Learn About Inviting People: An ESL Lesson

Learn About Inviting People: An ESL Lesson
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Learning Expectations

This lesson plan is designed to help new English speakers feel more confident when inviting people. ESL lesson plans about invitations should provide plenty of speaking practice.

When a new English speaker is becoming settled in her new country, she will likely want to make friends with native English speakers in her community.

This can be difficult, however, if she does not know the words to say to invite someone to go somewhere or do something with her.

Objective and Target Language

Objective: Students will become comfortable giving, accepting, and refusing invitations in English.

Target Language:

Giving Invitations:

  • What are you doing on (day/date)?
  • Would you like to. . .?
  • How about. . .?
  • Do you want to. . .with me?
  • I’d like to invite you to. . .

Accepting Invitations:

  • Thanks! That sounds like fun.
  • Sure. Thank you for the invitation.
  • When is it?
  • What time does it start/end?
  • Let’s meet at. . .
  • What date/day is it?

Refusing invitations:

  • No, thank you.
  • I’m sorry, but I have to. . .
  • Thanks, but I have another appointment at that time.
  • I can’t. I’m sorry.


  • Medium to large photograph of a party
  • Whiteboard/chalkboard and markers/chalk
  • 2 sets of index cards, one for students to invite others in the class to do something (go to a movie, go out to eat, etc.), and another set for students to accept or decline the invitation. The latter set of cards should say “Accept/Refuse” on them so that students have to recall and use the lesson vocabulary.


Put a picture of a party up on the board or on the wall where students can see it. Ask students what they see going on in the picture. Then ask students how they would invite someone to a party and what they would say if they wanted to go or did not/could not go to the party. Write answers on the board.

Intro to New Vocabulary and Practice

  • Write target vocabulary on the board, separating it into sections titled “To Invite,” “Accept” and “Refuse.”
  • Ask a student volunteer to come up to the front of the class. Ask the student if he would like to go to a party with you using the target vocabulary. Encourage the student to use one of the phrases to accept or refuse the invitation that you wrote on the board.
  • Split students up into two groups by assigning each student the number 1 or 2. Students designated as “ones” are given note cards for inviting someone to the event on their card. Give the “twos” the cards that tell them to accept or refuse the invitation. Give one card to each student. Students mill about the room inviting, accepting and declining. Students then return the cards to you, and you give accept/refuse cards to number “ones” and invitation cards to number “twos.” Encourage students to use the vocabulary listed on the board.
  • Practice giving excuses for not accepting an invitation by having students pair up. One student will invite the other to a party, and the other person has to decline the invitation. Explain culturally acceptable excuses to students so that they are not too frank in their answers.


Ask each student what he or she would say if an unpleasant person invited him or her to go to a party or to the movies. Write answers on the board.

Ask a few students what their favorite ways to invite, accept, and refuse invitations are. Write answers on the board.

With all of the speaking practice in this lesson, your students will be more assured when inviting people. The ESL lesson will also help students interact with native speakers more easily, thereby feeling confident in inviting native speakers out to do something.