• ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:1

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ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:1
Teacher Guide
Unit 1: Talking With Your Customer
Day 1
Customer Service Skills Job Readiness Skills Grammar and Pronunciation
• Identify main customer • Listen to the goals and life • Use the modal construction
service/retail sales plan of another person. would like to to indicate a
responsibilities and jobs. wish.
• Write 5 personal goals and 4
• Tell others about past personal dreams. • Use an adverbial clause
customer service work and beginning with because to
preferences. • Plan to accomplish a indicate reason.
personal goal via 5 written
• Identify customer service
• New student binders
• World map (on classroom wall)
• Pins with plastic flags
• Stand Out 4 Audio CD, Track 3 (if you have permission to use this in your program)
• Student Book Unit 1
Key Vocabulary:
customer represent
customer service ring up
goal sales associate
qualifications teller
Notes to Instructor:
Write your name and that of the course on the board. Make sure everyone signs in.
The first day of class is the best time to begin creating a positive, energetic class dynamic. Take
your time on the introductory activities, and save the paperwork and most of the policies for the
end of the class session. One exception to this guideline is the introduction of the SSLC usage
policy. It is a good idea to address this policy before break so that students do not bring food or
drinks back into the classroom.
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:2
Teacher Guide
Warm-up: Line Up 20 minutes
Set up
1. Welcome class. / Introduce self. / Announce agenda:
a. get to know each other
b. talk about customer service
c. talk about the course and our goals
d. fill out forms
2. Ask one student how long s/he has been in the country. Write the question and the answer
on the board. Have students repeat:
Q: How long have you been in the United States?
A: I’ve been here for 5 years.
3. Ask students to stand up. Then, ask them to line up according to the number of years they
have been in the country (the person with the most years at one end; the person with the least
years at the other). Tell them they must ask and answer the questions amongst themselves in
order to line up correctly. Assist where necessary.
Reportback & Feedback
4. Once students are lined up, check as a group to find out if they did so correctly.
Wrap up
5. Pair students up according to the results (i.e., pair up the two who have been here the
shortest/longest amount of time, etc.) Ask the pairs to sit down together at the tables.
Activity: Interview and Introduction 25 minutes
Set up
1. Write the following three questions on the board:
What is your name?
Where are you from?
What is special or unusual about you?
2. Choose a student and model the exchange, writing the model answers on the board. The
third question can cause confusion, so give a few example answers for yourself.
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:3
Teacher Guide
3. Ask students in pairs to interview each other. Circulate to assist.
Reportback & Feedback
4. Ask students to take turns introducing each other to the class. Take notes on their names and
their special and unusual characteristics. When they are finished, go through your notes and ask
the class to identify their classmates by name based on the information you supply. For
example, “Who has five children?”, “Who is from Madagascar?”, “Who likes to play the guitar?”
Wrap up
5. Finally, pass out the flagged pins for the map and ask students to come up and put a pin in
their place of origin. Afterwards, take a moment to show the points of origin of the classmates,
highlighting those who might come from the same place, the most far-away places, etc.
Presentation: Introduction to the Course 25 minutes
Note to Instructor: Take this opportunity to introduce the course to students and take their
Set Up
1. Give an overview of the goals of the course and some examples that illustrate each:
a. Learn and practice customer service skills
Examples: greeting the customer, describing products, asking good
questions, using the telephone, using a cash register,
handling angry customers
b. Prepare to get a customer service job
Examples: practicing for interviews, writing a resume and reference list,
filling out online applications, learning how to search
for jobs, improving computer skills
c. Improve English – especially listening and speaking for the workplace, but
also reading and writing as well
2. Portfolio: Emphasize the fact that the course is intensive and job-focused. We give a lot of
support to their search for a job, which is a key aspect of the course. As such, students will be
developing their portfolio during the class. The portfolio is a packet of information and tools
that students can use in their job search and during interviews. It will eventually contain their
resume, reference list, and job search and interview tools. At the end of the course, they will
receive a black folder in which to keep their portfolio. For now, they will just keep their portfolio
pieces in the Portfolio section of their binder, and in the side pockets of the binder itself.
