Dealing with Enquiries

A LESSON PLAN FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS

How to ask for and give information, including enquiries roleplays

Dealing with enquiries review

Needs analysis and questions review

Student A

Ask your partner the needs analysis questions below and write their answers. If you or your partner doesn’t understand the questions, use the easier version below the fold.

1.    Could I ask your name?

 

 

 

 

2.    Could you tell me your job title?

 

 

 

 

3.    Can you give me some information about what you do every day?

 

 

4.    Can you possibly tell me where you work?

 

 

 

 

5.    I was wondering why you are studying English.

 

 

6.    I also wanted to find out about your past English studies

 

 

7.    Do you mind if I ask about your strengths and weaknesses in English?

 

 

 

8.    I’d like to ask about how often you use English

 

 

What questions from the different people’s worksheets mean the same things? Work together to match them up.

What would the simpler direct question be in each case?

Underline the general phrases above for making questions indirect, then compare with the next page. 

--------------------------------fold-------------------------------------

Simpler direct questions

  • How often do you use English?
  • What is your job (title)?
  • Where do you work?
  • What is your name?
  • Have you studied English before?
  • What are your strong points and weak points in English?/ What is most difficult and easiest about English for you?
  • What do you do exactly?/ What do you do in your job?
  • Why are you studying English?

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Student B

Ask your partner the needs analysis questions below and write their answers. If you or your partner doesn’t understand the questions, use the easier version below the fold.

A: I’d like to ask why you are studying English.

 

 

 

B: I need to know your name, if you don’t mind.

 

 

 

 

C: Could you let me know your job title?

 

 

 

 

D: Could you explain what you usually do at work?

 

 

E: Please tell me your strengths and weaknesses in English

 

 

 

F: Please give me some information about how often you use English

 

 

G: Would you mind telling me where you work?

 

 

 

 

H: Could I ask about your past English studies?

 

 

What questions from the different people’s worksheets mean the same things? Work together to match them up.

What would the simpler direct question be in each case?

Underline the general phrases above for making questions indirect, then compare with the next page. 

--------------------------------fold-------------------------------------

Simpler direct questions

  • How often do you use English?
  • What is your job (title)?
  • Where do you work?
  • What is your name?
  • Have you studied English before?
  • What are your strong points and weak points in English?/ What is most difficult and easiest about English for you?
  • What do you do exactly?/ What do you do in your job?
  • Why are you studying English?

-----------

Student C

Why are you studying English? Ask your partner the questions below on the same topic and write their answers in the gaps. If you or your partner doesn’t understand the questions, use the easier versions under the fold below.

i: I’d like to know about your past English studies.

 

 

ii: I’d like some information about why you are studying English.

 

 

iii: Could you please let me know your strengths and weaknesses in English

 

 

 

iv: Would you mind telling me your job title?

 

 

 

 

v: Could I ask what you usually do at work?

 

 

 

vi: Do you mind if I ask your name?.

 

 

 

 

vii: I want to find out how often you use English

 

 

 

viii: Could you inform me where you work?

 

 

 

 

What questions from the different people’s worksheets mean the same things? Work together to match them up.

What would the simpler direct question be in each case?

Underline the general phrases above for making questions indirect, then compare with the next page. 

--------------------------------fold-------------------------------------

Simpler direct questions

  • How often do you use English?
  • What is your job (title)?
  • Where do you work?
  • What is your name?
  • Have you studied English before?
  • What are your strong points and weak points in English?/ What is most difficult and easiest about English for you?
  • What do you do exactly?/ What do you do in your job?
  • Why are you studying English?

-------------------

Suggested indirect question forms

  • Can you (possibly) tell me/ give me some information about…?
  • Could I ask (about)…?
  • Could you (please) let me know/ explain/ inform me/ tell me…?
  • Do you mind if I ask (about)…?
  • I (also) wanted to find out/ ask…
  • I need to know…if you don’t mind.
  • I was wondering…
  • I’d like some information about…
  • I’d like to ask (about)/ know (about)…
  • Please give me some information about/ tell me…
  • Would you mind telling me…?

