Ordering Food, Mandarin Chinese, Novice

Please Note: Many of the activities on the Pathways Project OER Repository were created by upper-division students at Boise State University and serve as a foundation that our community of practice can build upon and refine. While they are polished, we welcome and encourage collaboration from language instructors to help modify grammar, syntax, and content where needed. Kindly contact amberhoye@boisestate.edu with any suggestions and we will update the content in a timely manner.  — The Pathways Project

About the Boise State World Languages Resource Center (WLRC) Language Activity Repository

The activities provided by the Boise State World Languages Resource Center (WLRC) serve as foundational activities which can be adapted by any language and scaled up or down on the proficiency scale. Many of these activities offer an English Version that is “language-agnostic” to provide language instructors from around the country a platform to remix these instructional materials, infusing them with their target language and culture! The activities within the Pathways Project OER Repository seek to help students solidify their interpersonal speaking and interpretive skills through task-based situations or communicative activities. These activities should be facilitated in the target language for approximately 90% (or more), per the recommendation of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

How to use the WLRC Repository’s Activities:

1. Use the Activity as is:

Before you begin:

  • Most activities are 30 minutes in duration, unless otherwise specified.
  • Be sure to read through the activity description, and review the list of required materials. You will notice that the activity materials are also highlighted in yellow throughout the activity instructions.

If you have any suggestions about grammar, syntax, and content, please kindly contact amberhoye@boisestate.edu.

2. Remix for Your Language Classroom:

When you are ready to begin remixing the activity, in order to adapt it for the needs of your language classroom, simply click the blue “Remix This Resource” button at the top of your screen. This will then take you to a screen with a NEW, editable version of this activity. The text provided in purple is a suggestion of what you might say to your students in the target language, and may be altered for different levels and age groups. All activities have “NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do” statements, a warm-up, a main activity, and a wrap-up.

Many of the activities include printable cards and other instructional materials such as Google Slideshows. If you would like to make changes to these materials in Spanish, follow the instructions below:

  • Google Slideshows:
    • To begin, go to File -> Copy to create an editable version of the slideshow.
    • Once finished with your changes, please complete the following steps to share:
    • Click on Share
    • Who Has Access
    • Ensure link sharing is on and allow external access.
  • Materials Saved as PDF: Please email WLRCLAR@gmail.com and we will provide you with an editable copy. Please allow up to two business days for a response. For YouTube videos and other websites, hyperlinks are provided. 

3. Adapt for Another Language:

  • See the linked English Version at the top of the activity (English Version may not be available for all activities)

Ordering Food in a Restaurant


In this activity students will practice high frequency phrases and vocabulary around food by doing a restaurant role play. Students will take on the roles of different restaurant patrons and a server to practice.

Proficiency Level:



Ordering food, phrases, high frequency, vocabulary, role playing

World-Readiness Standards:

Standard 1.1 - Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions in Chinese

Standard 1.2 - Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics in Chinese

Standard 2.1 - Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the cultures of the Chinese-speaking world

Standard 3.2 - Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the Chinese language and culture

Standard 4.1 - Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the Chinese language with their own

Standard 4.2 - Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of Chinese culture with their own

Idaho Content Standards for World Languages:

COMM 1.1 - Interact and negotiate meaning (spoken, signed, written conversation) to share information, reactions, feelings, and opinions

COMM 2.1 - Understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics

CLTR 1.1 - Analyze the cultural practices/patterns of behavior accepted as the societal norm in the target culture

CLTR 1.3 - Function appropriately in diverse contexts within the target culture

COMP 1.1 - Observe formal and informal forms of language

COMP 2.1 - Identify, describe and compare/contrast products and their use in the target culture with the learner’s culture

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

I can use culturally appropriate phrases to order food 

I can act out in a role play using the target language

I can express my like or dislike of certain foods using the target language

Materials Needed:


Role Cards

Google Slideshow

Warm Up

Go over the question slide on the slideshow

Main Activity

  1.  Students will split into two smaller groups. Each group will have one menu and a set of role play cards. If the amount of students in the lab is 4 or less, don't split the students into the two groups
  2. In each group, one student will fill the role of the waiter and the others will take on the role of restaurant guests by picking a red role card at random and pretending to be the type of person they choose

The waiter will ask the guests questions about what they would like to eat and guests should ask questions about the menu items and dietary preferences, etc.

      3. After each group has ordered their food, have the waiter tally up the price and ask how they want to pay

      4. Continue rotating the roles through the group for as long as the lab time allows

Wrap Up

Follow up with questions about restaurant and food preferences 

"What is your favorite restaurant/kind of restaurant to go to?"

"Are you a vegetarian or vegan?"

If there is extra time, watch these videos of people in restaurants fighting over who pays the bill



End of lab:

  •  Read the Can-Do statements and have students evaluate their confidence with cards or holding up fingers 1-5
  • Encourage students to be honest in their self evaluation
  • Pay attention and try to use feedback for future labs!

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

I can use culturally appropriate phrases to order food 

I can act out in a role play using the target language

I can express my like or dislike of certain foods using the target language

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