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Paul Sparks, Online Business English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas for
Grade 2 English Conversation Lessons at Xiangtan Normal University...
Lesson 23 -
purpose of this lesson is introduce the students to English phrases and
sayings when using the telephone.
are a number of phrases and idioms that are only used when telephoning.
Here is an example phone call:
Hello, Xiangtan Normal University, how can I help you?
you can see, the language is rather informal and there are some important
differences to everyday English. See below for key language and phrases
used in telephone English:
This is Paul Sparks. Can I speak to Mr Xiang?
Certainly, hold on a minute, I'll put you through...
Xiang's office: Mr Xiang's office, how can I help?
This is Paul Sparks calling, is Mr Xiang in?
Xiang's office: I'm afraid he's out at the moment. Can I take a message?
Yes, Could you ask him to call me. I need to talk to him, it's urgent.
Xiang's office: Does Mr Xiang have your number?
Xiang's office: Thank you Mr Sparks, I'll make sure Mr Xiang gets this
Xiang's office: Bye.
yourself -"This is Paul" or "Paul speaking"
who is on the telephone - "Excuse me, who is this?" or "Can I ask who is
for Someone - "Can I have extension 321?" or "Could I speak to...?" (Can
I - more informal / May I - more formal)
Someone - "I'll put you through" (put through - phrasal verb meaning 'connect')
or "Can you hold the line?"
to reply when someone is not available - "I'm afraid he is not available
at the moment" or "He isn't in at the moment" Taking a Message -
"Can I take a message?" or "Could I tell him who is calling?" or "Would
you like to leave a message?"
for Practicing Speaking on the Telephone
life situations - Businesses are always interested in telling you about
their products. Find a product you are interested in and research it over
the telephone. You can ...
a store to find out the prices and specifications.
the company representative to find out details on how the product works.
a consumer agency to find out if the product has any defects.
customer service to find out about replacement parts, etc.
there may not be anyone to answer the telephone and you will need to leave
a message. Follow this outline to make sure that the person who should
receive your message has all the information he/she needs.
- "Hello, this is Paul." OR "Hello, My name is Paul."
the time of day and your reason for calling - "It's ten in the morning.
I'm calling to let you know that ....."
a request - "Could you ring me back?"
your telephone number - "My number is ...." OR "You can reach me at ...."
- "Thanks a lot, bye." OR "I'll talk to you later, bye."
an example of message
(Ring... Ring...) Hello, this is Paul. I'm afraid I'm not in at the moment.
Please leave a message after the beep..... (beep)
Xiang: Hello Paul, this is Mr Xiang. It's about noon and I'm calling to
see if you are busy this afternoon. Could you call me back? You can reach
me at 123-45467 until five this afternoon. I'll talk to you later, bye.
you can see, leaving a message is pretty simple. You only need to make
sure that you have stated all the most important information: Your Name,
The Time, The Reason for Calling, Your Telephone Number
Playing using the Telephone
a city in your country. You are going to travel to this city for a business
meeting over the next weekend. Telephone a travel agency and reserve the
room for two nights
and departure times
work in a travel agency. Listen to student A and offer him/her the following
flight: Air JW $450 Coach, $790 First Class
room for two nights: Hotel City $120 a night in the downtown area, Hotel
Relax $110 a night near the airport
Recommendation: Chez Marceau - downtown - average price $70 a person
need to purchase six new computers for your office. Call JA's Computer
World and ask for the following information:
special offers on computers
configuration (RAM, Hard Drive, CPU)
of discount for an order of six computers
work in at JA's Computer World answer student A's questions using the following
special offers: Multimedia Monster - with latest Pentium CPU, 256 RAM,
40 GB Hard Drive, Monitor included - $2,500 AND Office Taskmaster - cheaper
CPU, 64 RAM, 10 GB Hard Drive, Monitor not included - $1,200
Year guaranty on all computers
of 5% for orders of more than five computers
want to speak to Ms Braun about your account with her company, W&W.
If Ms Braun isn't in the office, leave the following information:
number: 347-8910 (or use your own)
about changing conditions of your contract with W&W
can be reached until 5 o'clock at the above number. If Ms Braun calls after
5 o'clock, she should call 458-2416
are a receptionist at W&W. Student A would like to speak to Ms Braun,
but she is out of the office. Take a message and make sure you get the
and telephone number - ask student A to spell the surname
student A would like to leave for Ms Braun
late Ms Braun can call student A at the given telephone number
are a salesperson for Red Inc. You are telephoning a client who you think
might be interested in buying your new line of office supplies. Discuss
the following information with your client:
line of office supplies including: copy-paper, pens, stationary, mouse-pads
and white boards
know the customer hasn't ordered any new products during this past year
discount of 15% for orders placed before next Monday
order placed before Monday will not only receive the discount, but also
have its company logo printed on the products at no extra charge
work in an office and receive a telephone call from your local office supplier.
As a matter fact, you need some new office supplies so you are definitely
interested in what the salesperson has to offer. Talk about the following:
pens, stationary and white boards
they have any special offers
would like to place an order for 200 packages of copy paper immediately