Lesson Plan for Giving Instructions


There may be rare occasions when a hotel employee has the opportunity to give instructions to a guest
on how to do something or explain a situation or process. For example, a health center staff may have to
provide instruction on how to operate a piece of equipment, or a business center staff may have to explain
to a guest how to operate a copier or FAX machine, or a front desk staff may explain to a guest the process
needed to extend a visa. When asking for instructions or giving explanations there are several standard
expressions that can be used. Look at these examples.

How do you operate ( … this tread mill)?
Can you show me how to ( …operate this FAX machine)?
What’s the best way to (…hold a putter)?
Do you know how to (… get a visa extended)?
How do I go about (… changing my departure flight)?

When giving instructions or explaining things it is useful to use sequence markers, words which
guide the listener or reader through the instructions. It is also important to keep the instructions
or explanations short and simple. Some of the more common sequence markers are listed below.

first                      second                    third                     forth
after that              next                        before that            then
you begin by        the last step is        now                     finally

Dialogues for Giving Instructions

Guest: How do you operate this tread mill?
Staff: First, turn it on then set the controls for speed, distance, or time. Last, press the start button.

Guest: Can you show me how to hold the putter?
Staff: First, grasp the club with your left hand. Your thumb should be pointing down and parallel to
    the shaft. Next, put your right hand below your left hand, with your right pinkie finger touching
    your left index finger. Grip the shaft by placing the palm of your right hand over your left thumb.
    Your right thumb should also be pointing down and parallel to the shaft.

Guest: Do you know how to make a paper kite?
Staff: Sure, first, get two thin strips of light weight balsa wood, one three feet long and one
    two feet long. Next, join the strips together forming a T-shape. After that, run twine from
    each end of the wooden strips, forming a diamond shape. Then, glue large sheets of paper
    onto the twine and wooden strips, so the diamond shape is covered with paper. Last, attach
    a long piece of string to the kite, where the two strips of wood cross to form the T.

Guest: How do I send a FAX?
Staff: First, put the paper into the feeder. Then, enter the phone number it is being sent to.
    Finally, hit send.

Group Activity- Giving Instructions: Appropriate Responses

Divide the class into groups. The teams work together to formulate a response to the items listed below. After discussion, one of the team members presents the response to the class. The teacher judges which team presents the best answer based on grammar and language use and pronunciation.

Play a native card game
What the duties and responsibilities of the staff are
Some social do’s and don’t’s of your country
The political structure of your country
Basic traffic safety rules on your country

Other links for instructions

Gving Instructions
Asking for Instructions
How to Give Instructions
Activity- Giving Instructions
Other Activities: Directions


For more ideas about teaching in the hotel industry take a look at

Hotel and Resort English

Giving instructions in English- Hotel-tefl.com