Sunday, 17 December 2017

Complaining and Apologizing - ESL EFL Activities, Lessons, Worksheets and Games

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Always and Never

ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 35 Minutes

Here is an interesting role-play activity to help students practice making complaints with ‘always’ and ‘never’. The students are divided into pairs and given a set of cards. Each card contains the subject of a complaint and two verbs. Students take it in turns to pick up a card. Using a dialogue from the board, the student with the card complains about something the subject is always doing and something the subject never does, e.g. 'She’s always moving things so I can’t find them and she never cleans up after herself'. The other student makes a suggestion about the complaint. Afterwards, the students swap roles. This process continues until all the cards have been used. Afterwards, pairs role-play their dialogues in front of the class and feedback is given.

Always and Never.PDF  Exclusive 

 

Back to the Shop

ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 35 Minutes

In this rewarding teaching activity, students play a game where they role-play shop complaints and their classmates try to guess where they are and what product they are complaining about. Each group of four is split into two pairs (A and B). Each pair is given a corresponding worksheet. The worksheets show products they brought yesterday, but there is a problem with each item and they have to return each product to the shop and make a complaint. The students then role-play shop complaints about the products on their worksheet, but they cannot say where they are or what product they are complaining about. One pair goes first. They choose an item at random from their worksheet and role-play their first complaint. One student plays the role of the customer and the other plays the role of the shop assistant. The customer makes a complaint to the shop assistant about the item they brought yesterday and tries to get an exchange or refund. The customer does this without saying what the item is or where he/she bought it, e.g. 'I’d like to make a complaint about a product I bought yesterday'. The other pair listens to the role-play and looks at a set of shop pictures. Their task is to decide which shop they are in and what product the complaint is about. When the role-play is over, the other pair gives their answers and the first pair tells them whether they are right or wrong. Pairs score one point for choosing the correct shop and two points if they guess the correct product. Then the pairs swap roles. This process continues until all the role-plays have been completed. The pair with the highest score at the end of the game is the winner.

Back to the Shop.PDF  Exclusive 

 

Complaining and Apologizing Language

ESL EFL Reading Activity - Pre-intermediate - 10 Minutes

This handout provides students with some useful expressions to use when making and dealing with complaints. The sheet covers language and phrases for making a complaint, apologizing, giving reasons, calming someone down, asking for specifics, taking action, checking back and making promises.

Complaining and Apologizing Language.PDF  Free 

 

Complaint Cards

ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 Minutes

In this fun speaking activity, students practice making complaints, apologies and requests. Each pair of students is given a set of cards. On each card is a picture, a complaint and a request. The students take six cards each. They look at each card and write on the other side who they are complaining to and where they are. Students then take it in turns to hold up a card so the picture is facing them and the side they have written on is facing their partner. The student then makes a complaint. Their partner apologizes appropriately and after that the student makes a request. When the students have finished, they exchange cards and repeat the process. Finally, pairs of students role-play the complaints to the class.

Complaint Cards.PDF  Free 

 

Complaints, Requests and Apologies

ESL EFL Lesson - Pre-intermediate - 1 Hour

In this engaging three-page lesson, students learn how to make and deal with common complaints, make requests and give apologies. Students begin the lesson by looking at some common complaints made by parents and teenagers. Students answer questions and practice generating common complaints. Students then learn how to make a request following a complaint and how to use phrasal verbs to request action. After that, students practice making apologies using various structures. Finally, students work in pairs and practice complaints, requests and apologies by creating mini-dialogues from pictures.

Complaints, Requests and Apologies.PDF  Exclusive 

 

Customer Complaints

ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 Minutes

In this two-part role-play activity, students practice complaining and apologizing. In the activity, students get to play both the role of the person complaining and the role of the person who deals with the complaint. The class is divided into pairs (A and B) and each student is given a corresponding worksheet. The first role-play is based on buying a mobile phone. The students highlight the key ideas from the phone shop's advertisement. The students then role-play a complaint about the misleading advertisement. When they have finished, the students swap roles and repeat the same procedure for a second complaint based on a flight. When students have completed both complaints, they present their role-plays to the class.

Customer Complaints.PDF  Exclusive 

 

I’m sorry

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

In this fun pelmanism card game, students practice apologizing and using expressions with 'sorry'. Each group is given two sets of cards. The cards are spread out face down on the table. There are statement/question cards and response cards. The students' task is to collect matching pairs of cards that make a statement or question and response using the word 'sorry'. One student begins by turning over one card from each set. If the statement/question and response make a logical pair, the student keeps the two cards. If not, the student turns the cards over again. Play then passes to the next student and so on. The winner is the student with the most cards at the end of the game. As an extension, one student takes all the statement/question cards and says each one in turn. The group members then race to give an appropriate response. The first student to do this wins the card.

I'm sorry.PDF  Exclusive 

 

Making Excuses

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

In this fun worksheet activity, students practice apologizing and making excuses. The class is divided into pairs (A and B) and each student is given a corresponding worksheet. Student A has a diary of Student B's behaviour last week and has to ask for reasons for his/her actions, e.g. 'Why were you late for class last Monday?' Student B uses the picture prompt for that day and gives an excuse starting with 'I'm sorry...' Student A listens to each excuse and then writes the corresponding day under the appropriate picture. When they have finished, students compare worksheets to check the answers.

Making Excuses.PDF  Free 

 

Softening Complaints

ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 Minutes

In this pairwork speaking activity, students learn how to soften complaints. The class is split into pairs. Student A is given a set of strong adverb and adjective combination cards and Student B is given a set of positive and negative adjective cards. Student B places nine cards face up on the table in a three by three square. Student A takes the top card from his/her pile and makes a complaint using the vocabulary on the card, e.g. 'Excuse me, but this computer is incredibly slow'. If Student B has an adjective in their square that can be used to soften the complaint, they say the softened complaint and turn the card over. Student B softens the complaint by using 'not very + positive adjective' or 'rather + negative adjective', e.g. 'Excuse me, but this computer is not very fast'.  Student A then takes another card and the process is repeated. When Student B has three cards turned over in a row, the students swap roles.

Softening Complaints.PDF  Free 

 

Business Complaints Lesson

Business English Lesson - Intermediate - 1 hour +

Here is a three-page business English lesson to help students master how to deal with complaints at their company. Students begin by answering questions about their own experiences of making and handling complaints. After that, students read about three steps for dealing with complaints. Students then practice the language for making and handling complaints from customers. They answer questions, match expressions and identify the functions of certain phrases. There are also several discussion questions in the lesson for the students to answer and talk about. The lesson ends with a role-play activity about a business complaint.

Business Complaints Lesson.PDF  Exclusive 

 

Dealing with Complaints

ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 30 Minutes

In this fast-paced role-play activity, students practice making and dealing with complaints. The students begin by brainstorming ten situations in which people make complaints. The students’ ideas are written on the board and numbered. Each pair of students is then given a set of cards, which they shuffle and place face down on the table. The students then role-play complaints for the situations on the board. The aim is to use the expressions on the cards as part of their role-play. In each role-play, students take it in turns to be the person complaining and the person dealing with the complaint. The students start with the first scenario on the board and spend a short time thinking about what they are going to say. Each student then takes one card from the top of the pile. The students begin the role-play and as quickly as they can, they use the expression on the card in a complete sentence. When they have done this, and while continuing the role-play, they take another card and repeat the process. The aim is to use as many of the expressions as they can during the role-play. Students score one point for each correctly used expression. The students then shuffle the cards, swap roles, and move on to the second role-play situation. The student with the most points at the end of the activity wins.

Dealing with Complaints.PDF  Exclusive 

 

 

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