Emphasize that they should keep any papers that they receive or use in class – never throw
anything away.
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:4
Teacher Guide
3. Also emphasize the fact that the class will constitute a learning community. We should learn
each others’ names right away and help each other to improve as much as possible throughout
the next 8 weeks, and beyond. If you are able, tell a few anecdotes from your experience about
previous students who have had successful experiences in the class.
Wrap Up
4. Pass out student binders. Tell students the binders are theirs to keep. They should bring
them every day or leave them at the SSLC each day. Occasionally they will receive handouts
which they should hole-punch and put directly into their binders, in the corresponding unit
5. Students should also bring a notebook in which to write their daily class notes and a pen or
pencil each day.
Note to Instructor: This is a good time to take a break. Before break, you may want to give
students a brief tour of the SSLC. Point out where the restrooms are, explain that they can use
the small refrigerator to keep their food for break (as long as they keep things clean.)
Presentation and Activity: Introduction to Customer Service 25 minutes
Set Up
1. Ask students: “What is customer service? What are the responsibilities in a customer service
job?” and write their ideas on the board. Elicit the following:
- help people - give information
- answer questions - speak on the telephone
- sell products & take orders - ring up customers
- provide technical service - handle problems
- obtain information from customers
- represent the company; be the “face” of the company for the public
2. Lead students from these general answers into a discussion of what jobs are customer service
jobs. List them on the board as they are volunteered. Elicit the following and help define
unfamiliar terms:
- sales associate (in a store) - bank teller
- help desk position - call center operator
- web-based company position - secretary
3. Find a couple students who already have (or have had) jobs in customer service. Ask those
students what they liked and disliked about those jobs and why. Encourage them to use
adverbial clauses beginning with because to provide reasons for their preferences. Model the
construction on the board:
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:5
Teacher Guide
Example: I liked my banking job because I enjoy mathematics.
4. Ask students to get into groups of three and discuss what customer service jobs they have
done in the past, if any (in their home countries or in this country.) Ask them to discuss what
they liked and disliked about those jobs and why. Encourage them to use adverbial clauses
beginning with because, using the example on the board as a model.
Reportback & Feedback
5. Ask volunteers to report back to the class. As a group, discuss students’ experience and how
that might be helpful throughout the course. Encourage the use of because. Encourage and
practice the clear pronunciation of past tense verb endings.
6. Move from this discussion into the next activity, in which students will listen to someone’s
goals and then write their own. Mention the fact that we are talking about the jobs we did in the
past (or perhaps in the present), while in this course we will be preparing for our future. The
first part of this preparation involves setting goals.
Activity: Setting Goals 30 minutes
NOTE: This activity is only to be used if your course has permission to use Stand
Out 4. See the Bibliography for Stand Out 4 publication information.
Set Up
1. Elicit the definition of goal from the class. Write the group’s definition(s) on the board and
help them arrive at a consensus on the definition.
2. Tell students they are going to read about the goals of Bita, an Iranian immigrant. Ask
students not to use a dictionary or translator during the first reading. They should just read for
general meaning.
3. Ask: “What are Bita’s goals?”
“What is she doing to make her goals a reality?”
“What is her dream?” (“What would she like to do?”)
Take time to discuss the difference between a goal (a concrete achievement within a given,
realistic time frame) and a dream (a wish for the future, which may or may not be achieved
within a given time frame.)
Also, highlight the difference between the modal will (used here with goals) and the
construction would like to (used here to express dreams). Ask students the following:
Tell me about a dream you have for your future.
Elicit a few students’ dreams and encourage them to use would like to. Write a few example
sentences on the board.
