Glossary of ESL terms





EFL Activities for the TEFL Teacher!


 Home |  Crosswords |   Word Searches   |   Flash Cards   |  Verbs   |  Songs   |  Creative Writing   |   Work Sheets  |  Phonics    ABCs   Survival English | Business ESL  |  ESL for Adults  |  Ask Thomas |  Lesson Plans  |   Young Learners  |  ESL Jobs   |









Would You Like to Leave a Message?

A Business English Telephone Role-play by Chris Gunn





Secretary Activity Sheet


Secretary Role Cards


Client Activity Sheet


Client Role Cards






Purpose and Audience:


The purpose of these materials is to give business students practice leaving messages with secretaries. This role-play covers reasons why someone would be out of the office along with vocabulary and expressions for leaving messages in a formal business setting.




After your introduction, give a few students some pieces of paper with instructions to 'call' the teacher. You can use a cell phone if you have one, or you can just use your hand and say, "Bring! Bring!" When the students ask for you, say, "I'm sorry the teacher has just stepped out. Would you like to leave a message?" and see what kind of response this gets. After trying this a few times, you can write some expressions on the board, focusing on the function of taking messages and the grammar of reported speech.



Class Set-up and Activity:


The class is divided into two groups: secretaries and clients. Clients are given a client activity sheet and a client role card. Clients call the 'Stellar Corporation' to talk to Mary Jenkins, a manager there. The clients have some important information to relay as well as some details to discuss. Unfortunately, Mary is out of the office. So the secretaries, who are given

a secretary activity sheet and a secretary role card,  have to inform the clients of that fact and the time/date of Mary's expected return. The secretaries have to take a message as well. The secretaries line up facing the wall. The clients line up behind the secretaries and tap them on the shoulder when they want to make a call. (See the picture above.) Clients should practice this conversation with as many secretaries as they can.


A version of this lesson in a non-business setting is available in this telephone language lesson plan.





All materials  (c) 2007 Lanternfish ESL