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Business English Conversation Lessons: Perks

In this conversation lesson, students learn vocabulary related to perks and then discuss the topic. Do the warm-up with students, teach the vocabulary, and then have students do the conversation questions in pairs or small groups.


Start the lesson by asking students if they receive anything from their employer that isn’t money. Get a few examples (medical insurance, sick days, etc.) and then try to elicit what these things are called. Write “employee benefits and perks on the board and explain that we use these terms to refer to compensation an employee receives that isn’t money.

Divide the class into small groups and ask them to generate a list of perks they are familiar with. Give them a few minutes and then meet as a class. Put their ideas on the board.


Employee benefits or perks:

medical insurance
dental insurance
retirement benefits
child care benefits
transportation benefits
employee discount programs
subsidized meals
relocation assistance
paid holidays
sick days
on-site gyms and athletic facilities

Conversation Questions

1. Which of the perks on the board are common in your country? Which are uncommon in your country?

2. In your country, are there any employee benefits that a company legally has to give their employees? Which ones?

3. Which of the benefits on the board does your employer offer? Be specific and provide details.

4. Why do you think companies offer perks instead of offering more money? Do you think employees appreciate perks?

5. Which of your employee benefits do you appreciate most? Why?

6. Some companies offer their employees unusual perks such as video game rooms, massages, yoga classes, on-site personal trainers, clothing allowances, on-site doctors, and even on-site wine bars. Which of these perks do you think are good ideas? Which do you think are unnecessary or ridiculous? Do you wish your employer offered any of these unusual perks? Which ones?

7. What do you think would be some other good ideas for unusual employee benefits? Generate five ideas with your group. Be creative.

Also see these business English conversation lessons.