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:6
Teacher Guide
4. Ask students to write 3-5 of their own future goals, and their dreams. Circulate to assist with
grammar and expression. When they are finished writing, elicit a few goals from volunteers.
5. Now, draw students’ attention to instructions in the book. Play track 3 (starting at 0:12) of
the Standout 4 CD twice. Pairs can compare answers. Review answers with students. The
answers for this section are below:
Steps Completion Date
Step 1: Study English. Spring 2004
Step 2: Register for college. Fall 2004
Step 3: Get degree. Spring 2008
Step 4: Become an intern. Summer 2008
Step 5: Get license. Winter 2009
Step 6: Become a partner in a firm. 2010
6. Finally, ask students to turn to the sheet (SB 1:3) where they wrote their own goals, choose
only one, and fill in the chart for that goal in Part C of SB 1:2.
Reportback & Feedback
7. Ask a few volunteers to present their plan to the class. Discuss responses as a class and give
individual feedback where possible.
Presentation: SSLC and course policies 15 minutes
1. Pass out and review the SSLC usage policy form with students. Give students time to read
and sign it. In your discussion of the policies, emphasize the following:
• Always check in at the front desk before entering the facility.
• Computers at the SSLC are for learning and job search; books are to be used here.
• Attendance policy: No more than 3 unexcused, and 6 total, absences are permitted.
• An absence is excused if the student telephones ahead of time and if the excuse is
one which would be appropriate in a workplace (e.g. illness).
• Arrive on time or early. If you are going to be late, call ahead (just like a workplace).
• Turn off cell phones. Never answer them in class. You can make calls outside
during break.
• No food or drink (except for water) inside the classroom.
• The SSLC / Montgomery College inclement weather policy.
Wrap up 25 minutes
The last half hour of class time can be used for filling out the necessary forms.
Announce that tomorrow we will practice greeting the customer.
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:7
Teacher Guide
Unit 1: Talking With Your Customer
Day 2
Customer Service Skills Job Readiness Skills Grammar and Pronunciation
• Describe and model a • Identify syllables and
customer service attitude. produce stress of multi-
syllabic words.
• List key components of
greeting the customer. • Produce the schwa sound.
• Practice greeting the • Use the modal construction
customer. would like to to inquire about
and state wishes.
• Use an adverbial clause
beginning with because to
indicate reason.
• Pronounce word-final [ng]
• 4 index cards
• SSLC Tape: Greeting the Customer
• Photocopies of TG 1:36, Words for Syllable Activity, each copy cut and shuffled – one copy
per student pair
• Flip chart paper or posterboard (optional)
Key Vocabulary:
appropriate greet pushy unclear
attitude greeting rude
courteous inappropriate shift
eye contact manage stress
friendly polite syllable
Notes to Instructor:
It is a good idea to write the day’s goals on the board. Go over them with students before class
begins and review them again at the end.
Today you will begin teaching syllables. For more background on the teaching of syllables and
pronunciation generally, see Gilbert 2005 Clear Speech Teachers Resource Book, Units 1 & 3.
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:8
Teacher Guide
Warm-up: Find Someone Who… 20 minutes
Set Up
1. Begin the class by asking a few students what they would like to do in class today. Get a few
different suggestions from them, and use these suggestions to ask other students about their
Examples: Sumana, would you like to practice greeting the customer today?
Francois, would you like to use the computers today?
Yes, I would. No, I wouldn’t.
Write at least one of the questions, and both a negative and a positive answer, on the board as a
model. Have students practice the pronunciation of the questions and answers. Have them pay
special attention to the pronunciation of the negative response and the consonant cluster [dnt].
2. Students should read the instructions for Part A on SB 1:4, Find Someone Who.... Go
through the example with the class before they begin. Circulate to assist. Congratulate the first
person to get a name on every blank.
3. Review the findings as a class. Ask follow-up questions of some students to get the reasons
behind their wishes and encourage them to use to adverbial clauses beginning with because.
