Smart Phones Meeting (EFL Business English Lesson)

These days, at least over here in Europe, smart phones are about as commonplace as, er... um, desks.

So let's use them to teach with...

Lesson objective:
Practice the language of arranging meetings

Procedure (1):
You can easily dogme this lesson - simply ask your students to brainstorm a list of meetings and appointments they regularly and irregularly have with their colleagues and in their personal lives.

  • Get them to write these down in their notebooks or stick up on the board.

  • Ask them to drag out their computers-in-their-back-pockets a.k.a phones and encourage them to organize meetings with each other. Provide a time frame to work within, e.g within the next 2 - 8 weeks.

  • Work on their grammatical weaknesses, supply alternative phrases, correct the common errors.

Procedure (2):

For students who feel more comfortable with a worksheet, download these:

Who's this lesson for?

Employed adults with smartphones or BlackBerry devices.
Elementary (with some vocabulary explanations) to Advanced.
Best with Pre-Intermediate.


25 - 40 minutes. Longer if you do the extension exercise.

When to use this lesson:
  • to support a textbook unit on telephoning or meetings
  • as a review of expressions for arranging meetings
  • to focus on prepositions of time (on, at, in)
  • to practice using ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd..)
  • to work on the future structures (will, be going to, future continuous etc.)
after the first time of presenting this lesson, you can also
  • follow up weekly/ whenever you need quick ice-breaker or a 5 minute filler

Have fun!


p.s. before you dash off - have you got any other great ideas for using smartphones in class? The other day we google'd and wikipedia'd (we were looking up Farah Fawcett's age) and this was loads of fun too - would love to know how you've been using them too...

5 Responses to “Smart Phones Meeting (EFL Business English Lesson)”

  • ShellTerrell says:
    July 20, 2009


    Another great lesson! I really think this is the wave of the future and you are preparing business folks to critically think with information and communication technologies. Now if only high schools would catch on and prepare the students with lessons like these before they enter their career fields!

  • Blythe Musteric says:
    July 21, 2009


    These are great ideas!

    I use the recording feature on my iPhone in my private lessons to record the student's voice. This is eye-opening for the student. He can hear what he sounds like, and it's a great way for him to do self-correction exercises. I can also record my pronunciation of a difficult word and email it to the student so he can practice at home.

    One more idea: if the smartphones can play mp3s, you can create a listening lab in the classroom!

  • Alex Case says:
    July 22, 2009

    I've been doing this lesson with slips of paper since I first taught it in New Cambridge English Course, so that's a while ago. It's always popular with students, and I might give the smartphones variation a try as everyone has them here in Korea. I guess it doesn't have to be smartphones as long as they can SMS each other, but there are issues of being uncomfortable giving their mobile numbers to each other (and possibly, but less likely, with email addresses for the smartphone version). I guess you'd want to be CCed into all their messages for error correction etc later.

    You could do something similar by getting them to leave messages on each others' answerphones (something again I have done a low tech version of, with much success, with dictaphones)

    Other ideas:
    - If they have cameras, they could take very close up photos of things in the classroom and send them to you or each other for "It must be the door handle" etc.
    - Er, that's it for ideas so far

    July 23, 2009

    Alex - I will weep, you did this lesson with slips of paper? It's not possible it's my brainchild.

    Bad, bad, boy for comparing me to a textbook - I will never forgive you.


    July 23, 2009

    Thanks Shelly, Bythe - you're one ahead of me! The posting on Monday will be on just that (mp3 and phones) just haven't had a chance to cut the video yet!



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