play picks a student from their team. The individual picks up a card and then mimes the problem to the other team. The students in the other team have to call out suggestions to guess the exact words on the card. The team with the highest amount of correct guesses is the winner.

Hotel Problems.PDF 


Party Time

ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 Minutes

If you happen to be teaching requests and suggestions, this ESL activity works really well. Students work in pairs to brainstorm ideas for a class party. In this part of the activity, students practice making suggestions. You may have to pre-teach such phrases as Let's, Why don't we? We could, How about? etc. Next, students are put together with another pair. Students decide on the details for their party using the ideas and suggestions from both pairs. Then each student should make requests to other group members to organize and do things for the party using the language for making requests, e.g. Can you? Could you? Would you mind? Finally, when everyone has finished, each group tells the class about the party they have planned. The class decides which party they think would be the best.

Party Time.PDF


Picture This

ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 Minutes

In this creative teaching activity, students draw situations for making requests and asking permission. In pairs, students try to guess the questions used to ask permission or make requests from their partner's pictures. The questions use the modal verbs can and could. First, the students in the class are separated into two groups A and B. One group is given a worksheet for asking permission and the other group for making requests. The students draw pictures for each situation on their worksheet. When everyone has finished drawing their pictures, the students pair up with someone from the other group. The students give their partner the drawings they have made. The students then take it in turns to guess the questions used to ask permission or make requests from their partner's picture. The students get a point for each correct answer.

Picture This.PDF Exclusive


Would you mind...?

ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 Minutes

In this fun speaking task, students practice asking for permission and making requests using the structures: Would you mind if I...? / Would you mind - ing? Students walk around the class asking permission and making requests for certain things. Students can reply positively or negatively to the questions. When a student replies to a question, the other student writes down their classmate’s answer and name. For each question, students must speak to at least two people.

Would you mind....PDF


Related Teaching Resources: Complaining and Apologizing  /  Shopping 

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