Shop Till You Drop: 6 Great Activities to Help Your ESL Students Shop

Shop Till You Drop
6 Great Activities to Help Your ESL Students Shop

Andrea Pesce
by Andrea Pesce 24,840 views

Who doesn't like shopping?

The thrill of buying new things is truly exciting, always something to look forward to, or is it? Now picture this: you are in a store and have a couple of items you like but the sizes and colors are not what you need or want. You need assistance but you can't ask for help; you don't speak the local language. You desperately point and use your hands to show the sales person what you want, but sadly she doesn't understand. That is when you realize shopping will be a lot harder than you had imagined. This is what a lot of our students might go through unless we step in and do something about it, and there is a lot we can do. Take a look at these great tips and goal-oriented activities.

Make Students’ Shopping Pleasant in an English Speaking Country

  1. 1

    Size Does Matter

    You desperately point and use your hands to show the sales person what you want, but sadly she doesn't understand...

    There is nothing worse than buying something that doesn't fit. Whether it's too big or too small, if it isn't just right, it is simply wrong. So this is one of the things our students have to learn. How to describe sizes and what size they are. Let's take a look at some useful expressions.

    I'm size 12. I don't see it on the rack.
    May I have a size 10 please?
    I'd like this in large.

  2. 2

    Color Me Happy

    All of us have colors we simply love and others we can live without. Colors we wear affect how we feel. Naturally, we all have preferences depending on taste and also the occasion where that piece of clothing will be used. Where ESL vocabulary is concerned, it is important to go over colors with your students. You might also want to introduce modifiers such as bright, light and dark.

    What colors does this come in?
    Do you have this in red/ bright red?
    Is this available in blue/ dark blue?
    I'd like this in black, please?

  3. 3

    In Style

    Though styles change from time to time, all of us also have our own preferences. The style of clothes we use is something that identifies us. It can make us more formal or casual. It can make us look more professional or fun and carefree. Here, we are aiming for language functions that describe styles.

    I'm looking for something a bit more formal/ elegant/ casual.
    Is there anything a bit shorter/ longer.
    I was thinking of something a bit more loose/ tight.

  4. 4

    How Do I Look?

    At this point your students have already chosen a couple of things they like and would like to try on, so, it's off to the fitting room. Here, they will need to describe what was wrong with their choices and why they didn't like them. Also, they will need to express what they did like. It is a good idea to practice brainstorming what things they might like or not like about different pieces of clothing. An example with a sweater is that they like it because it's warm. They could also say they don't like it because the wool is rough. Take a look at some popular choices.

    It's a bit too tight/ loose / big / small
    It's fine, I'll take it.
    I don't like the way this looks on me.
    I love this …, it's so comfortable/ soft.

  5. 5

    Is the Price Right?

    As it goes, once you've chosen what you like and tried it on, it's time to look at the price. Some people do that at the beginning. In any case, it is critical to have your students practice language functions where they ask about the price and if there are any sales or discounts. Take a look at some of the most common questions.

    How much does it cost?
    How much is it?
    Is this on sale?
    Do you have anything a little cheaper?

  6. 6

    Cash or Charge?

    All this fun must conclude some time, right? At the end of any shopping spree we have to pay. This is not the part we like the most, but unless you want to have problems with the police, it is non negotiable.Here are some language functions you should practice with your students at this point.

    How much is it in total with tax?
    Do you take credit cards/ checks?

Give your ESL students the tools to manage situations like these confidently and comfortably.

When students are ready, they'll see shopping can be a blast, not a drag.

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