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Making Business English phone calls


Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Duration: 60-90 minutes


  • Whiteboard or flip chart

  • Handout on phone call vocabulary and phrases (materials included)

  • Audio recording of a phone call or video of a phone conversation (not included)


  • Improve Business English phone conversation skills

  • Learn and practice phone call vocabulary and phrases

  • Develop confidence and fluency in phone communication

1. Introduction (5 minutes):

  • Greet the students and explain the objectives of the lesson.

  • Ask students about their experience with Business English phone calls and their confidence levels in this area.

2. Vocabulary and Phrases (15 minutes):

  • Hand out the phone call vocabulary and phrases worksheet.

  • Review the most common phrases and vocabulary related to Business English phone calls.

  • Write down examples of common phrases on the whiteboard or flip chart and ask the students to provide their own examples.

3. Listening Exercise (20 minutes):

  • Play an audio recording of a phone call or show a video of a phone conversation (not included).

  • Ask the students to take notes on the conversation.

  • After the recording, ask the students to discuss the conversation and identify the main points and purpose of the call.

  • Review the conversation as a class and highlight important vocabulary and phrases.

4. Role Play Exercise (30 minutes):

  • Divide the students into pairs.

  • Provide each pair with a different scenario related to Business English phone calls, such as a customer service call or a sales call.

    • Examples:​

    • Making a Sales Call: You are a sales representative and need to make a call to a potential customer to promote your company's product or service.

    • Scheduling a Meeting: You need to call a business associate to schedule a meeting at a convenient time for both parties.

    • Handling a Complaint: You work in customer service and need to handle a complaint from an unhappy customer over the phone.

    • Confirming Details: You need to call a client to confirm the details of a project or order.

    • Following Up: You need to follow up with a business contact regarding a previous conversation or agreement made over the phone.

    • Taking a Message: You need to take a message for a colleague who is not available to take the call.

    • Leaving a Voicemail: You need to leave a professional voicemail for a business contact.

  • Give the students 10 minutes to prepare for the role play exercise.

  • One student acts as the caller and the other acts as the receiver.

  • The students perform the role play and practice using the phone call vocabulary and phrases.

  • After each role play, provide feedback and suggestions for improvement.

5. Conclusion (5 minutes):

  • Summarize the main points of the lesson and review the importance of Business English phone calls.

  • Encourage the students to continue practicing their phone conversation skills outside of the classroom.

6. Follow-Up:

  • Provide additional resources and exercises for students to practice phone call skills on their own, such as online quizzes or role play scenarios.

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