"Globalisation is not something that we can hold off or turn off. It is the economic equivalent of a force of nature, like wind or water."

Bill Clinton, 42nd president of the United States of America
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This Business English ESL lesson plan on globalisation has been designed for business professionals or other adults and young adults at an intermediate (B1/B2) to advanced (C1/C2) level and should last around 45 to 60 minutes for one student.

The globalisation of business is probably why you are learning English right now. Many of the top jobs in any country are through foreign businesses, and this means there will be some level of communication between countries. The world economy relies on the buying and selling of products across borders, and with this comes the migration of human capital. Without globalisation, the world economy would grind to a halt, and the products available to buy would be severely limited. In this Business English lesson plan on globalisation, students will have the opportunity discuss and express their opinions on issues such as what globalisation is and whether this phenomena hass been positive or negative.

For advice on how to use this English lesson plan and other lesson plans on this site, see the guide for ESL teachers.


Reading activity
Before the English class, send the following article to the students and ask them to read it while making a list of any new vocabulary or phrases they find (explain any the students don’t understand in the class):

Velocity Global | Globalization Benefits and Challenges

The article looks at a number of benefits of globalisation, including increased innovation, lower product costs, and access to new markets; as well as a number of challenges, including tariffs and export fees, managing employee immigration, and labour exploitation. At the start of the class, hold a brief discussion about what the students thought about the article. What do they think about the issues raised in the article? Do they agree with what was written? Can they think of any ways they might disagree with the content of the article?

Video activity
To save time in class, the English teacher can ask the students to watch the video below at home. In the class, the students will answer a number of conversation questions directly or indirectly related to the content of the video.

The video for this class is a TED Talk by Mike O’Sullivan called “The end of globalization (and the beginning of something new)” which explores the idea that the current phase of globalisation is coming to an end and looks at what might be next for the world economy.


The focus in the class is on conversation in order to help improve students’ fluency and confidence when speaking in English as well as boosting their vocabulary.

This lesson opens with a short discussion about the article the students read before the class. Next, the students can give their opinion on the quote at the beginning of the lesson plan – what they think the quote means, if they agree with it and how it could relate to business. This is followed by an initial discussion on the topic including how the students’ companies have been affected by globalisation, the effect of globalisation on jobs, and why so many people around the world are opposed to globalisation.

After this, students will learn some vocabulary connected with globalisation such as interdependent, glocalisation and global workforce. The vocabulary is accompanied by a cloze activity and a speaking activity to test the students’ comprehension of these words.

If the students didn’t watch the video before the class, they can watch it after the vocabulary section and answer the conversation questions. Before the conversation, ask the students to give a brief summary of the video and what they thought about the content.

Finally, there is a more in-depth conversation about globalisation. In this speaking activity, students will talk about issues such as how globalisation has affected wealth inequality, the environment and democracy.


After the class, students will write a briefing note to a foreign investor explaining the effects of globalisation in their country. The writing activity is designed to allow students to practise business-style writing as well as improving their grammar with the feedback from their teacher.


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