The Finance Lesson(investing)

This lesson covers language related to money, finance and investing(Upper-intermediate to advanced). Too many lessons on this subject cover the basic language of money in everyday spending/shopping situations. So here I have tried to create a lesson with a bit more advanced language for a class of students who would like to understand banking, finance, investment and how we express such things. If you have young-adult or adult learners this topic and the concepts and language that go with it will be incredibly useful to them. As always feel free to adapt any of the sections as you see fit so that it is suitable for your class of students.


Here are some quotes to get you started:

A bank will lend you money, if you can prove that you don’t need it.. – Bob Hope


“Beggars can’t be choosers.”

Ask students to discuss the quote and what it means as well as if they agree with it. Why(not)?

Get feedback and then ask students to discuss what are the advantages and disadvantages of borrowing money from each of these sources:

  • Friend
  • Family member
  • Bank
  • Credit-card company

Clarify to students that the word borrowing is a basic word for the more advanced ‘to finance’. Explain that financing means ‘to pay for something’ or ‘the source of money you require to pay for something’.


To start the vocabulary section cover the 3 F’s: Fine, Fee and Fare and check with students what the differences in meaning are between the three. It’s a nice warm up before getting into more difficult language.

Inspiration for this lesson idea mostly comes from a lesson I use from the Market Leader Upper-Intermediate coursebook and here is a scan of the pages I use in my lessons:

There is plenty of vocabulary from the page on the right side that you can extract for your own use.

Focus on the language in exercises A and B and be well prepared to explain the differences between the words, as I know from experience students require clarification.

In particular cover these: Asset vs Liability, The two meanings of Equity, collateral, principal, interest rate, dividends, instalment.

Another vocabulary area worth covering is the different ways we borrow money:

Subsidy, grant, loans(student loan, mortgage, small business loan), scholarship, 

You can put these on the board and ask student to discuss them, check what they know and ask them to provide examples of in what situations each is used.

Follow-up speaking in pairs: Ask students to discuss what type of financing for education have they used or would they use? Why(not)?


I tend to rely on YouTube and Simplilearn has this video on what artificial intelligence is and the main points are covered in less than 4min, so suitable for an English language classroom. The visuals help students follow the information provided, which is another bonus for lower levels. Here are some


  • Is it best to avoid borrowing money at all costs? What ways would you prefer to use for financing these things: house/apartment, starting a business, education, car, house appliances


Was this lesson idea useful? You can find more by checking out the whole collection here? Need more tips? Check out the YouTube channel with over 200 episodes on teaching and learning English.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.