Performance appraisals

Lesson plan overview

This ESL lesson is dedicated to performance appraisals, also known as performance reviews, annual reviews or employee appraisals. Students will learn vocabulary to talk about performance, phrases to give feedback, watch a short video and talk about the topic. You can combine this lesson with the following lessons: “Changing careers”, “Quiet quitting and quiet firing”, “Micromanagement”, “Emotional intelligence at work”.

Speaking: The lesson starts with 2 speaking activities: first, students discuss 4 questions related to performance reviews and then they look at a few statements about employee appraisals and say whether or not they agree with them.
Vocabulary: students look at different things usually discussed during an annual review and learn important vocabulary (accomplishments, gaps in knowledge, career growth).
Video: Students watch a video “Appraisal Meeting Tips For Employees” and complete 2 tasks.
Reading: Students look at examples of different feedback and match the phrases to the situations.
Functional language: Students learn phrases used in performance reviews and decide whether they are used by the employee or the manager. Then they complete the phrases with their own ideas.
Speaking: Lastly, students look at different questions asked during a performance review and role play a performance review.

You can use the conversation cards for additional speaking practice!

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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:

So why start with a problem? Because it is uncomfortable.
Next, have them come up with a solution and work together through it.
After that, talk about their strengths and list specific examples.
For example, they may expect harsh criticism, although you wanna praise them.

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

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