Didactic unit

Unit: Shopping

Topic: At the market

Topic: Supermarket

Topic: Boutique


LEVEL: intermediate


Social and Cultural Information: 

·         Places to buy food

·         Shopping habits

·         Traditional goods in different countries


Linguistic resources


General Objectives



·         to enable students to behave appropriately in shopping situations

·         to enable students to use language confidently in the shopping context

·         practise grammar structures


Specific linguistic objectives



·         to improve vocabulary related to the topic (see appendices )

·         to develop speaking skills

·         description of shape, size, colour, texture,smell, sound, taste

·         practising of shapes, colours, weights, numbers, money and denominations,

·         to practise questions, complaining,

·         dealing with misunderstandings, payment,




·         role plays, pair and group work:

·         describing and matching pictures,

·         order a series of pictures

·         touch, feel, smell and taste fruit and vegetables and listen to their sound

·         guessing games

·         pantomime


Didactic material


see Appendices

·         A: Most important expressions

·         B: Market and Supermarket

·         C: Boutique and special shops






·         what I know

·         what I want to know

·         what I learnt


Expected results



·         Students will be able to behave appropriately in certain social situations using language confidently





Appendix A

Collection of material

Selling and Trading Locations






Shopping centre


Bazar (church, school etc)


Flea market


Petrol Station








Mail order catalogue

How to behave










Standing in a queue


Taking a number


Buying on credit


Exchanging goods


Scanner checkout


Returning bottles


Exchanging goods  

Means of transport


Shopping basket


Shopping trolley








Shopping bag

How to pay


Credit card etc.


EC Card


Cash payment










Shop keeper’s credit book

Where to find information


Information on the packaging


Signs on the fruit and vegetable stand




Flyers and leaflets






Bargain-hunter’s booklet


Tourist information




Local council




Word of mouth


Market days


At the shops











To know the main means of transport: Train, Bus, Taxi, Ship, Plane, Car, Metro,……

·        Lexical

·        Phonetic

·        Syntax




To be able to distinguish between the most common signs related to public transport.

·        Lexical

·        Phonetic

·        Syntax




 Can he /she ask for a concrete address?

·        Lexical

·        Phonetic

·        Syntax




 To know the meaning of the words: quickly – slowly, here – there, left – right, up – down, …

·        Lexical

·        Phonetic

·        Syntax




To know how to buy a ticket for the train, bus, metro…..

·        Lexical

·        Phonetic

·        Syntax




Being able to follow easy instructions.

·        Lexical

·        Phonetic

·        Syntax









Appendix Da


At the market


The teacher and the students take objects to school that can be bought at markets in their country of origin (eg. fruit, vegetables, household utensils,....). The students arrange their desks so as to resemble a small market place and take turns in playing shop assistants or customers.

They tell each other the names of the goods, how they taste or what they are used for. They describe the shape of the goods and what they feel like to the touch.

The teacher places different types of vegetables, fruit, spices or kitchen utensils in a bag, into which the students reach with their eyes shut. They must guess, what they are holding by feeling it. They then describe it to the others. The other students must guess what it is.

The students tell each other how the goods at their markets are traded, if they are just paid for or if there is a habit of bargaining and what kind of merchandise is available at their market, apart from foodstuffs.



Example for exercises : At the Market


Exercise/ Duration


Suggestions for student activities


The teacher or / and the students bring household utensils, vegetables, fruit, that are sold at a market in their country of origin

The students prepare a market situation in the classroom


role play

The students (4-5) are playing market, customer, shop assistants,


How to behave in this situation, to bargain


role play

The customer asks the shop assistant, what is that? The shop assistant gives a description of the things, the smell, the taste, how to use it. They discuss quality and prices.


The teacher has a bag, in which the students have to reach.

students have to feel and to guess, what it is.


Conversation part

Students tell, what they do with these different things at home: Are they to be used in the kitchen, in the  house, are they to be cooked,  made into a salad, or a drink?







Appendix Db


Dialogue at the supermarket


·        Hello Eka, how are you?

·        Fine, thank you and you, Cathy?

·        I’m fine too. I will return to Australia on Saturday.What are you doing here at the supermarket?

·        The family I work for as an au-pair has gone away for 3 days, and I have to do some shopping. Can you help me please? As you know I have only been here for two months.

·        Can you read the shopping list?

·        We need 4 advocates.

·        You mean avocados. They have nothing to do with lawyers.

·        Yes, what do they look like?

·        You can get them in the vegetable section. Avocados are green, and feel smooth or rough when you touch them. They are pear-shaped, and they need to be a bit soft.

·        We also need 2 kilo of green beans. I know what they are like, we have them in Georgia too. And two bananas and two mangos. I don’t know what a mango is.

·        Mangos are green or red fruit. They are yellow when they are ripe. They are oval and quite big, and they smell like melon and peach with honey.

·        And 2 kilo of potatoes. They are available all over the world. And 200 g of garlic, we use the same word. It says here 300 g of French Blue Cheese. That is difficult – what is it?

·        I know. It is a very expensive square cheese which is made in France. It is wrapped so you cannot see that it is white and blue and looks mouldy.

