The coffee culture has spread all over the world, with all cities and most towns worldwide jammed with cafes serving lattes, cappuccinos and espressos. The coffee culture, in fact, is so popular it’s a fun way to teach EFL and ESL students new food and drink vocabulary. While most EFL and ESL adult students drink coffee and tea, in many cultures of the world, children do too. This means you can adapt the lesson plan for use with children learning EFL or ESL, particularly if you include drinks like hot chocolate or Ovaltine – drinks served in coffee shops in many countries. This coffee culture lesson plan will not only teach your EFL or ESL students new food and drink and coffee shop vocabulary, they’ll have fun learning it too.
This is a two to three class lesson plan, with enough material to allow ease of English vocabulary learning, role play creations and role play performances.
Expected Learning Outcome – Students will learn new food and drink vocabulary and be able to order food and drink in English at any cafe or coffee shop around the world.
Materials and Resources – Whiteboard markers, coffee shop menus from places like Starbucks, Au Bon Pain and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and vocabulary list of English food and drink and coffee shop vocabulary. Tea, coffee and drinks-making supplies.
Step One: To warm up – ask students if they drink coffee, tea or other cafe-style drinks at coffee shops. Ask each student to tell you which coffee shop is their favorite and write them on the whiteboard.
Step Two: On the whiteboard, write down two headings – Drinks and Food. Ask students to name every coffee shop style drink they can think of – latte, cappuccino, Americano, espresso, hot chocolate, green tea shake etc. Stop after students named 2o types of drinks.
Now, do the same with coffee shop food. Here, you may get a massive list as, depending on the coffee shop and the country, some coffee shops are more like mini-restaurants than just a cafe for snacks. Expect to hear English vocabulary like ‘sandwich, muffin, bagel, chocolate cake, apple pie’ but don’t be surprised if you also get ‘burrito, chicken green curry, som tam, dim sum’ and other more exotic foods. Have students name at least 30 foods here, as this should be easy for them.
Step Three: Put students into small groups of 3-4 students. Now distribute food and drink vocabulary lists to each student, along with 1-2 coffee shop menus to each group. I pick up menus from every coffee shop I visit, so I always have a stock to use for this lesson plan.
Read through the vocabulary list with students, explaining any food or drink they don’t know the vocabulary for. Also pre-teach phrases like “I would like”, “Can I have”, if you’re students don’t already know them.
Step Four: Explain to students they must use some vocabulary from the whiteboard, some from the vocabulary list and items from the coffee shop menu to create a short role play about ordering food and drink in a coffee shop. This ensures they use vocabulary they already know, as well as incorporating new English vocabulary.
Explain role plays will be performed by each student group, but not until the next class session, as that will be when you will bring in coffee and tea, (hot chocolate and Ovaltine for the kids) and allow the students to make drinks in class while they’re performing their role plays. Allow students at least 15-30 minutes to write and rehearse their food and drink role plays, walking around helping students as necessary.
Step Five: Right before your next class session, set up a table at the front of your classroom with an electric hot water jug, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, Ovaltine, milk and sugar. Heat the hot water up right before the class begins and keep adding water and reheating as the role plays progress, so there’s enough hot drinks to go around. If you’re teaching children, make sure you pour the hot water yourself taking every safety precaution.
Now decide the order of your students role plays. (I usually draw numbers out of a cup or box, so it’s fair for all), and call up the first group.
Ask the group to act out their role play with the student who is playing the cafe barrista making quick cups of coffee, tea, hot chocolate or Ovaltine (bring paper cups too), depending on what their role play calls for. While this seems like a hassle, it’s really not. If you’re teaching EFL or ESL in many countries, the price of basic drink ingredients is incredibly cheap. Plus if you buy the 3-in-1 drink sachets, it’s nothing more difficult than adding hot water to the drink powder and mixing. Students too love this as it makes what might be an otherwise dull role play more fun for them.
As each group comes up to perform their role plays, other students can sit and watch while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea (hot chocolate or Ovaltine for the kids).
Evaluation/Assessment: 1. participation in class, 2. students’ understanding of vocabulary, 3. students ability to create and perform an understandable role play 4. students understanding of how to order correctly in a coffee shop.
This is a fun free EFL or ESL lesson plan as it teaches specific vocabulary that’s useful in an EFL or ESL students daily life. It also allows the students to have a little fun and a small ‘treat’, while learning English.