Taking your young adult ESL learners to a restaurant, or at least talking about restaurant culture, is an important step in acclimatizing them to life in a new country through a very “typical” English experience. As you probably know, restaurants are the perfect way to introduce a number of different subjects to your students:
• Table etiquette
• Asking directions
• Common restaurant expressions
Exposing students to the above subjects is an important step in building confidence for life outside the home. Restaurant experiences are often spontaneous, so they require students to be ready and comfortable with the language. James from Engvid provides several great teaching points you can incorporate into your classroom lesson or class trip to a restaurant. Here are some things he highlights:
• The differences between fast food, casual and fine dining
• Using “May I have…” or “Can I have…”
• The meaning of “Party of” or “Table of/for”
• What’s in a menu?
• What is a drink order?
• The differences between appetizers, main course, pls sides or substitutes, and dessert
• What is a “Special”
• Paying for the meal; cheques, bills, taxes and tips
Check it out below!
While “role plays” have their place in the classroom, there’s nothing better than experience to really cement something in a students mind. That’s why taking them out to a restaurant for the real thing is invaluable.
Go over the above points during one or two classes and get your students comfortable. Then take them out for a meal and coach them through the experience. They’ll be nervous and make mistakes, but with you there they’ll begin to build up their confidence.
Good luck and good teaching.