Reportback & Feedback
4. Ask students to complete Part B. Ask volunteers to present their answers to the class. Find
out if other students in the class agree or disagree with their classmates.
Presentation and Activity: Greeting the Customer 40 minutes
Set Up
1. Introduce the topic by asking students, “What is the first thing you should say to the
customer?” In the top left corner of the whiteboard, write a few of their suggestions (example:
Hello. How may I help you today?) Explain that this is called “greeting” the customer and that
will be the first customer service skill that you practice together. Leave what you have written.
You will use it later.
2. Write the words appropriate and inappropriate at the top of the board, leaving plenty of
space between and below each word. Explain that there are appropriate ways to behave and
appropriate things to do when you greet the customer. There are also inappropriate things to
say and do. Refer to the suggestions in the corner of the board and write Greet the customer
politely under appropriate. Make sure students understand the definition of polite,
appropriate, and inappropriate, and practice the pronunciations of the words.
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:9
Teacher Guide
3. Ask students to get into pairs or small groups, and come up with ideas about what one should
remember to do when greeting a customer (i.e., what is appropriate), and what one shouldn’t do
(i.e., what is inappropriate).
4. After 6 or 7 minutes, bring the class together again. Ask for groups to report some of their
ideas. Write them on the board under appropriate and inappropriate, and take time to discuss
and elaborate where necessary. Encourage students to use should and shouldn’t, and
appropriate and inappropriate. Point out that many of these behaviors are not only relevant to
greeting the customer, but are key parts of the customer service attitude. Review the cultural
notes in and below the table below before you teach this section, and be sure to cover all or most
of the following points:
Appropriate Inappropriate
Greet the customer politely. Don’t stand too close to the customer.
Be friendly, courteous, and professional. Don’t touch the customer.
Speak clearly and slowly enough to be Don’t be unclear or talk too fast.
Greet the customer promptly [within the first Don’t be pushy. [Instead, be professional and
10 seconds]. relaxed.]
Make and maintain eye contact. Do not chew gum or eat. That is rude.
Smile! [This shows you are interested and Avoid saying things that are too personal or
friendly.] casual.
Acknowledge everybody in the shopping party.
Instructor Notes: Take time to elaborate upon the key points above as they are suggested by
students and where necessary. Be sure to point out that these behaviors are key parts of the
customer service attitude – not just greeting the customer. Also, remember that some students
come from cultures with significantly different practices regarding personal space, touch, and
other practices. Keep in mind the following:
• In the United States, the distance between a sales associate and a customer should be at least
2 feet, and is often up to 4 feet or farther. Americans generally prefer more personal space than
people in Mediterranean and Latin American countries, and more than men in Arab countries.
(New York Times, November 16, 2006, In Certain Circles, Two is a Crowd).
• The United States is generally a touch-avoidant culture. It is generally recommended that, in
a work environment, people not touch at all (except for handshakes). (Richmond, V. P., &
McCroskey, J. C. 2004. Nonverbal behavior in interpersonal relations. 5th Ed., Boston, MA:
Allyn & Bacon.) Some students may find this surprising.
• Spend a few minutes discussing what it means to “speak clearly”. Point out that it is not only
clear pronunciation. It is also speaking slowly and loudly enough to be understood (but not too
slow and not too loud!)
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:10
Teacher Guide
4. The last step of the presentation is to generate and practice the remaining “stock expressions”
for greetings. Generally speaking, the verbal greeting has two parts: 1. a basic greeting or
acknowledgement of the customer’s presence, and 2. a question that creates an opening for
discussion. Using this two-part structure, elicit some stock expressions from students and add
them to the existing list in the corner of the board OR write them on poster board or flipchart
paper that can be left on the wall for future reference:
Hello. How may I help you?
Good afternoon. How can I help you today?
Good morning. What can I help you with today?
Hello. Are you looking for something special today?
