Rules You Must Know about Digital Etiquette – ESL Speaking Lesson

Rules You Must Know about Digital Etiquette – ESL Speaking Lesson

Mobile phones are ubiquitous. Research shows that although most users think they have good mobile manners, but really, they don’t.

In fact, some people who are being impolite aren’t even aware of it.

Are you aware of the rules of etiquette when using your mobile device?

This English lesson will enhance your English conversation skills and make you aware of which cell phone rules you are breaking.

Part I: Let’s Chat about the Photo

Digital Etiquette 2

1. What are these people doing?

2. Who do you think the man is talking to?

3. Do you feel his conversation is bothering the two women?

4. Can you tell if the man is using a smartphone or a dumb phone?

5. Are these people in an office or in a hotel room?

Part II: Take the Survey and Talk About It

1.Do you answer phone calls, check emails, or send and receive texts during meetings?


2.How do you feel when you’re talking to a colleague and they’re frequently checking their mobile device?

I don’t mind it
It’s annoying

3.If you were giving a presentation would you request attendees to turn off mobile devices before you start?

I’d leave it up to them

4.Is it okay for attendees to check messages during a meeting as long as they excuse themselves from the room?


5.When you participate in meetings via teleconference, how frequently do you do other things, like answer e-mail or surf the Internet during the meeting?”

Very frequently
I don’t teleconference

6.Below are some examples of some email blunders.Select one of them if you’ve actually done this or simply describe your own email blunder below.

I once sent a job offer to the wrong person.
I sent out pricing information to the wrong client.
I misspelled someone’s name or title incorrectly.
Something else

7.What do you consider an appropriate email response time?

5 minutes or less
5-30 minutes
30 minutes to 1 hour
1 to 2 hours
2-4 hours
The following day
A couple of days later
A week later

8.Do you put a subject line in your emails?


9.Do you include business acronyms (i.e.FYI or EOD) in your emails?

All the time
I keep them to a minimum.
I avoid using them altogether.

10.Does your company allow employees to use social media at work?


Part III: Share Your Opinions

Digital Etiquette 1

Discussion Activity

Below are ten rules of etiquette for cell phone users.

Are you guilty of breaking all or some of them? If so, which rule – and be honest, nobody’s perfect. Share your “mobile sins” with your instructor and classmates. Talk about how to improve cell phone etiquette.

10 Rules
  • Put your mobile device on mute or turn off during meetings.
  • Select ring tones that won’t bother others.
  • Speak softly and don’t laugh or get angry when talking in public places.
  • Always excuse yourself before talking a call.
  • Use the hands free device if you must use your cell phone driving.
  • If there is a true emergency, take the call.
  • Keep phone calls private rather than making others listen to your conversation.
  • Avoid interrupting a face-to-face conversation to take a call.
  • Turn off all loud mobile notifications when on busses, subways, or planes.

Did you enjoy this ESL Lesson? 

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