Jack Ryan, Shizuoka University of Art and Culture; Rory Davies, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
- Key words: Restaurant, reservation
- Learner English level: Beginner to intermediate
- Learner maturity: First-year university
- Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Activity time: 90 minutes
- Materials: Whiteboard, handout
In this activity students will practice using English to make and accept restaurant reservations on the telephone. The lesson is designed to take place in one self-contained classroom.
Step 1: Prepare copies of appendices for your class.
Step 1: Put students into groups of four.
Step 2: Pass out the handout titled “Restaurant reservation” (Appendix A) and have students complete the cloze activity on the handout individually.
Step 3: Have pairs of students from the already formed groups pair off and sit back to back in a series of rows two to three meters away from the nearest pair.
Step 4: Have students take out their mobile phones and place them on their desks.
Step 5: Pass out Appendix B to the rows of students sitting nearest to the doors and Appendix C to the rows of students sitting furthest from the doors so that each member of a pair has a different handout.
Step 6: Tell students they are to use the “Restaurant reservation” handout (Appendix A) as an outline as they make and accept restaurant reservations.
Step 7: The students with Appendix B begin, in their role as restaurant staff, by picking up their phone to answer a call and write down reservation 1. Their partners with Appendix C should simulate speaking into their mobile phone as they place reservation 1 as written on their handout. The activity is much more fun if students turn on their phones, exchange numbers and actually call each other. This should be left to the students’ discretion. The pairs take turns making reservations until they complete all eight (four each) written on their handout.
Step 8: Once students have filled in their handouts, they check to make sure they have got all the details correct and have not misspelled any names, etc.
Step 9: In the bottom space number 9 on Appendixes B and C students should write in their own reservation.
Step 10: Have students change partners with those in rows closest to the door sliding down to the next seat and take turns making their own reservation and taking the reservation of their partner. Afterwards, they again compare notes to make sure they haven’t made any mistakes.
Step 11: At this point the teacher should collect all handouts from students as the next step requires them to do the activity without reference to a handout for support.
Step 12: Have students change partners again following the procedure as explained above.
Step 13: Pass out Appendix D to the rows of students sitting nearest to the doors and Appendix E to the rows of students sitting furthest from the doors so that each member of a pair has a different handout.
Step 14: The pairs take turns making the reservation written on their handout and then taking the reservation from their partner.
Step 15: Confirm that students have correctly completed the task by eliciting the reservation information and writing it on the board.
This lesson allows for communicative practice in making and accepting reservations over the telephone. It also encourages the practice of polite language and numbers. It is a good way to build confidence by realistically simulating an actual telephone reservation.
The appendices are available below.