Tell students that the customer may respond to the greeting by asking for help with something.
However, he or she may also just say that they don’t need any help. In that case, the sales
associate can say:
Certainly. If you need any help, just let me know.
5. Lead the class in practicing the pronunciation of the stock expressions (with smile and
appropriate intonation!)
Performance & Feedback
6. Finally, ask students to pair up, stand up, and practice greeting each other several times.
Circulate and remind students to smile, speak clearly, make eye contact, etc.
Wrap Up
7. Explain to the class that they will be practicing greetings more later in the unit.
Post-break Activity: A Guessing Game 10 minutes
Set Up
1. During or right before break, write one of the following words on each of four index cards:
appropriate, rude, unclear, pushy. Privately and one-by-one, take aside four students and ask
them to play a small role for the class after break. They will be the sales associates and will greet
you, the customer, in the manner described on the card.
2. Write the four words on the board. When the class assembles again after break, explain that
they will have to watch their classmates (sales associates) greet you (the customer), and then
guess what word describes the greeting.
3. Have one of the volunteer students with cards come up to the front of the room. Leave the
room and come back in through the door, looking around as though you were a customer. Role
play the greeting scenario with each of the four volunteer students.
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:11
Teacher Guide
Reportback & Feedback
4. After the role play is finished, and the class has guess the word that describes the greeting,
discuss why they chose to describe the greeting in that way. What were the characteristics that
made it pushy, rude, etc.
5. Use this discussion to transition smoothly into the listening activity that follows.
Activity: Greeting the Customer 1 & 2 – Listening 25 minutes
Set Up
1. Ask students to read the instructions on SB 1:5, Greeting the Customer 1 . Emphasize that, if
they feel that a greeting they hear is inappropriate, they must write why they think so.
2. Play the tape, Greeting the Customer, at least two times. Discuss the answers and the
reasons with the students. Encourage students to use adverbial phrases beginning with because
to state their reasons.
Here are the answers to the worksheet:
Appropriate or Why?
1 Inappropriate Rude
2 Appropriate
3 Inappropriate Too fast
4 Appropriate
5 Inappropriate Too fast and too pushy
6 Inappropriate Unclear. [A little. This one could go both
3. Ask students to listen to the tape two more times. As they listen, they should fill in the
blanks on SB 1:6. Greeting the Customer 2, with the missing words.
Reportback & Feedback
4. After they listen, students should compare their answers with a partner. Review any difficult
spellings on the board and give individual feedback where possible.
5. The last greeting in the previous activity may have been judged inappropriate because it is
somewhat unclear. Use this fact to transition into the presentation on syllables by stating that
speech clarity has a lot to do with rhythm and intonation in English –in other words, the music
of the language. Syllables are the basic building blocks of English rhythm. If we pay attention to
syllables, we can speak more clearly.
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:12
Teacher Guide
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:13
Teacher Guide
Presentation and Activity: Syllables 25 minutes
Set Up
1. Introduce the concept of syllables. Write the words sale, retail, customer, and appropriate
on the board. Ask students to listen to you say the words. Then, say them again, this time
clapping the syllables out lightly as you say them. Next, ask students to say the words together
as a group, clapping the syllables as they speak.
2. Explain that you clap once for each syllable. Ask students to identify how many syllables are
in each of the words on the board.
3. Ask students to pair up, and give each pair a face-down stack of vocabulary word cards from
TG 1:36, Words for Syllable Activity. Ask them to practice together, pulling one card at a time
and counting the syllables in each word. Insist that they either lightly clap or tap their fingers in
order to count the syllables.
Reportback & Feedback
4. Circulate to listen and assist, taking notes on words that seem to be particularly difficult.
5. Do not collect the cards after students have finished. As a whole class, discuss the number of
syllables on some of the difficult words (like chocolate) and practice. Give individual feedback.