·        Mouldy?

·        Yes, usually mould is poisenous, but this cheese has to be made like that. It has a strong smell. It tastes better than it smells.

·        I need still 3 kilo of lamb, then I have got everything.

·        You can get the lamb at the butcher’s.

·        Now that is all. The family I work for always prepares a special meal on Sundays. Do you do the same in Australia?





Appendix E


Shopping – Boutique


Location and protagonists:

A language school in a European city – 4 young people from Poland, Italy, Turkey and England. Furthermore pedestrians and traffic.

Anna (Poland), Guiseppe (Italy), Fati (Turkey) and Liz (England) met at school and are planning a shopping spree. Like all young people they are after nice trendy clothes. Moreover they are looking for things characteristic for the country, which they would like to send home.

Guiseppe has in mind a bottle of liquor or schnapps typical for this country. He asks a passer-by: „Excuse me, I am looking for a „bottega“. – „A Bottega“, the lady considers. „You are probably thinking of a Boutique. Go down the main street, you will find many boutiques there.“

On this street there is one clothes shop next to the other, but no such store as the one Guiseppe is looking for. „You probably did not use the correct word“ the others suppose. „That doesn’t matter, we will find the right shop eventually.“

Anna spots a store with oriental-style merchandise. „Look, they have got pretty things. Let’s have a look in there.“ Many little bells ring as she opens the door. A smell of jasmine, opium and cinnamon pours over them. Here they see hubble-bubbles, silver tea pots, jewellery with beautiful stones as well as fine embroidered fabrics and small rugs. Fati is enthusiatic: „We have to bargain here and bargaining is fun. Let me try!“

„I would like to buy these earrings and could offer 3 EURO for them“. „I am sorry,“ the sales lady says. „We only have set prices here“. „Well, it was worth a try.“ The 4 friends leave the store.

They find themselves a little way off the city center and cannot find their way back. Liz asks a pedestrian: „Excuse me, we are looking for a shop“. „Just turn this corner, you will find everything there“. Around the corner, they find a big supermarket, but they wanted a store with fashionable clothes and furthermore they were after a liquor store for Guiseppe. They carry on and come across a huge music shop. „Oh wonderful, let’s go inside, I love music.“ Liz needs to wear strong glasses as she is visually impaired. She has thus learned to rely on her sense of hearing. Inside the store she recognises many of the musical instruments, which are played by a sales person.

After having enjoyed the music, they go on. A shop offering items typical for the country as well as traditional costumes is celebrating its reopening today and invites them to enter. Even Guiseppe finds what he is looking for: he is attracted by one of the flavours of schnapps, juniper wood smoked bacon and brown bread and decides to have a try. His father will love the schnapps, so he decides to buy two bottles.

Anna is thrilled by the traditional music played inside the store. “Are there CDs with this music I can buy?” She asks a sales lady. “Of course; you will find it on the first floor. You can take the elevator.”

Fati discovers beautiful hand woven linen table cloths. “I will buy one of these for my mother.” Then they admire the beautiful traditional costumes. But it is not the right thing for their taste.

In order to pay, the four friends now go to the check-out. They are lucky, due to the reopening there is a 10% discount on all articles. “Can I pay with my card?” “Of course, if you have a credit card”. Guiseppe realises that he is low on cash, and he does not possess a credit card. “We have got a cash dispenser inside the store”, the sales lady says. But Guiseppe does not know his PIN by heart. Fortunately Liz can help him out.

Upon leaving the shop, the four deliberate once again, which would be the correct local word for a fashion store: “Boutique, bottega, shop, store?” These are all stores, but how do you express yourself correctly in order to find what you are looking for?

“Shall we try that boutique over there? What – closed? But it is only 8.30. At home, the shops are open till midnight.” “Midnight? Ours close at 10.” “Let’s come back tomorrow.” “ No point, it says here “closed on Sundays””.
















Activities with Appendices


·        a series of pictures to put in order, tell the matching story

·        text e.g. see Appendices C, D, E

·        brainstorming with the texts

·        play music from different countries , guess which one

·        pantomime: eg. publicity about advertising

·        describe mood, sound-variations, associations, images

·        sound „jig-saw“: matchboxes filled with eg:  pushpins, small coins, paperclips, different sizes of buttons,..... guess what is in it and describe the sound

·        play memory with the matchboxes (all the items twice)

·        role-plays in the various shops about buying and paying

·        role-plays about finding the right shop

·        the students bring fragrancies or cosmetics, then smell them with eyes shut, describe and rank them

·        bag with different fruits and vegetables, students take one out with eyes shut and feel, describe texture, weight, shape, smell, sound.  Same can be done with left or right hand into the bag, the others guess what it is and what it is used for

·        other possibilities: use pictures or cardbord shapes of household utensils, fruits and vegetables

·        role plays at the market: Asking for specific items, prices, how to use the items, discussion about the goods

·        the same at different shops like flower shop, newsagent, butchers, bookshop ....

·        discuss, who shops there, what they buy and for what occasion

·        pictures of scenes in different shops or at the market: describe the picture or dialogue


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