ESL Jobs Lesson Plan

ESL Jobs Lesson Plan

Teaching students about jobs and/or business provides some great opportunities for interesting activities and projects. In particular, we can replicate real-world situations, and practise skills students will need outside the classroom; for example, the process of applying for a job.

This ESL jobs lesson plan guides students through a variety of those exercises, linking them together in a logical order. Rather than being grammar-focused or introducing new language, it is more of a review lesson, in which students practise applying their knowledge. As such, it can easily be adapted to almost any level, from high beginner upwards.

In its full form the lesson is designed to last at least 2-3 hours. With adult classes it may be possible to complete it in one day, but with kids it’s usually implemented over a few sessions/days. If you do need to shorten the plan or adapt it for low-level/young students, activities marked with an asterisk(*) can be omitted most easily.

Click on the name of an activity for full instructions, and any supplemental resources (e.g. paper, coloured pens) required.

ESL Jobs Lesson Plan

Objectives: Review vocabulary for jobs and adjectives for describing personality traits. Develop skills required for applying for a job, including describing own qualities and experiences, and answering interview questions.

Language Used: jobs, personality adjectives, past simple, present perfect simple (optional), reported speech (optional)


Scattergories / Alphabet Race (Warm Up)15-20 minsT-S-SReview the vocabulary for different jobs (and describing people adjectives) by using them as categories in a game.
Industries Vocabulary*15-20 minsT-S, S-SElicit the names of major industries (teacher may need to introduce the official terms) and write them on the board in a mind map. Students copy the mind map, then work in pairs to think of their own real-world company examples (e.g. Automotive -> Toyota). Review those examples as a class to check understanding.
Create A Company20-40 minsS-S, S-SsIn pairs, students create an imaginary company. They should include the name, the industry it is in, a short description of the products/services they offer, and a list of the jobs/roles required for that company. When finished, the pairs take turns sharing their information with the class.
Describing People Vocabulary5-15 minsT-SElicit and review positive personality adjectives that employers might look for. If more practice is needed, students could play a quick game of Hangman in small groups, or play Articulate / Heads Up as a class with a custom set of vocabulary.
Job Adverts20-40 minsSS, S-SStudents choose one or two or the jobs from their invented company (different jobs from their partner), and make a poster on A4 paper advertising them. They should include the name of the job, some basic responsibilities and desirable skills/personality traits.
Jobs Fair10-20 minsSSWhen finished, students stick their posters on the walls around the room. Each student takes their notebook, stands up, and walks around the room reading the adverts. They note down one job from each company that they think is most suitable for them.
Writing A CV / Cover Letter*30-60+ minsSSAdult students practise writing documents required for a job application. Present a model CV/cover letter, and highlight the different sections/elements. Students write their own and then peer-correct with a partner.
Job Interview Questions10-20 minsS-S, T-SStudents work in small groups to think of questions an employer and an applicant might ask in a job interview. Review suggestions as a class and point out the use of past simple/present perfect for experiences where appropriate. With lower levels, write these questions on the board for students to use as prompts in the next activity.
Job Interviews20-40 minsSs/SsStudents conduct job interview role-plays for the companies created and positions advertised. One student in each pair acts as the employer, and the other goes to another company and interviews for the job they chose. Make sure employers make a few notes about each applicant so they can choose who gets the job at the end! After each interview, students switch roles, and repeat until students have interviewed with all companies. Optionally, give students a few minutes between interviews to advise their partner on questions asked using reported speech (e.g. She asked me if I had experience).


One additional related activity that you could include is a Personality Test, in which students take a Myers Briggs test. Suitable for high intermediate and upwards, the online tool used provides a great opportunity to extend knowledge of personality adjectives with some more advanced vocabulary. As such it should be done before the Job Adverts activity, and students should include newly learned adjectives in that exercise, and Writing A CV / Cover Letter.