This free ESL lesson plan on beer has been designed for 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.
Beer has been enjoyed for millennia as a great way to socialise with friends, especially down the local pub. More recently, there has been an explosion in the popularity of craft beer in the United States, a trend which has since spread to all corners of the world. In most major cities or regions, you can even go to annual beer festivals, with the most famous being Oktoberfest in Munich (which, funnily enough, mainly takes place in September). In this ESL lesson plan on beer, students will have the opportunity to discuss and express their opinions on issues such as their favourite beer, different types of beer and social effects of beer.
This lesson plan could also be used with your students to debate these issues for International Beer Day, which takes place in August. For more lesson plans on international days and important holidays, see the calendar of world days to plan your classes for these special occasions.
For advice on how to use this English lesson plan and other lesson plans on this site, see the guide for ESL teachers.
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):
Chicago Tribune | Why Americans have such bad taste in beer
The typical European will turn their nose up at an American-style beer and tell you it’s weak and tasteless. Is this just a lazy stereotype? No. Not according to this article, anyway. Apparently, there is a historical reason why American-style beers are so bad. 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 said? Can they think of any ways they might disagree with the content of the article?
To save time in class for the conversation activities, the English teacher can ask the students to watch the video below and answer the listening questions in Section 3 of the lesson plan at home. There are intermediate listening questions and advanced listening questions so teachers can decide which would be more appropriate for their students. Check the answers in the class.
The video for this class is called “British pubs are disappearing – here’s why” by CNBC News which details how the British pub industry has gone into decline and the reasons behind this.
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 and if they agree with it. This is followed by an initial discussion on the topic including famous beer brands, the popularity of beer in their country and how beer is made.
After this, students will learn some vocabulary connected with beer such as boozer, sesh and lager lout. This vocabulary has been chosen to boost the students’ knowledge of less common vocabulary that could be useful for preparing for English exams like IELTS or TOEFL. 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 listening questions. Before checking the answers, 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 beer. In this speaking activity, students will talk about issues such as the importance of beer for a country’s culture, the health effects of beer and whether it is ever acceptable to put a lime wedge in a bottle of beer.
After the class, students will write about their opinion of beer. This could be a short paragraph or a longer piece of writing depending on what level the student is at. The writing activity is designed to allow students to practise and improve their grammar with the feedback from their teacher. For students who intend to take an international English exam such as IELTS or TOEFL, there is an alternative essay question to practise their essay-writing skills.