Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

Used to/Would: My First Job

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This is a lesson plan for intermediate adult students in which they learn how to use “used to” and “would” to talk about past habits then use them to talk about their first jobs. Download the handout and key below:

My First Job would used to



I got my first job when I was 12 years old. I worked as a paperboy delivering newspapers to people in my village every morning. I used to get up very early and deliver the papers to half of the village while my friend Ben would deliver to the other half. I used to love seeing the empty streets of the village before anyone got up but I used to hate the job on rainy days. I would sometimes ride my bike to get the job done faster. Ben was luckier than me, sometimes if he couldn’t be bothered to do his paper round, his Dad would drive him around his route in his car!

  1. What was his first job?
  2. He had to deliver papers to the whole village T/F
  3. What did he enjoy about his job?
  4. What didn’t he like about his job?
  5. He always did the job on foot T/F
  6. Sometimes someone helped him do his job T/F

Language Focus

Underline all the uses of “used to” and “would” in the text. Both can be used to describe habits in the past.

Complete the rules below with “would” or “used to”:

__________________ can be used to describe past habitual actions, likes/dislikes, states and opinions that are not true now.

__________________ can only be used to describe past habitual actions NOT states and opinions.

Look at the text again, in which cases can we use either “used to” or “would” and which ones can we only use “used to”?

Complete the sentences below with “used to” or “used to + would”

  1. I _____________ be really fat but I’ve lost a lot of weight.
  2. When I was a child I ___________________ play football in the park for hours.
  3. I _____________ hate olives but I love them now.
  4. When I worked in the city centre I ___________________take the metro to work every day.
  5. I ____________________ think that living alone was boring but I’ve changed my mind now.
  6. When I was at primary school we __________________ go swimming every Monday afternoon and on the way home we __________________ stop to buy sweets and Coca-Cola I ________________ love Monday afternoons!

Note: We normally start a story about a past habit with “used to” and then use “would” to describe actions:

I used to work in advertising; I would travel all over the world meeting different clients. On Fridays we would take the day off and go to a casino or a bar.


Step 1: Write a short text (2-3 lines) about your first job. Include your responsibilities and some things you liked and disliked about it.




Step 2: Read your text to your partner. Then let them ask you some questions about your job:

For example: What did you use to wear? Were you a good employee? Etc.

Step 3: Change partner and tell them about your old job but this time try to do it from memory DON’T READ FROM THE PAPER.


  1. Who used to have the most different job to the one they do now?
  2. Whose first job sounds the best/worst?
  3. What are the most common first jobs in your country?
  4. What age do you think people should get their first job?
  5. How can we prepare young people for the stresses of the working world?



  1. He was a paperboy
  2. False, his friend delivered to half the village
  3. Seeing the empty streets in the morning
  4. Doing the job on rainy days
  5. False, he sometimes rode his bike
  6. False, his friend Ben sometimes got his Dad to help him


Complete the rules below with “would” or “used to”:

Used to can be used to describe past habitual actions, likes/dislikes, states and opinions that are not true now.

Would can only be used to describe past habitual actions NOT states and opinions.


  1. Used to
  2. Both
  3. Used to
  4. Both
  5. Used to
  6. Both, both, used to
Posted in Conversation Classes

Jobs and Career Conversation Class


Before you use these materials, why not check out our new podcast for learners and teachers alike? It’s called 2Ts in a Pod, have a listen here:


This lesson plan is a conversation class where adult students talk about their childhood, career path and work history. It is suitable for levels B1-C1.

I stole the the first film clip idea from but the second part is all my own.

Lesson plan:

Brainstorm jobs, put students in pairs or small groups and give them 5 minutes to write as many different jobs as they can. Tell them that you’ll award them 1 point for each job that another group has also come up with but 2 points for a unique job that nobody else thought of.

Go through jobs and put them on the board.

Tell students they are going to watch a film called “when I grow up”. They have to make predictions about what’s going to happen in the film. Go through predictions and put them on the board.

Tell them to watch the film and try and note as many jobs as they can from it. (there are a lot!)

Show the film:

Film discussion

Put students in small groups to discuss the following questions:

What’s the film about?

What’s the message of the film?

Do you think it accurately represents the pressures on children nowadays?

Feedback to whole class

Career path discussion

Download the question handout from here:!323&authkey=!AHaWX3an3ocpNVw

Students discuss the following questions in small groups:

How did you decide which job you wanted to do?

How did you get your job?

What did you want to be when you were a child? Did you get that job?

Who influenced your career choices the most?

Did you have a careers advisor at school?

If so, what did they tell you?

Was your career choice influenced by the grades you got at school?

Have you made any big career changes in your life? Would you like to?

What was your position when you joined your current company / workplace?

Have you ever been promoted?

Have you ever been headhunted?

Do you work in a management role? Would you like to work in one?

What’s more important for your job, your experience or your qualifications?

If you have children would you ever dissuade them from choosing a particular career?

  • Musician
  • Actor
  • Journalist
  • Dancer
  • Doctor

All groups feedback to the class.

Interview Roleplay

What’s more important work experience or life experience?

Students are going to do a job interview roleplay. This works best with groups of 4, 2 interviewers and 2 candidates.

Give out role cards and give interviewers a minute to think of the job that the interview is for. When they have decided give the candidates a minute to invent some relative experience. Interviewers should also come up with some typical difficult interview questions:


  • What can you offer the company?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Think of a time when you solved a problem using your own initiative.
  • Think of a time when youmade a mistake at work, what did you learn from it?

Download the role cards from here:!325&authkey=!AJiYHkz8VOfyYrc

Candidate 1:

You are 35 years old, you have had the same job in the same company since you were 18. You have to change job because your company has gone bankrupt. You have 17 years of experience doing the job you are going for.

Candidate 2:

You are 35 years old. You have had 12 different jobs over the last 17 years. You only worked to save money to go travelling. Now you want to settle down and start a family. Convince the managers that you are the one for the job.


You have 2 candidates for a role in your company (you decide the role) one candidate has a lot of work experience and the other has a lot of life experience. Interview them both and make a decision.

Feedback, which candidate got the job and why?