Presentation and Activity: Stress
Set Up
1. Use the preceding whole-class discussion on syllables to transition into an introduction of the
concept of stress. Model the pronunciation of a few of the difficult words you have been
discussing and point out that you give more vocal emphasis to one of the syllables over others.
The vowel in this stressed syllable is particularly long. For example, the first syllable in radio is
stressed. As such, the [a] sound is noticeably longer than the [i] and the [o].
Read a few words from the cards and have students repeat words after you, focusing on stress
and vowel length. Have them name the number of the syllable where the stress is found (e.g.,
the first syllable).
2. Using your own stack of cards, read words one by one. Instruct students to silently indicate
the number of the syllable where the stress is located by holding up the corresponding numbers
of fingers. (This ensures that some students will not distract others by giving the answers aloud
too quickly.) Watch the fingers and repeat words if some indicate the incorrect number.
3. Once you feel that students understand the concept of stress and can identify it in words,
introduce the concept of the schwa. Explain that the unstressed vowels in a word are often
pronounced as a schwa, or a very short, unclear vowel sound. It is very common in English.
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:14
Teacher Guide
Write the following words on the board. Model their pronunciation and then have students
repeat. Identify the syllables that have a schwa. Identify the stressed syllable in each word.
America customer associate professional company technical
Point out that not all unstressed syllables have a schwa sound. Some unstressed vowels are
simply short and clear, while stressed vowels are long and clear. The schwa is short and unclear.
Practice & Feedback
4. Students should now return to the same pairs. This time, one student can read a word to
his/her partner, and the partner can say where the stress is located. Then, both students should
practice the pronunciation of the word, with attention to the schwa sound. Circulate to assist.
Assessment: Syllables and Stress 20 minutes
Set Up
1. Ask students to open to SB 1:7, Syllables and Stress: Assessment, and go over the
instructions with students.
2. Read the list of the words below, saying each word twice. Instruct students to write the
words that they hear.
1. retail 6. supervisor
2. attitude 7. chocolate
3. employment 8. represent
4. sales 9. polite
5. service 10. need
3. Now, say each of the words again once. Ask the students to write the number of syllables in
each word on the blanks provided. Do one example on the board with the word professional to
make sure that students understand what to do.
4. Say each of the words once again. This time, ask students to underline the stressed syllable in
each word. Model the example word professional on the board to make sure students
understand what to do.
5. Say each of words a final time. Ask students to circle any syllable that contains a schwa.
Model this on the board with the word professional.
Reportback & Feedback
6. You can either collect the assessments and record how students performed, or use peer- or
self-correction process.
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:15
Teacher Guide
Wrap up 5 minutes
Remind students that the class has focused today on the customer service attitude, greeting the
customer and also on syllables and stress. Awareness of syllables and stress can help us speak
more clearly and be understood by others. Day 3 of Unit 1 begins with a focus on speaking
clearly, so it is useful to call students’ attention to these points at the end of Day 2.
You may choose to wrap up the class by asking students to revisit their list of stock phrases for
greeting the customer that they created in the beginning of class. They can practice
pronouncing the greetings again – this time, with attention to syllables, stress, and the
pronunciation of unstressed syllables. Here again are some stock phrases for greetings:
Hello. How may I help you?
Good afternoon. How can I help you today?
Good morning. What can I help you with today?
Hello. Are you looking for something special today?
Certainly. Let me know if you need any help.
Homework: Reading Activity: Determining a Customer’s Needs on SB 1:10 and questions
on SB 1:11.
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:16
Teacher Guide
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:17
Teacher Guide
Unit 1: Talking With Your Customer
Day 3
Customer Service Skills Job Readiness Skills Grammar and Pronunciation
• Greet the customer. • Articulate word endings to
enhance comprehensibility.
• Use appropriate terms of
address and titles. • Produce question
• Determine customer needs.
• Produce stress of multi-
• Ask general open-ended syllabic words.
