Shopping and Clothing - ESL/EFL Teaching Activities
At the Clothes Shop
ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 20 Minutes
In this practical 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.
End of Season Sale
ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
In this authentic 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.
ESL/EFL Writing Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
Here is a fun class quiz to help students learn or revise vocabulary related to clothes and fashion. The class is divided into teams of four or five and each student is given a copy of the worksheet. Students then select a secretary from their team who will write the answers to the questions. The teacher reads out each clothing question in turn to the class. The students discuss the answer to the question in their teams and the secretary writes the answer as quickly as possible. Then, the teacher moves on to the next question. When all the questions have been answered, the secretaries swap their worksheet with another team for marking. Teams win one point for each correct answer. The team with the most points at the end of the quiz wins. As an alternative, you could make each question worth two points by adding an extra point for spelling.
ESL/EFL Writing Activity - Elementary - 10 Minutes
This ESL 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.
It's a Question of Style
ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
Here is a superb teaching activity for elementary students. In the activity, student ask and answer questions about clothes and style. The class is split into pairs. 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.
Let's Go Shopping
ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 20 Minutes
You can use this fun 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.
What can you buy?
ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 30 Minutes
This impressive supplementary worksheet teaches students about collective nouns that are used when shopping. Students also learn about different types of shops and what they sell. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. Students begin by matching collective nouns with shopping items. Then, students test each other by covering up the collective nouns. They then take it in turns to try to remember the collective noun that goes with each word. Students then do the second activity that concentrates on different types of shops and the things they sell. When they have finished, the teacher writes up some shopping dialogues on the board for the students to practice.
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.
ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 35 Minutes
This noteworthy role-play 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.
ESL/EFL Reading, Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 Minutes
Below is a link to a challenging activity that teaches students about clothes shopping expressions. The students read a story to introduce them to some of the phrases they will need for the activity. Students then complete crossword puzzles about shopping for clothes. There are three puzzles in total and each puzzle uses the same shopping expressions as clues, but different words from the sentences are missing.
ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 Minutes
In this enjoyable 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.
ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 Minutes
Here is a beneficial teaching activity that gives students practice speaking in two different 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.
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.
Teaching resources about shopping and clothing can also be downloaded on the pages below: