Aim: To increase awareness of appropriate behaviour in English –
to compare and contrast these behaviour patterns with those in the
students’ own culture
Materials: a task sheet for each student;
Level: pre – intermediate
Time: 45 minutes
Preparation: each student has to learn a rhyme
Dear students and our guests,
We have gathered here to discuss and study some cultural
peculiarities of proper
behaviour in English – speaking cultures.
We will try to learn and use in different situations the best phrases
which can help us
to sound polite. So if you don’t mind we shall begin.
Student 1 acts as a teacher. She recites the rhyme:
When a person visits you, remember he’s your guest,
Receive him very kindly, and be sure he has the best;
Make him very comfortable and show him all your toys,
And only play the games you’re very sure he enjoys.
When you pay a visit, never grumble or complain
Try to be so affable they’ll want you there again;
Don’t forget the older ones, your hostess least of all,
When you’re leaving tell her you have had a pleasant call!
Student 1: Now, will you please imagine that we are receiving a guest
– she is a
colleague of your parents who came to talk to your parents, but
unfortunately your parents
got into traffic jam and are a bit late. How could you entertain the
guest? What can you
offer to her? You can offer the following: a newspaper, a book, a
photo album, a cup of
tea, a glass of juice, some mineral water, watching TV, DVD, etc.). I
will play as
that very guest.
- Would you mind sitting in the armchair and looking through the
- That’s very kind of you.
- I hope you don’t mind having a cup of tea.
- I do appreciate your offer. Thank you very much.
Let’s play cards
(Suggesting doing something together) –
Do you mind our playing cards together?
Do you mind if we play cards together?
Do you think that it might be a good idea to...
What about having…?
Student 2 acts as a teacher. She recites the rhyme:
Don’t interrupt your father when he’s
Telling funny jokes;
Don’t interrupt your mother when she’s entertaining folks;
Don’t interrupt the visitors when they have come to call,-
In fact, it’s generally wiser not to interrupt at all.
Student 2: So, if you don’t object we can talk about interrupting
we have to interrupt, but how can we do it politely? Make up dialogues
in the following
You have to interrupt two shop assistants, who are talking and
don’t notice you.
You have to interrupt your sisters, who don’t hear the phone
You have to interrupt your mother and her friend so that to invite
them to drink tea.
You have to interrupt two nurses so that to ask for a thermometer.
You have to interrupt your teachers so that to ask if you could
write in pencil.
You have to interrupt a secretary talking on the phone so that she
could give you some
- I am very sorry to interrupt you…
- I hate interrupting you…
- Could you excuse my interrupting you, etc…?
- I really hate to…
- It would be great if you could…
- I am wondering if you possibly can…
- Could you please try and….
- Excuse me please. I do hate to interrupt you, but could you give
me a correction pen for
- Of course, no problem. Here you are!
- Thank you very much.
Student 3 acts as a teacher. She recites the rhyme:
Hush! For your father is reading.
Hush! For your mother is ill.
Hush! For the baby is sleeping, and maybe
He’ll catch a nice dream if you’re still
Kiss me and promise you will.
Student 3: Most of all, I think, teachers need quietness in class so
that to be able to
concentrate on what they are explaining. Most of the time teachers raise
their voice to
calm us down. What phrases would you use if you were a teacher?
Not to run in the class, not to talk back, not to prompt, not
to copy, not to sleep,
not to ask silly questions, not to fight, not to stick the bubble gum to
the bottom of a
Example: a teacher wants a student not to chew a bubble gum and she
Alright if I ask our new student not to chew a bubble gum at the
Do you mind if I ask our new student not to chew bubble gum at the
lesson? I wondered
if you could possibly not to chew a bubble gum at the lesson.
I hope you don’t mind my asking but I wonder if it is possible for
you not to chew a
bubble gum at the lesson/
Do you happen to know that it is not nice to chew a bubble gum at the
I wonder if you happen to know that it is not nice to chew a bubble
gum at the lesson
I hope you don’t mind sparing me a few minutes.
Could you please try to remember that it is not nice to chew a bubble
gum at the
All the children taking part in making dialogues can answer using the
I am sorry, I am very (awfully, terribly, extremely) sorry, I
apologize, I apologize
for losing my temper, I should not have done it.
Student 5 acts as a teacher. She recites the rhyme:
The Goops are spotted on chin and on cheek,
You could dig the dirt off with a trowel!
But you wash your face twenty times every week,
And you don’t do it all with a towel!
The Goops are all dirty, and what do they do?
They like to be dirty, and stay so.
But if you were dirty, you would wash, wouldn’t you
If you needed a bath, you would say so.
How can we give some advice to a person with not very good manners?
5. Polite order
Student 6 acts as a teacher. She recites the rhyme:
The Goops they lick their fingers,
And the Goops they lick their knives;
They spill their broth on the table – cloth
Oh, they lead disgusting lives!
The Goops they talk while eating,
And loud and fast they chew;
And that is why I am glad that I am not a Goop – are you? 
Let us try to express our advice in a very polite form to a person
Is wearing very dirty boots, has not combed his hair, bites
his nails, sneezes without
using a handkerchief, uses many dirty words.
We can follow the examples given below:
I want you to wash the floor.
Wash the floor!
I’d like you to wash the floor.
Could you wash the floor?
Have you ever thought of washing the floor?
Do you mind washing the floor?
I was wondering if you could wash the floor.
Could you please wash the floor?
Would you mind if I asked you to wash the floor?
When you have time could you wash the floor?
I was wondering if you could possibly wash the floor.
When time permits could you please wash the floor?
I hope you don’t mind my asking you to wash the floor.
I was hoping when you had the time you could please wash the floor.
Might it be a good idea to wash the floor?
How would you like to wash the floor?
It would be really nice if you let me know when you will be able to
wash the floor.
Student 7 acts as a teacher. She recites the rhyme:
Josephus never yet was heard
To say but just one single word:
When father said to go to bed,
Then "Why?” was all Josephus said.
When mother bade him stop to play,
Then "Why?” Joseph used to say.
He always made the same reply.
It was never anything but "Why?”
To give a polite answer is not easy for a person who doesn’t know
properly how to do
it. Let us try to give nice and useful response to the people who need
our help. They are
formulated in the letters addressed to psychologists:
1. Dear Liz,
There are a couple of bullies in my school who are bullying another
boy. I feel very
sorry for him. He doesn't tell anyone. They steal his money and make him
cry. Once they
got his glasses and smashed them and threw them in the toilet. Is there
anything I can do
to put a stop to this. I don't want to get on the bullies bad side
It's kind of you to want to help this boy, he must be terribly upset.
Could you be his
friend to start with, it sounds as though he needs one?
Would you be able to tell his mum what has been happening because she
needs to go into
school about it? If you could discreetly tell a teacher that would be a
good idea but
don't get into difficulty with the bullies yourself.
What about going to the school office to borrow some sellotape or a
pen and then
quietly mentioning it to the school secretary?
2. Dear Liz,
I'm 9 and at primary school. When I'm playing football I get tripped up
and they are
always pushing me around and taking my dinner money. I often tell
teachers about it
because I've had a few injuries.
I think you need to have some tactics to avoid problems. Stick to areas
of school which
you know are patrolled by staff because bullies are less likely to
strike if there are a
lot of people around.
I know it's difficult if you like playing football but that will also
mean they won't
have access to your coat and dinner money. This is really a short term
their behaviour isn't right.
Ask your mum or dad to write to your head teacher to outline what's
been going on.
Perhaps they could suggest that supervision is stepped up in the
playground and that
dinner money is handed in at the beginning of the day to be kept in a
Children can give different advice showing their respect to the
person who needs help.
7. Excusing oneself
Student 8 acts as a teacher. She recites the rhyme:
Willy broke the window – pane
Willy spilled the ink,
Willy left the water – pipe
Running in the sink!
Did his mother punish him?
No! I will tell you why.
Willy, he owned up to it, and didn’t tell a lie!
Willy told his mother
Before she found it out
He said: "I am so sorry!”
She said: "I have no doubt!”
Very often we find ourselves in the situations when we have done
something wrong, how
to avoid hurting our relatives and friends, how to excuse yourself. Let
possible answers in difficult situations:
You have spilled coffee on the white table cloth, you got a
bad mark, you broke you
dad’s favourite cup
Phrases you can start excusing yourself:
Don’t say anything please until I explain what really happen…
You might think I am crazy, but let me explain the case…
I am afraid I have some unpleasant news for you…
Oh, mum I know that you are very understanding…
I can’t tell you how sorry I am…
I am extremely/awfully/so sorry…
8. Teacher finishes the lesson:
Now, the lesson is finished
(It is too long by half,
Mere didactic chaff),
One more rule won’t hurt you:
When you practice Virtue,
Do it with laugh! 
I hope this lesson has helped us to revise a lot of useful phrases
and we have had
quite a lot of fun acting different situation.