This lesson plan uses a short excerpt from the US Comedy Sitcom Seinfeld – a short excerpt in which Jerry takes a sales call at home.
- Language level: Pre-intermediate (A2)
- Learner type: Teens; Adults; Business
- Time: 30 minutes
- Activity: Speaking; Transcribing
- Topic: Telephones
- Language: Telephone language
- Materials: Video; Worksheet
Lesson plan outline
- Write the following on the board and ask students if they can identify the missing collocate (answer = call): __________ centre
- Find out if anyone works / has ever worked in a call centre. Find out what they did. Perhaps they answered calls or perhaps they worked in telemarketing (introduce this word).
- Give out copies of the worksheet: How to answer a sales call. Ask students to complete the first page. Let them brainstorm each other in pairs or small groups for this.
- Conduct a feedback and write good suggestions and language on the board. It could look like this:
- Find out if anyone has any funny or interesting ways of dealing with telemarketing or sales calls.
- Tell students that they are going to see a clip from the US comedy show Sienfeld in which Jerry, the main character, answers a telemarketing call. Show them the clip with the sound down.
- Ask students to complete part 5 of the worksheet (see below)
- Let students compare their ideas for part 5 but don’t give the answers at this stage.
- Play the clip with the sound up. Did your students understand it? Allow them to hear it as many times as they like. Ask them to listen carefully and transcribe the dialogue in the grid provided on part 6 of the worksheet. (Note that they already have four of the dialogue lines from part 5 of the worksheet.)
- Give out copies of the transcription and let students correct their dialogues.
After step 5, you could ask students to write a dialogue for a standard, funny or unusual telemarketing call. Student pairs could then act this out.
Use the video with the sound down, to teach the following vocabulary: