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Getting A Promotion ESL Lesson

Keys To Getting Promoted At Your Company

Student Level


Video Length: 3:39

Updated on: 12/31/2023

Lesson Time: 1–2 hrs.

1 Credit

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Getting A Promotion ESL Lesson Description


This ESL lesson plan on getting a promotion contains activities, exercises, and digital materials for advanced C1 students. Using this lesson plan, students will be able to give recognition to someone at work. They'll also be able to request a promotion and make a case for getting one in a conversation with their boss.


This ESL lesson plan on promotions starts out with students reflecting on personal experiences with promotions and reasons behind career progression choices. The second part involves a matching exercise where students connect nouns to their definitions.

In the third part, students provide concise "Do..." and "Don't..." tips for securing a promotion. The overall aim is to encourage self-reflection and discussion among students on professional growth, particularly in the context of job promotions.


The video featured in this lesson plan on getting promoted shows an Ex Navy Seal, Jocko Willink, giving tips on how to get a promotion in the workplace. The video highlights the importance of teamwork and organizational success over self-promotion, encouraging critical thinking about effective career strategies. In the activity, students categorize Jocko's tips from the video as "Do" or "Don't" for achieving a promotion. The tips cover aspects like supporting the team, avoiding ego-centric behavior, and refraining from brown-nosing. In the second part, students discuss similarities between these tips and those in the preview. In the final part, students fill in blanks with phrasal verbs from a specific segment of the video.


In the first part of the viewing follow-up activity, students read two comments about Jocko's advice — the first one expressing skepticism about promotions being based on favoritism, and the second one praising Jocko's advice for its genuine and attainable approach. Students then share their agreement or disagreement with these perspectives. In the next part, they complete idiomatic expressions related to recognizing others in professional settings. The exercise aims to reinforce workplace idioms and stimulate discussions on career advancement strategies.


This activity offers two options. The first involves an open discussion on giving recognition at work, prompting students to share experiences and discuss how recognition could be given. The second is a role play centered on requesting a promotion. Students choose roles (employee or boss/hiring manager), present merits for promotion, and engage in a discussion using workplace idioms to recognize achievements. The activity aims to stimulate discussions about workplace recognition and promotion strategies, enhancing communication skills in a professional context.

Benefits of using this ESL lesson plan on getting a promotion:

Real-World Application: The lesson plan incorporates real-world scenarios, providing practical insights into the dynamics of getting a promotion and recognizing others in the workplace.

Comprehensive Approach: This lesson plan on getting promoted covers a range of topics, including self-reflection on career choices, tips for securing a promotion, critical analysis of video content, and discussions on recognition and promotions.

Role-Play Opportunities: The second option in the communicative activity at the end offers a role-play scenario for requesting a promotion, allowing students to apply language skills in simulated professional conversations.

Video Description

Former U.S. Navy SEAL Jocko Willink, now an accomplished author and leadership coach, offers unconventional advice on advancing in the workplace.

Lesson Activities


Getting Promotions At Work, Career Progression, Giving Recognition


Do / Don't Tips, Prediction Checks, Filling In The Gaps


Nouns, Idioms


Giving Recognition & Requesting Promotions, Quiz & Review, Lesson Reflection

Lesson Topics

Getting Promoted, Giving Recognition

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