Sandra Sandra

Polite requests, functional language
Intermediate level


In this lesson, SS will learn to ask and respond to polite requests through listening to people making requests in the context of hanging out at night in a restaurant-like setting. SS will then learn about the two types of requests, the correct answers to give for saying yes/no and about the register. After that, SS will have the opportunity to rewrite and correct unfinished requests. In the end, SS will spend some time practicing the requests with each other in a speaking activity.


Abc Pictures 1 & 2
Abc Recording 1
Abc Paper strips with requests
Abc Answer key dialogue
Abc Hand out - dialogue
Abc Handout - pictures
Abc Answer key categories of requests
Abc Pieces of paper with situations
Abc Recording 2
Abc Handout - Charts

Main Aims

  • To provide clarification and practice of language used for making requests in the context of having a night out

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide specific information in the context of having a night out


Lead-in/Setting context (5-6 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through listening to recordings

T shows picture 1 from the textbook. Display picture on OHP. T points to one person and asks: "What do you see in this picture?" "Who are the people?" "Where are they?" "What is their relationship with each other?" T points to the picture and asks: "What does he/she want?" Elicit from SS what they think people are wanting/requesting. Don't comment on correct requests that are being given. T hands out papers with the two pictures on them. SS listen to recording 1 and mark each person that is speaking with a number (1,2,3...). Elicit answers from SS. "Who was speaking first?" "Who spoke after him?" Repeat listening to recording only if needed.

Highlighting & Clarification (12-15 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the target language and clarify meaning

SS listen to recording 2. This time they will be listening for the words used (Q & A). T elicits requests/words used from SS after listening to recording 2. "What did he/she say?" "what did he/she say in response?" Elicit a couple of requests and write them on the board. Draw two charts on the board (asking for permission/making requests) write the forms in the right chart. T "what kind of language is being used/what do we call these kinds of questions?" requests. T points to a person in picture 1 and asks: "what kind of a request is she/he making?" "is she/he asking for something or asking someone to help her/him?" asking for something. "what do we call this kind of requests?" asking for permission. Elicit both types of requests and write the correct name above each chart. CCQs: "If I am wanting to do something, what kind of request is that?" "If I am wanting to turn on the light, what kind of request is that?" "If I am wanting you to turn on the light, what do I need to say?" "If I need someone to do something like opening the door, what kind of a request is that?" Elicit correct responses for each request. Fill them into the charts on the board. Hand out strips of paper with requests on them. Have SS quickly organize requests according to formality (less formal to more formal). Have SS work in pairs. Give them two minutes. Elicit register. "Which one would I use if I was to talk to a good friend?" "Which one would I say if I was talking to my teacher?" "Which one would I use for a person in authority like a governor?" "Could I say _____ to _____?" Mark formality on the board. Elicit 'importance of intonation' in making polite requests. Drill "Can I get passed, please?" "Could I have a cup of water, please?" "Would you pass me that book, please?" "Would you mind if I close the window?". "Where is the stress?" "Where does the music go up?"

Controlled Practice (9-12 minutes) • To prepare students for more meaningful practice

Demo activity. T writes 'A: I want to speak to Maria. B: She's out. Call back later?' on the whiteboard. Ask SS what is wrong with these phrases? They are not polite. Elicit polite form from SS. T models crossing out and rewriting the parts that need to be changed. ICQs: "What are we going to do with this dialogue?" Rewrite it to make it more polite."Are we going to cross the whole sentence or only part of it?" Only part of it."Are we going to work alone or in pairs?" in pairs. "How much time will we have?" 4 minutes. T hands sheets with the dialogue on it out. T displays answer key on OHP. Ask SS if they came up with other forms, let them share quickly. Correct if needed. Demo. T asks a question. Have a SS respond. Ask another question and have the same SS respond again. SS read requests/responses out loud in pairs. Change roles and do it again. ICQs: "What are we going to do?" read the dialogue. "Who is reading the questions?" person A/one person. "Who is answering the questions?" the other person. After this, the SS that gives the response has to turn their paper and try to answer without looking at the answer. Change roles and do it again.

Freer speaking practice (12-15 minutes) • To provide students with freer practice of target language

T gives each SS two pieces of paper. Each paper has a situation/clue written on it. T asks SS to get up and mingle and ask each other questions based on the situations on their pieces of paper. The other person has to respond accordingly. Have each SS talk to 3-5 people. Then change your clues with someone else, and repeat. Monitor. Do error correction by pointing to the correct question/answer on the board. Take note of frequent errors, including pronunciation mistakes. Roundup: Delayed error correction if needed. Correct pronunciation/drill if needed. Give feedback. Give SS the handout with the two charts to take home.

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