The Quality lesson

Whether it is a business speaking lesson or a general English conversation class there are tons of topics that both of these groups can share and that are very flexible for all levels. The links are for “the starting your own business lesson” and “20-second conversation topics lesson ideas“.

One of my favourites is “Quality”!

In today’s consumer society, people spend a lot of time buying different products on a daily basis whether this be food from the grocery store or items that you buy less frequently but require time and research before making an ultimate decision on what to purchase, such as home appliances, cars, electronic devices etc. Here’s a great authentic lesson idea I put together on the consumer society you can use to supplement this lesson topic beautifully.

With that said, there is plenty of material at your disposal to put together an interesting and engaging conversation lesson.

Getting started – warm up

Try to start conversation lessons with a quote or saying that can serve as a warm-up to get students thinking about the topic and their initial reaction to what will be discussed in detail later.  It can also be an expression, idiom, or metaphor that you feel is connected to the topic.  With regards to the quality lesson:

Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.


Do your students agree? Ask them to justify their answers with examples. Get them to list a few brands they associate with quality and ask them to say what are the qualities that make it great. There’s your warm-up


You can use my Wordhero spidergram for all the words you need for this topic. Use them as you wish. If you need ideas you can watch my video episode ‘Quality lesson’ on how to teach the vocabulary to your students.

Some words in the wordhero spidergram: reliable, exceptional, expensive, well-designed, long-lasting, unique, top, poor, low etc.

Speaking galore

Make sure you ask students to give examples of products and services that they consider high quality and to say why, in pairs and then switch pairs. Get feedback that will lead into a classroom discussion.

It’s important that you provide a list of products and services so they have something to work from:

Services: Internet, mobile phone, hair salons, repairs, construction/building, learning institutions, medical services, delivery services

Products: Mobile phones, computers, cars, groceries- vegetables, meats, dairy, chocolate, coffee, furniture, appliances, clothes, shoes

That’s just a taste but choose appropriately depending on age of your students.

If it is business oriented than you can focus on language that companies use to describe products in their advertising as well as adjectives that describe the qualities you look for in products: long-lasting, cheap/expensive, luxurious, handmade etc.

Ask your students to discuss expression related to quality, and if they agree with them or not:

“They don’t make them like they used to”

“Quality not quantity”

“You get what you pay for”

“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”

This topic can bring up specific brands that students prefer and the topic of brands in general. It can also bring up the topic of maintaining products.

It’s very versatile and all students have their own opinion about it so you shouldn’t have any problems getting them to talk about it.  They will leave knowing that they had a “Quality” lesson. 🙂

Like this lesson idea? You can stay updated on the latest ones as well as videos and teaching tips I post by signing up for the newsletter I sent out about once a month. Alternatively, check out the YouTube channel with over 170 videos on ESL language, lesson ideas and much more or the lesson ideas page on this website.

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