Survival English - Banking

The Survival English section of this guide is for the teacher in the task of selecting subject matter for lessons. Once proficiency level has been established and student interest indicated regarding subject matter, the teacher's job is to narrow the focus of a subject area to specific goals, vocabulary, and methods of instruction. Each of the topics have suggestions for goals, but the task of deciding the level of difficulty appropriate to the student(s) will be an individual decision on the part of the teacher and would be difficult to include in this resource. Sample lessons have been included at various levels of difficulty to guide the teacher's thoughts when selecting lesson materials and specific teaching methods.


  • How to cash a check
  • Understand bank services available in local area (checking, savings, etc.)
  • Understand service charges
  • How to write a check
  • How to keep a check book
  • How to read a statement
  • How to purchase travelers checks, money orders, etc.
  • How to ask for deposits and withdrawals
  • How to make deposits and withdrawals
  • To know hours of bank operation
  • To know what "walk-in" and "drive-thru" mean

Activity Ideas

  • Writing a sample check and keeping a sample check record might be an appropriate lesson.
  • Set up "Bank" in the classroom. Have hours of operation posted.
  • Use drills to ask for services.
  • Use dialogues to practice using services.
  • Role play and take turns being teller and customer pretending to need and provide various services.

Example: Opening a Checking Account

Customer: I'd like to open a checking account, please.
Teller: The minimum deposit is $100. How much would you like to deposit today?
Customer: $150.00
Teller: Fill out this form and I'll give you some temporary checks. You'll receive your personalized checks in the mail.
Customer: Thank you.