English as a lingua franca

Lesson plan overview

This ESL worksheet is perfect as the first lesson of a course. Students talk about languages, learn what English as a lingua franca is as well as collocations and expressions to talk about their language abilities and complete a checklist with tips on how to improve their English skills. You can combine it with the following worksheet: “Idioms: moving abroad“, as well as the lesson “The secrets to effective learning“.

The first activity is a quiz on languages – students can be divided into teams and do the activity as a competition. Then students learn common expressions about languages (mother tongue, language barrier, body language, in plain English). Then they practise their newly-learned vocabulary by using the questions given as conversation starters.

Listening: Students watch a video “English as a lingua franca” and take notes about different points made by the speakers. In a post-listening discussion they express their opinions about the points made in the video.

Vocabulary development: Students learn different expressions to talk about their language abilities (be fluent in, brush up on, pick up, get by) and use them to talk about their own abilities.

The worksheet concludes with a “Improve your English checklist” – students are given different tips and with a partner they talk about which of the tips they follow and how to incorporate more English in their lives.

Homework: 3 research topics are suggested which aim to develop the topic further. The topics, combined with the additional resources provided on theenglishflows.com provide plenty of extra opportunities for contact with topic-related vocabulary in order to reinforce and enrich it.

Teacher’s lesson plan

Student’s worksheet

Student’s interactive PDF

Conversation cards PDF

Pre-class activities

To send the pre-class activities to your students, copy the link below.


Vocabulary matching


The first time you watch the video, pay special attention to the correct pronunciation of the following words:

1. native 2.regional 3.clarify

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

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