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Shopping and Clothing - ESL/EFL Teaching Activities

At the Clothes Shop

ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 20 Minutes

In this teaching activity, students practice various clothes shop conversations. First, students work in pairs and separate three jumbled conversations. Students read through the customer and shop assistant responses and label the lines 1, 2, or 3, depending on which conversation they belong to. Students practice the conversations aloud. Students then create their own shopping conversation using the new phrases they have been taught. After that, they present their shopping conversation to the class.Woman shopping

At the Clothes Shop.PDF


End of Season Sale

ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes

In this clothes shopping role-play, students act as shop assistants and customers at an end of season sale. Half the students are shop assistants and the other half are customers. Each student is given a role card. The customers have details about the items they want to buy including the size and colour. The sales assistants have information about the items they are selling. The objective is for the shop assistants to sell all the items on their cards and for the customers to buy all the items on their shopping list. The customers have a budget for each item. Some items are too expensive to buy but if they save money on other items, they can use the money they saved to put towards an item that is over their budget. Customers record how much they spend and save on each item. When everyone has finished, the customers report back to the class on the items they bought and how much money they managed to save.

End of Season Sale.PDF


How do we say it?

ESL/EFL Writing Activity - Elementary - 10 Minutes

This writing task helps you to teach your students' container words. Students complete a list of shopping items. They have to write in the correct container words that go with each item. They can use some words more than once. In addition, several shopping items may have more than one correct answer.

How do we say it?.PDF


It's a Question of Style

ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes

For this teaching activity, students work in pairs. They ask and answer questions about clothes and style. Students interview one another and make notes of their partner's answers to the questions. When the students have finished interviewing one another, the questionnaires are taken in and redistributed. The students then read the answers on the new questionnaire and guess who it belongs to.

It's a Question of Style.PDF


Let's Go Shopping

ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 20 Minutes

You can use this role-play activity to teach your students shopping phrases. The class is divided into groups of six, and each group is given a set of role cards. Three students are shop assistants. The other three students are shoppers. They visit each shop and buy the things on their lists, they note the prices they pay, and calculate how much they've spent. Then, the shoppers and shop assistants swap roles.

Let's Go Shopping.PDF

Going Shopping

ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 1 Hour +

Here is a link to an excellent activity for teaching shopping expressions. Students begin by working with a partner. They take it in turns to read different characters in a shopping role-play. Students then substitute different shopping expressions into the dialogue. After that, the pairs complete another dialogue with appropriate shopping expressions. Finally, the students work together to create their own shopping dialogue with the phrases they have learnt. These dialogues are presented to the class.

Going Shopping.PDF


Shopping Around

ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 35 Minutes

This class role-play activity, teaches students to ask for things in different shops by acting as customers and shop assistants. The class is divided into six groups. Each group is given a shop name card, shopping item cards, and a shopping list. The object of the role-play is for each group to obtain the products on their shopping list. To do this, they send out one student from their group to obtain the first item on the list from another shop. When they have got the shopping item card, they return to their table, and the next student goes off in search of the next item on the list.

Shopping Around.PDF


Shopping Situations

ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 Minutes

In this role-play activity, students associate shopping phrases to different situations. Then, they use the phrases in two role-plays. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students read through a set of shopping phrases. They then decide which phrase belongs to which shopping situation. Once they have done that, the students are divided into pairs. Students read the role-cards on their worksheet and use the phrases to come up with two shopping conversations. When they have completed their role-plays, the students present their conversations to the class.

Shopping Situations.PDF


Shopping Role-Play

ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 Minutes

In this speaking activity, students practice two shopping situations. The first conversation takes place in a newsagent and the other in a department store. The teacher starts by eliciting the shopping language from the students before the activity begins. Each student is then given a worksheet. The students practice the two situations playing both the shop assistant and customer roles with a partner.

Shopping Role-Play.PDF


Unusual Clothing

ESL/EFL Writing Activity - Intermediate - 15 Minutes

To start the teaching activity, students are separated into small teams. Each team is given a worksheet. On the worksheet are twenty unusual articles of clothing. Each team has five minutes to sort them into two groups: clothing worn above the belt and clothing worn below the belt. The team with the most correct answers wins.

Unusual Clothing.PDF


Teaching activities about shopping and clothing can also be downloaded on the pages below:

Adjectives & Describing

Expressions of Quantity

The Price is Right Game 

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