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Routine Questions for ESL Students

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

This lesson covers some engaging ideas to encourage your ESL students to use daily routine language. It also includes some ready-to-use questions to help your students express themselves in English in oral or written form. Updated: 02/04/2021

Routine Is Interesting

We all know about and most of us engage in some kind of a routine; it's simply an action you repeat at a given time. That's it. This is why you may like to say to your class, ''Routine makes me feel safe because it means I have structure in my life.'' Try asking your students to tell you how routines make them feel. Naturally, many are likely to give you some negative answers.

You can then point out that routine is part of life and that it can be interesting. The reason is that there are specific aspects of routine that are common to many people. Some examples include the time they designate to lunch time, the choice of food for breakfast, the toothpaste someone prefers, etc.

With this premise, ask your students if anyone knows about aspects of their routine they have in common with their peers. The answer is probably ''no.'' The questions in this lesson get students talking about their routine. To work individually, they could produce language in writing and then they compare their answer with peers to find others who have routine aspects in common. Let's begin with some common routine questions.

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Coming up next: 'Prefer' Questions for ESL Students

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  • 0:04 Routine Is Interesting
  • 1:12 Thinking About Routine Details
  • 2:37 Breaking Routines
  • 3:09 Lesson Summary
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Thinking About Routine Details

To answer questions about routine, it's best to have students reply with complete sentences. Some ready-to-use questions about routine follow, and each includes a sample answer in case you want to give a model to your students.

Question: What is the very first thing you do when you wake up?

Answer: The first thing I do when I wake up is think about all the activities I have to do.


Question: How many times a day do you brush your teeth?

Answer: I brush my teeth twice a day.


Question: At what time do you leave your home to go to school or work?

Answer: I leave my home at 6 a.m. to go to work.


Question: What are two places outside your home where you go every day?

Answer: I go to Starbucks and to the park every day.


Question: What type of drink do you have every day?

Answer: I don't have an everyday drink.


Question: Is there some food that you eat every day?

Answer: I eat chicken every day.


Question: What leisure activity is part of your daily routine?

Answer: I watch a movie at the end of the day.


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