Free Corporate English (EFL) Lesson Plan – Get Your Thai Students Talking – Conversation/Debate – Is Globalization Good?

Try some fried bugs while you're in Thailand - photo MattC, Creative Commons


One thing many EFL/ESL teachers in Thailand get frustrated with is getting their corporate students talking. That’s why this free corporate EFL/ESL lesson plan on a debate on globalization is so much fun. It gets your students thinking, it gets your students working as a team and, most importantly, it gets them talking. Follow this quick free EFL/ESL lesson plan, and you may be surprised what your students actually know and are willing to discuss.

Expected Outcome: – EFL/ESL students will be able to debate in an appropriate, polite manner and give their opinions on the negatives and positives of globalization, using appropriate vocabulary, arguments and discussion techniques.

Materials and Resources: – Whiteboard markers, whiteboard, handout of appropriate debate phrases.

Teaching Procedures:

Step One: Write the word “Globalization” on the whiteboard and ask your students what it means. When someone has defined it, then write “Positives” and “Negatives” on the whiteboard and ask if they think it is a good thing or a bad thing. If you are teaching EFL or ESL overseas, you can also ask if it’s a good or bad thing for their country.

Step Two: Explain you are going to ask your students to have a short debate on the good and bad things associated with globalization. Split your class into two teams and assign a team leader. Now explain how a debate works ie: Opening statement, (by both teams), Rebuttal of opening statement (by both teams), additional questions from the teacher, and then a Closing Statement.

Step Three: Give out the handout showing appropriate phrases to use for a debate. I used the phrases at First World Obligation to create a handout on opinions, preferences and disagreement phrases. Go over the phrases, making sure each student understands them.

Step Four: Now give students 5-10 minutes to prepare their opening statement. Once the preparation time is up, choose a team to give their opening statement first, followed by the second time. Also tell your students they should be listening to the opposing team (a lot don’t, instead they’re more worried about what they’re going to say) as they will need to rebut some of the arguments the opposing team is making.

Step Five: After opening statements, give each team 3 minutes to give a rebuttal about what the opposing team said. (You will need to explain what a rebuttal is before they start).

Step Six: If time allows, I usually ask each team a follow up question, which they only have 1-2 minutes to answer. I make notes on their answers, to discuss after the debate is concluded.

Step Seven: Closing statements must now be made, letting your students know they need to take into consideration what the opposing team said as they may find they agree with something that was said, even if they don’t agree with all of it.

Step Eight: Once both teams have given their closing statements, go over the mistakes each team made (stressing more the positive things than the negative though). Then choose a winning team (unless there is a draw of course, in which case you can say so), and award a small prize. I usually choose chocolate for the whole team.

Expected Outcome – Students will be able to hold a short debate, using appropriate vocabulary and phrases. They should be able to state an opinion and back their opinion up with facts. Most of my students, even lower level classes, have enjoyed the debate format and taken it quite seriously.

This free EFL/ESL lesson plan is easily adaptable to any level from low-intermediate to advanced. For lower levels, just make the topic easier and the debate shorter.

SOURCES: – First World Obligation


Photo copyright – Mall culture, Jakarta, Indonesia by Jonathan McIntosh, Creative Commons License