In this conversation lesson, students learn vocabulary about teamwork and discuss the topic in small groups.
Write “there’s no ‘I’ in team” on the board. Explain that this is a very common expression in English. Put your students into pairs and ask them to discuss what the expression means.
After giving students a few minutes to discuss it, get some feedback from the class.
Before having students do the conversation questions below, teach some vocabulary related to teamwork.
Suggested terms to pre-teach:
skills of a team player: communication, negotiation, leadership, motivation, trust, problem solving, compromise, empathy, fairness, optimism, honesty, consistency
things team players avoid: criticism, sarcasm, gossip, blame, pessimism, negativity, aggression
team building exercises/team building activities
1. Tell your group about a really good team you were a part of. What skills did the members of the team have? What things did the members of the team avoid?
2. Tell your group about a really bad team you were a part of? Why was it a bad team? What were the negative aspects of the team (criticism, negativity, blame, etc)?
3. Have you ever worked as part of a team that had low morale? Tell your group about it. How did low morale affect the team’s performance?
4. Have you ever worked as part of a team that had high morale? Tell your group about it. How did high morale affect the team’s performance?
5. How do companies build teamwork? How does teamwork happen?
6. Where do people learn leadership? How important is it to have a good leader on a team? What happens if you don’t have proper leadership on a team?
7. Have you ever been part of a team building exercise? What did you do? Do you think it helped your organization? Why or why not? In general, do you believe that team building activities help increase teamwork and cooperation among a group? Do you think they are a waste of time? Explain.
8. What types of jobs require a high degree of teamwork? What types of jobs require a low degree of teamwork? Think about the job you have now. Tell your group about how teamwork is important at your current position. Do you have a job that requires a lot of teamwork?
9. Describe the corporate culture that you are a part of now. How does your company encourage/build teamwork?
Also see these business English conversation lessons.