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Airport Questions for ESL Students

Instructor: Jesse Richter

Jesse holds two masters, a doctorate and has 15 years of academic experience in areas of education, linguistics, business and science across five continents.

Looking for some airport-specific questions for ESL students? This lesson introduces the concepts of airports and air travel and provides question ideas to engage ESL students. Questions and useful language for use both in the classroom and at the airport are offered.

Airports Everywhere!

Your ESL students have extensive international travel planned for the future. How can you prepare them to communicate in airport-related conversations? Let's first examine the importance of integrating airport questions into ESL education.

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Although airports exist all over the globe and, therefore, represent many cultural and linguistic contexts, they mostly share a common English language lexicon (closely associated set of vocabulary terms and expressions) used by both airport staff and travelers. English is the universally recognized language of global communication in areas such as science, politics and. . . travel! Engaging in conversation about airports is an excellent way to prepare ESL students for successful air travel in addition to classroom language instruction. Let's look at some specific ideas for airport questions and useful expressions.

Airport Questions & Useful Language

In the Classroom

The following questions may be used in the classroom to discuss airports:

  • What do you like and dislike about airports? Why?
  • Do you think air transportation is the best way to travel? Why or why not?
  • What is your local airport like?
  • How do you think airports could be improved?
  • What is your most interesting airport experience?
  • How safe are airports?
  • What do your friends/colleagues say about airports?
  • Do you feel airports are easy to use?
  • If you were to travel through an airport in the near future, how would you prepare?
  • What are some things to do at the airport while waiting for your flight to board?
  • How do you feel about using English at the airport?
  • What would you like to learn about airports?

Note: Most of the above questions assume that the students already have airport experience. If they do not, simply modify the questions accordingly. For example, rather than asking: 'What do you like about airports?' try 'What do you know about airports?'

At the Airport

The list of language expressions used in airports goes on forever. Here is a brief collection of key questions for English language learners:

  • Where is the help desk?
  • Can you please help me find the check-in area?
  • How can I check my luggage?
  • May I please have an aisle/window seat?
  • Can you please check my boarding pass?
  • What time does my flight board and at which gate?
  • What food options are available on the flight?
  • What are the carry on policies?
  • When should I enter the security area?

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