• Mix & Match Cards, TB 1:43 , copied onto cardstock, cut, and shuffled
• Cut-out magazine images of different people (see SSLC Instructor Resource Shelf)
• SSLC Audio Tape: What are his interests?
• Flipchart paper or posterboard (optional)
Key Vocabulary:
anticipate Mr. tune in
determine Mrs.
impression Ms.
Ma’am Sir
Miss skill
motive standard
Notes to Instructor:
Last night’s reading homework, Determining a Customer’s Needs, will be discussed during
today’s class. You may also wish to take some time at the end of class to go over the answers to
the homework and answer any questions. Collect the homework and review it in a timely
manner in order to provide students with feedback on their work.
Please note that in Unit 2, you will need to use the computer lab. It may be advisable to
schedule the use of the computer lab now for that day, or adjust your lesson plans accordingly.
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:18
Teacher Guide
Warm up: The Gossip Game 20 minutes
This warm up activity re-focuses students on clear speaking, which was discussed on Day 2 of
this unit.
Set Up
1. Ask students to get into a large circle or a line, with some space between each person. It is
wise to ask an advanced student to be the first person in line or stand nearest you in the circle.
2. Ask students to tell you what gossip is. Make sure that everyone understands the definition,
and tell them that the game you are going to play is called The Gossip Game.
3. Announce that you are going to whisper a sentence in the ear of the person nearest you.
S/he, in turn, will whisper it to the next person. The sentence can be said only two times to the
same individual. It is important to speak clearly, but not so loudly that the next person in line
can hear the sentence. Note that this is an excellent time to quickly review how to ask for
repetition: Could you repeat that, please? Practice this phrase with students before you begin.
4. Start the game. Use one of the following sentences (or make one up):
She wants to buy a yellow dress. Miss Parker would like a large coffee.
He is looking for some sports socks. We are sold out of size 11.
She wants to buy a gift for her mother. I want to buy a flat screen T.V.
5. Ask the last person in line to tell the class what s/he heard. It will most likely be something
different (perhaps very different) from the original sentence. Discuss why this is – what were
the problems? Did you feel that the person next to you spoke too quietly? Too quickly? With an
Discuss what can be learned from the activity. Emphasize that, in order for others to
understand us, we must speak clearly. Despite the fact that we may have accents, we can use
techniques (like attention to syllables and stress, speaking more slowly, etc.) to help others
understand us.
6. Draw students’ attention to the fact that consciously and clearly articulating the ends of
words is a key to helping others understand. Ask students to refer to SB 1:8, Speaking Clearly.
Have students practice pronouncing these sentences, paying particular attention to their
pronunciation of the ends of the words. First let them listen to you pronounce the sentences,
then have the class do it together as group. Next, ask each individual to read a sentence aloud.
Reportback & Feedback
7. Finally, have students practice pronouncing the sentences in pairs, constructively critiquing
each other’s articulation of the ends of words. Circulate among students to assist and to give
individual feedback.
ESOL Customer Service Training: Unit 1 1:19
Teacher Guide
8. Use the discussion about clear speech, above, to transition into a review of yesterday’s lesson
on greeting the customer.
Presentation: Terms of Address 20 minutes
Note to Instructor: It is very likely that questions regarding the use of titles (Mr., Mrs., etc.)
will come up during this presentation and activity. You must distinguish between terms of
address and titles, so tell students that you’ll discuss titles later in today’s class. Make a clear
distinction between terms of address, which are used when you do not know the person’s first or
last name (and sometimes when you do know that information), and titles, which are used with
a person’s last name). Terms of address are more common and usually more appropriate in the
interactions between the customer and the retail sales associate that we commonly deal with in
Set Up
1. Remind students of yesterday’s overview of greeting the customer. Write the stock phrases
back on the board (or refer to the poster paper on the wall):
Hello. How may I help you?
Good afternoon. How can I help you today?
Good morning. What can I help you with today?
Hello. Are you look

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