Negotiating a Salary

Rob - author of the lesson plan   Rob | May 18, 2023
Business English, Free Lessons, Speaking Lessons, English for HR
Money, Work, Human Resources
B2 Upper-Intermediate, C1 Advanced
Mixed Grammar
Speaking, Vocabulary, Listening
Lesson ID
Lesson Time
30 minutes
ESL lesson plan about salary negotiation

Lesson Overview

An offer you can’t refuse! In this lesson, students will discuss negotiating salaries and asking for a pay raise. This lesson features a video about the dos and don’ts of negotiating your salary. Students will learn and practice vocabulary relating to the topic. The lesson includes plenty of engaging discussion activities and worksheets that have been developed for adult and teenage learners.

Lesson Objectives

  • Listening: Students will listen to advice on how to negotiate salaries. They will hear important tips on what they should do, like researching salaries, and what they should avoid, like giving just one number. This helps them learn how to talk about money at work.

  • Speaking: Students will have conversations about asking for a pay raise or a bonus. They will practice these talks through role-play, learning how to ask politely and confidently for a better salary in different work situations.

  • Vocabulary: The lesson will teach students words and phrases about jobs and money. They will learn how to talk about their skills, how much they want to earn, and how to discuss this with their boss or in a job interview.

  • Homework: Students will engage with exercises that include choosing the right answers to complete sentences, filling in blanks with given starting letters to form correct words, and matching sentences to appropriate vocabulary terms related to salary negotiation. These tasks aim to deepen understanding of negotiation language, applying concepts from the lesson to practical scenarios.


Drive a hard bargain! Do you deserve a raise? Watch this video to learn about the dos and don’ts you should follow during a salary negotiation.

Video Transcript

Vocabulary and Pronunciation

an offer you can’t refuse [idiom]: an offer from one side in a transaction with terms so attractive that the other side is almost guaranteed to accept
salary negotiation [noun]: a process where one party negotiates the amount of their pay or salary raise with another party
pay raise [noun]: an increase in one’s salary
pay rate [noun]: the amount of money for an hour spent working
commission [noun]: a payment to someone who sells goods that is directly related to the amount sold, or a system that uses such payments; an order for something, especially a work of art, to be produced specially
deduction [noun]: the action of subtracting something
overtime [noun]: time worked in addition to one's normal working hours
flexible [adjective]: able to be easily modified to respond to changed events
play it cool [idiom]: make an effort to be or appear to be calm and unemotional
in lieu of [idiom] in the place of; instead of
underpay [verb]: to pay less than what is normal or required
overpay [verb]: to pay more than what is normal or required
articulate [adjective]: having or showing the ability to speak fluently and coherently
weigh [verb]: assess the nature or importance of, especially with a view to a decision or action
base salary [noun]: the amount earned before benefits, bonuses, or compensation is added
Other materials you may be interested in