Choose one of the situations on the left and ask them typical questions, for example about the topics on the right.

Suggested situations

Suggested things to ask about

- Post office/ Parcel delivery service

- Restaurant/ Café

- Travel agent

- Tourist information office

- Estate agent (= Real estate agent)

- Bus station/ Train station

- Museum/ Art gallery

- Book shop

- Clothes shop

- Car rental

- Removals company

- University/ College/ Night school

 

- Address/ Telephone number/ Email address

- Cost and payment

- Delivery

- How often

- Limits

- Paperwork/ Documents

- Refund (= Getting your money back)

- Rules

- Times/ Dates/ How long

- Weight/ Size

- Where

 What questions would you expect for the last situation?

Roleplay a face-to-face conversation with the enquirer asking four questions.

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Dealing with enquiries jigsaw text

Your teacher will give you a similar conversation mixed up. Put it into order.

Use the dealing with enquiries format your teacher gives you to help. 

Check your answers on the next page.

Cards to cut up/ Suggested answers

After putting the cut-up text into order, check your answers below.

 

Good morning. How can I help you?

 

 

 

Hello. I’d like to ask some questions about your courses, if that’s okay.

 

 

 

Of course. What exactly would you like to know?

 

 

 

First of all, I wanted to ask about the number of foreign students.

 

 

 

We have approximately 1000 students from overseas at the moment.

 

 

 

Okay, thanks. I also had a question about where students come from.

 

 

 

The largest group are students from other East Asian countries.

 

 

 

So you mean China?

 

 

 

Yes, but also Taiwan and South Korea.

 

 

 

I see. My last question is visa regulations. Could you tell me whether I can work in Tokyo while I am studying here?

 

 

Can I just check what your question is? If I understand you correctly, you’d like if it is legal for you to have a part-time job during your course.

 

 

That’s right.

 

 

 

Yes, that’s fine. I’m afraid I can’t remember the exact definition of a part-time job at the moment, but I’ll have a look at the immigration website and send you the information.

 

 

Thanks, that would be very helpful. Here’s my email address.

 

 

 

Thank you. Is there anything else I can help you with today?

 

 

 

Actually, there is just one last thing. Could you give me a list of courses that are taught in English?

 

 

Of course. It’s on the back page of our brochure here. There’s also an updated list on our website. Was there anything else you’d like to know?

 

 

No, that’s all for now, thanks.

 

 

You’re very welcome. Thank you for your interest in our university. I’ll email you the information about part-time jobs this afternoon and I hope to hear from you again soon. Goodbye.

 

 

Thanks. Bye.

 

 

Speaking

  • How similar is the exchange above to your own conversations at work in English?
  • Which parts would you need to add, change or delete to make it more like your work?
  • What would your real answers be to the questions above?
  • Is the level of formality okay for your business life?
  • What other ways could you say the things in italics above?
  • Roleplay similar conversations, first just with the real answers, then with different language, and next with different questions. Then do the same with just the format below to help you and finally with no help.
  • Do the same for asking for information by telephone and email

Use this suggested format to help you put the text in order.

Staff: Say hello and offer help

Enquirer: Mention the general topic of all the questions

Staff: Ask them to start asking the questions

 

Enquirer: Ask the first question

Staff: Answer the first question

 

Enquirer: Respond and ask the second question

Staff: Answer the question

Enquirer: Check the information

Staff: Confirm the information

 

Enquirer: Respond and ask the last question you have planned

Staff: Check the meaning of the question

Enquirer: Respond

Staff: Tell them that can’t fully answer question and make suggestions for a solution

Enquirer: Respond

 

Staff: Ask if there are more questions

Enquirer: Answer yes and ask the extra question

Staff: Answer the extra questions and check if they have finished

Enquirer: Respond and thank the member of staff

Staff: Respond and talk about future action

 

After some practice with the script, practice conversations using this format to help you.

Brainstorm phrases for each of the lines above.

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