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What Fashion Means to You

by Pragati Sharma | 13 Sep 2016
Resource Description: What fashion means to one person will be completely different from the next. Fashion, has always been a fascinating and almost relaxing subject in my class. It is especially popular amongst my female students (trying not to be stereotypical here) . This activity is a step towards a session on ‘Fashion’ for ESL learners with an aim to learn plenty of vocabulary ,adjectives and to be able to confidently present one’s personal views and opinions about fashion and dressing up styles.
Audience: Adult, Secondary, University
Audience Language Proficiency: Advanced, Intermediate
Duration: 45-50 minutes
Language Skill: Speaking, Vocabulary
Content Area: Social skills , Fashion , General Conversation

The aim of this lesson plan is that the learner  should be able to independently talk about their fashion style , ask questions about the same to others and participate actively in discussions related to clothing , dressing up and fashion trends.


Key Points

In Fashion ,In the early 70s/mid80s/late90s , Out of fashion

Vogue , styles of clothes , hair ,shoes

Trousers (culottes,palazzos,wide-leg) Skirts (pencil,mini) Dresses (a-line,shift,wrap,one-shoulder)

Adjectives--Outrageous, Patterned, plain, loose, tight ,skintight, baggy , impractical etc

Compound Adjectives—Navy blue, sky-blue, snow-white, lime-green, chocolate-brown


Lesson Preparation

Collect as many pictures related to fashion trends (look up magazines ,web , newspaper). Few are attached here at the end of the plan. Using a double sided tape , put the pictures around the room on the walls so that the students can view them clearly. Don’t forget to number the pictures. The aim is to create a fashion art gallery situation.



As the learners enter the room , hand them Task1 and ask them to walk around ,observe the pictures and make a note of what they see on the corresponding numbered row . During this ‘Fashion Gallery Walk’ encourage the learners to interact with each other .

In about 5 minutes , transition into a discussion about what the students noticed.

Ask questions such as :

What do you think we will be talking about today ?

What does fashion mean to you ?Which ones of these pictures is your favorite?

Whats your favorite color in dresses?

How much time did you spend this morning in deciding what to wear ?


Presentation (by Teacher)    in italics are the suggested dialogues    ---10minutes

Point to the picture of flared trousers (and eventually other garments) and ask

-When was/were….in fashion?

-In the early/mid/late….,I think.

-Are they in fashion/vogue now?

-No they aren’t / completely out of fashion / still very popular / they are in


Practice further with all the different styles of fashion referring to the pictures around the classroom

Present newer vocabulary using pictures in the room and realia based on what the students are wearing.

-What sort of pants/trousers/palazzos do you prefer?

-I usually prefer….(skintight/plain/patterned/embellished) ones.

-Are skintight trousers/pencil skirts/fitted dressed comfortable ? {Yes/No}

-Can you walk around/dance easily in them ? {Yes/No}

-So are they practical ? {Yes/ NO they are impractical}

List as many adjectives on the whiteboard on one side and the nouns related to fashion trends and clothese on the other side


Practice (By Students)   10 minutes

Ask students to create similar dialogues and talk about practical, impractical, outrageous, comfortable, stylish, classic, horrendous fashion trends. They may refer to the pictures all around them and the vocabulary lists on board. Focus primarily on accuracy and correct any error that comes up. Here you can do error correction via peers also.

Task 2

Ask students to read the short article in Task 2. Tell them to read it in pairs and try to get a general understanding of the topic. They must spot any unknown vocabulary. Follow this up with a discussion via following questions

Did any of you consider fashion as a career? When /Why?

Do you have a friend/acquaintance who is a fashion/costume designer?

The learners must then pen down their thoughts and mention what fashion and dressing up means to them. They then present their write-ups and share their ideas with the class.

As the instructor, be a moderator here and steer the discussion in the  right direction . Do not interrupt for error-correction and focus only on fluency. Note down the errors and discuss them at the end of the task using the self-peer-teacher method.


Task 3

If time permits (which could happen in case of individual students or a smaller group)distribute the Task 3 sheets and encourage a discussion based on the list of questions.

Uploaded Files:
TESOL Interest Section: Adult Education, English for Specific Purposes