ESL Work Conversation

This page has examples of ESL work conversations so you can see how people would talk about their work and finding a job. This will help you when you need to find a job in another country.

These ESL work conversations will help you talk about jobs and employment.

To begin with there are two example conversations on this page. You can read them to see how to use the vocabulary correctly in a conversation. These have been made into short cartoons if you would prefer to watch them. If at any stage you do not understand the vocabulary being used you can look at the ESL work vocabulary page for definitions of many work related vocabulary items.

Then there are 3 ESL work conversation exercises for you to do to practice what you have learnt as follows:

  • Fill in the blanks in a conversation
  • Write a conversation of your own
  • Topics so you can have conversations with your friends

Conversation 1

Situation: Lucy meets Bob at the shop. Lucy asks Bob about his part-time job.

Lucy: Hi, Bob! How’s is it going?
Bob: Fine, thanks, and you?
Lucy: Just fine. Where are you off to?
Bob: To the library. I have to finish the assignment for tomorrow’s class.
Lucy: Why don’t you do it at home?
Bob: I have a part-time job in the evening so when I get home, I’ll be too tired to do an assignment.
Lucy: Where do you work?
Bob: I work in a café.
Lucy: Why do you like the job?
Bob: It’s interesting. I really enjoy working with people and get extra money.
Lucy: How is the pay?
Bob: The pay’s alright. I get £7 an hour. I would like to earn more as I need a lot of money to buy a new laptop and a smartphone.
Lucy: And how would you do that?
Bob: I’ll try to pick up as many extra shifts as I can.
Lucy: What about your studies? How would you manage your time?
Bob: Well, I don’t know yet. I might consider taking fewer courses next semester.
Lucy: I wouldn’t do that if I were you. You should make your studies the first priority. What if your parents know about it?
Bob: Ugh. You’re right. Thanks for your advice, Lucy. I’ve got to go now. See you later.
Lucy: See you, Bob.

Conversation 2

Situation: Tui has been thinking about her career plan when she graduates from college. Bob comes and shares his thought.

Bob: Hi, Tui. How are you? You don’t look very happy.
Tui: I know. I’m alright really. But it’s my parents. They want me to go back to Thailand after I graduate.
Bob: Why don’t you want to go back?
Tui: I want to pursue a career in nanotechnology. I don’t think I can do that in my home country.  
Bob: Have you explained that to your parents? 
Tui: I have but they insist I should try to find a job in Thailand first. I think it will be a waste of time.
Bob: Do you think you can easily land your first job here in the UK?
Tui: With many internship, apprenticeship and scholarship opportunities available, I believe it will be easier for me to build my career here. 
Bob: What position do you actually want for your future career?
Tui: I want to work full time as a research scientist specializing in nanotechnology.
Bob: Awesome! As far as I know, research scientists typically have master’s or doctorate degrees. That means you have to continue your study at least until master’s degree.
Tui: I know. I do plan to enroll in a master’s program immediately after I finish my bachelor’s.
Bob: Have you consulted the career advisor at the career center office?
Tui: No, not yet. It never crossed my mind. That’s a good idea, Bob.  Thank you.
Bob: Glad to help.

ESL Work Conversation Exercises

Now that you have been able to see the two example conversations above you can do the following 3 ESL work conversation exercises.

Exercise 1 – Fill in the Blanks

For this ESL work conversation task you need to read the following conversation and fill in each of the blanks with the correct option (A-D). Once you have done this you can use the get score button to see how many you got correct and what the answers are meant to be.

Situation: Jane is looking for Andrew who just went to the university career center office looking for information about internship opportunities.

Jane: Hi, Andrew! I’ve been looking for you. Where have you been?
Andrew: I went to the career center office just now.
Jane: What for?
Andrew: I’m looking for information about __________(1)__________ for journalism students.
Jane: And ...?
Andrew: The center staff said there were internship opportunities available at New Horizon Media.
Jane: New Horizon Media? Never heard of it. Where is it?
Andrew: It’s located in central London. It’s an award winning non-profit organization that produces documentary films.
Jane: I see. What __________(2)__________ are available?
Andrew: It is currently seeking research and production interns.
Jane: Which position are you interested in?
Andrew: I’m interested in applying for the production intern.
Jane: What are the requirements?
Andrew: This position requires excellent communication and organizational skills and experience with Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, and Word. Do you want to __________(3)__________, too?
Jane: I can’t use Photoshop. What about the research intern? What are the __________(4)__________?
Andrew: The __________(5)_____________ must have excellent research and writing skills and the ability to make telephone outreach and write blog posts. I think you are qualified for this position.
Jane: Do you think so?
Andrew: Yeah. Why don’t you try to apply? Just send your application to … wait, let me check my notes … send it to
Jane: Thank you for sharing the information with me.
Andrew: Don’t mention it, Jane.

ESL Work Conversation

Choose the best option (A-D) in the following five questions to fill in the blanks in the work conversation given above.

1) Which option is the best to fill in the first blank?
        A) scholarship
        B) apprenticeship opportunities
        C) internship opportunities
        D) job vacancies
2) Which option is the best to fill in the second blank?
        A) applications
        B) work
        C) media
        D) positions
3) Which option is the best to fill in the third blank?
        A) application
        B) apply
        C) interview
        D) hire
4) Which option is the best to fill in the fourth blank?
        A) wages
        B) qualifications
        C) skills
        D) criteria
5) Which option is the best to fill in the fifth blank?
        A) worker
        B) candidate
        C) employee
        D) employer

Score =

Correct answers:

Exercise 2 – Writing a Conversation

In this task about an ESL work conversation you need to write your own conversation. You can use the examples above as templates for what you should do. The topic can be anything to do with work. You should use the work vocabulary page to help you find good words to use. You will need to decide how many people are in the conversation and what they are doing. 

Exercise 3 – Conversation Topics

This last ESL work conversation activity has a couple of sets of conversation topics for you to use to help you speak with your friends. Each set has 5 questions and 2 people should take one set each. They should then take turns asking each other the questions and answering them as fully as possible. Remember that the more you practice speaking the better you will get at it. Once you have finished you can swap the cards and ask each other the opposite set of questions.

The questions have also been made into some conversation cards for you to download by clicking the picture.

For more conversation cards you can download my ‘80 ESL Conversation Cards’ ebook.

Question set A

  • Do you have a job, and what is it?
  • How many different jobs have you had?
  • Do you like working?
  • What do you think is the best job to have?
  • What jobs do your parents do?

Question set B

  • How old were you when you got your first job?
  • What do you think of doing unpaid work to get experience?
  • What is the worst job you have had?
  • What do you think is the worst possible job to have?
  • Do you think people should work less or more than they do now?

   Other Pages about Work that You Might Like

ESL Work Listening
ESL Work Reading
ESL Work Vocabulary
ESL Work Writing

› Work

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