More Practice with Practical Exchanges

In a previous post, I shared handouts with useful expressions that students can refer to when ordering food, leaving voicemail, and performing other everyday speaking tasks. I know the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our sense of what’s normal, so it can be hard right now to imagine getting our hair cut at a salon or calling up housekeeping at a hotel. However, I’m optimistic, and I believe those everyday exchanges will become a part of our reality again.

My online followers requested practice with those kinds of ordinary situations, and I was happy to oblige with a 2-hour live stream full of role play. Students got to choose between a three- or 5-star hotel, and with me playing the role of the front desk staff, they had to check in. Others had to schedule a hair appointment over the phone, and a couple of lucky students won an imaginary gift of $2,000 cash and went clothes shopping. I was the salesperson who helped them.

If you’d like to challenge your students’ ability to handle themselves in everyday situations in the USA, check out my different reference sheets.

Everyday English_hotel Get started by reviewing key words and concepts. Will you students know the difference between a king and two doubles? Will they have the right expectations about a continental breakfast? I’ve included questions for discussion as well as helpful expressions, like, “Can I charge this to my room?”

Everyday English_clothes shopping Students need to become familiar with the customary policies and etiquette in US stores. Can they confidently and politely decline help from a salesperson? Knowing the difference between a classy boutique vs. a big chain store will help them remember how much help they can expect and how many items they can take to the fitting room. My list of useful expressions also covers making returns and exchanges.

Everyday English_hair salon Quite a number of questions come up when calling to make a hair appointment. With you as the receptionist, you can easily throw out a barrage of the usual questions and see how your students respond. Do you prefer any stylist in particular? Is this for a wash and cut? Do you prefer morning or afternoon? Can you come in at 2? My list of useful expressions will help them navigate the conversation and come out of it with an appointment at convenient time.

Hopefully, more and more of us will move past role play and experience such everyday situations again when it’s safe to do so!

Featured photo by BM10777. Retrieved from

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Madan Mohan Gupta says:

    Thanks a lot Ma’am. Those worksheets which you included in this blog, we can use them to have a condition and we can have a little conversation about that topic.
    Every example sentence given in worksheet can lead to a conversation for a little roleplay.

    Surely going to use these.
    Have a wonderful day Ma’am

    1. Yes! You see the potential, so you’re thinking like a teacher — a creative one. 🙂

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