Working for big and small companies

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Phrases - work experience

ESL lesson about work experience


In this ESL lesson about work experience, students discuss working for big and small companies, learn useful phrases to talk about what they learned at work and watch a video

B1 / Intermediate60 minStandard LessonPremium Plan


In the warm-up task of this ESL lesson about work experience, students list three features of big companies and three features of small (or middle-sized) companies. Then, they choose the best phrases for some sentences (e.g. I gained experience in…, I had an opportunity to…, They inspired me to…). Students also need to say who said each of the sentences: a person working for a big company or someone working for a small company. They need to explain their answers. After that, students answer some questions about their work experience using the target language. Then, they think of the advantages of working for big and small companies focusing on such areas as benefits, professional development as well as salaries and bonuses. 


In the second part of this ESL lesson about work experience, students watch the video and note down any advantages of working for small companies they did not mention before. They also share if they agree with the speaker. After the video, students can also discuss their profession or industry and whether big or small companies are better to work for. 

Next, students look at some information about two persons’ work experience and discuss questions about them. They also imagine that the persons are looking for a new job and complete what they might say about their previous place of work during a job interview. To do that, they use sentence frames with the target vocabulary. In the final part of this ESL lesson about work experience, students write down three responsibilities and achievements they have at their current job or had at an old job. They need to talk about the experience using the target language. The teacher can turn this activity into a writing task and ask students to write a summary of their work experience for LinkedIn. They can also ask students to write a part of or a full cover letter for a job ad of their choice.


This ESL lesson about work experience also includes an additional task that you can use as homework or revision. The task is available in the teacher’s version of the worksheet. You can print it and hand it out to your students. It’s also included in the e-lesson plan.



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