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Career Success ESL Lesson Plan

The Secret To Success

Student Level


Video Length: 4:07

Updated on: 04/12/2023

Lesson Time: 1–2 hrs.

1 Credit

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Career Success ESL Lesson Plan


This ESL lesson plan on career success contains activities, PDF worksheets, and digital materials for B2-C1 intermediate to advanced students. By the end of the lesson, students will understand and be able to discuss what success means in various job contexts, as well as apply vocabulary and concepts related to success in real-life scenarios. They'll also be able to describe their own career paths and any successes and failures they've experienced, while using certain phrases and phrasal verbs in context.


This business ESL lesson plan on success at work starts out by having students discuss their own ideas of success and share thoughts on what qualities and skills are necessary to achieve success. In In the second part of the preview, students convert some adjective/verb forms to nouns in the context of some discussion questions. They continue to talk about the key elements for achieving success, including being persistent, accountable, and learning from mistakes. The last part of this section focuses on a range of different job roles and how to be successful in them.


Students watch a video of famous sports reporter Michele Tafoya who describes her path to career success in various roles, such as a newspaper delivery girl and and ice cream server. She explores what it actually means to be successful and how to achieve success in your career. Students participate in listening comprehension activities in which they take notes about her experiences and what she learned in each job, as well as her thoughts on failure, timing, and mistakes.


After the video, students discuss whether they agree with Michele's views on success. They then move on to vocabulary exercises focusing on phrases, phrasal verbs, and noun forms. Finally, they identify noun forms like "adaptability" from the verb "adapt," and discuss why these qualities are key to success.


In this activation, students write the titles or names of some jobs they've had in the following categories:

  • Their first job
  • A job during high school (or between 13 - 18 years old)
  • A job during university (or between 18 - 24 years old)
  • A job after graduating university (or in their mid to upper 20s)
  • Any other job(s) in their life that they'd like to talk about
  • Their current job

Then, students take turns sharing their career path stories with a classmate/teacher. They refer to the jobs from the first step, and address a variety of topics, such as:

  • Their highlights, successes, or what you excel/excelled in their career or jobs
  • Which of their jobs was a huge jump for them, if any, and why
  • Who they answer/answered to in the jobs they have/have had
  • Any times that they've screwed up or failed in their career path or jobs
  • Valuable lessons they've learned or challenges they've faced in their career path or jobs

If you're looking for an ESL Lesson Plan on career success for your advanced students, then this is the lesson for you! It contains phrasal verbs, phrases, and noun forms that students can apply in any setting that involves discussing success, career development, and key traits for achieving goals.

Students then express some traits/skills that are or were important to have or learn in their jobs, and express future career ambitions.

Benefits of using this ESL lesson plan on career success:

Vocabulary Focus: The lesson plan incorporates a variety of vocabulary exercises, including phrases, phrasal verbs, and noun forms related to success, providing students with a rich and varied vocabulary applicable to real-life career scenarios.

Building Confidence: Through the communicative task, students express their career highlights, successes, and challenges, contributing to self-expression and confidence building. This is crucial for effective communication in professional settings.

Relatable & Personalized Discussions: The career path communicative task allows students to relate their own career lives, and personalize their learning experience by sharing their unique professional journeys. This makes the lesson engaging and relevant to their individual contexts.

Video Description

Is there a "secret" to success? Yes, but it's not a secret. Michele Tafoya, Sideline Reporter for NBC Sunday Night Football, shares the secret...that you already knew.

Lesson Activities


Success, Career Paths, Jobs


Traits/Lessons For Success, Factors For Success, Secret Formula To Success


Noun Formation, Phrases


Career Stories, Traits, Skills, & Lessons Learned

Lesson Topics

Success, Career Paths

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