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can I help you

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 2 months ago

Can I help you?


Amanda J Wraight


SKILLS: Listening, speaking, reading, writing, practical
TIME: One lesson (45 minutes)
MATERIALS: Worksheets x 2, menus, chalk
OBJECTIVES: To recognise basic food items on a menu, to learn the correct terms to order food in a restaurant, to understand the correct responses to waiters' questions




  1. Warm up. Students are put into teams by their rows. Tell them they are to take part in a ‘relay race’. Give the person at the front of each row a piece of chalk. In their team students have to go to the blackboard and write down an item of food or drink in English then take the chalk to the next person in their row who comes and writes a different item up, and so on. They are not to copy from what other teams have written. When a row has finished they must all put their arms in the air. When everyone has finished, go over the lists with the class crossing off incorrect words (e.g. incorrect spellings, Japanese food, Japanese English, etc – be ruthless!). The first to finish with no mistakes wins. (prizes can be given)


  1. Role-Play. Give students menus and worksheet ‘Can I help you?’. In pairs students review the menu and take it in turns to be the waiter or the customer. They should role-play what they want to eat and then fill in the blanks on their sheet with the food they ordered. They can adapt the dialogue as they want. The role-play should be demonstrated first by the ALT and JTE and care should be taken that students recognise the food items on the menu. As students are practising ALT and JTE walk around to listen to/join in role-plays and give advice as needed.


  1. Listening. Students are given worksheet ‘What did you want?’. Pairs are chosen at random to act out their dialogues. One will be the waiter and the other will be the customer. The rest of the class listen and fill in the table with the food their classmates ordered. They only get to listen once and must write in English. When 4 pairs have done their role-play, go over the answers. (JTE/ALT to take notes of these as the students are talking.) The table is drawn on the board and students are asked to call out the answers which are written in by the ALT/JTE. As most of the items will be on the menus the students should have no difficulty with spellings.



This lesson is very simple and can easily be adapted for stronger classes by the use of more complicated menus and less structured writing frames.


Leave the food lists on the board during activity 2 and first part of three so students can use the extra vocabulary.


Always check the menu items with your JTE first – will the students recognise them or at least understand what they are?


To make it more challenging, take away the menus between part 2 and 3 above so the students have to remember how to spell the food items.


Decorate menus and worksheets with pictures from real fast food cafes.


This warm up activity was developed from one by Curtis Maranda in the Senior High School Ideas Book 2004.




Can I help you? (dialogue)






What did you want?


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