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Culminating Activity – Lesson Plan


This lesson is focused on the skill of returning an item to a department store – something that likely everyone will have to do at some point.


Returning a shirt at a department store

Functional phrases:  “Pardon me, where should I go to return a woman’s shirt?” “Where should I go to return a kid’s shirt?”  “Where is the escalator?” “Which floor is men’s clothing?” “Where is customer service?”

Language skills:  Asking directions in the department store; Answering questions about the reason for the return – size, color, defect, didn’t fit, or changed mind. Able to answer and understand questions like “Do you have your receipt?” “Do you have the credit card you used for the original transaction?” “Would you like a store credit?”

Cultural Knowledge:  knowing how to use credit card machines in different country; knowing polite way of communicating with customer service at a store.

Grammar:  phrasing questions correctly; answering questions correctly.

Vocabulary:  sales and return vocabulary; being able to read receipt and price tag with all the information; being able to communicate reason for return – terms like “too small,” “didn’t fit” etc.


Focus of Lesson:

Returning a shirt to a department store.


Objective: students should be able to return a shirt to a department store by communicating effectively.

1) Find the appropriate area in which to return the item.

2) Interact with sales person, answer questions about the return.

3) Fill out form, if required, to supply the reason for the return. More likely, answer questions about the reason for the return.

4) Listen and  understand cashier’s instructions/questions. “Can you please sign here?” “What was your original method of payment?” “Can you please swipe the credit card?” “Would you like to exchange the item or get a refund?”



As a whole group, students will brainstorm and practice the vocabulary needed to return items. Go over such terms as receipt, return, customer service, exchange, etc.

Grouped in pairs, students will role play returning a shirt to a department store, using dialogue already provided for them. Students should switch the roles up – salesperson and customer.

Grouped in pairs, students will write their own dialogue regarding returning a shirt to a particular store. If students are comfortable, have them present their dialogues to the class.



Peer assessment based on work done together. Teacher assessment based on the written dialogue the learners created and the presentation of the dialogue to the class.











Susan Finn Miller's picture
One hundred

Hello Jean-Marie, Thanks for sharing your lesson on returning a clothing item.It's good to see that you are including peer assessment in the lesson. Might you ask learners to assess themselves, too? The pairs that engage in a role play might assess how well they did as a team. What criteria will you and the students use to evaluate this work.?

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition CoP