Creating a New Product - ESL Lesson

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Developing a New Product. HeroImages / Getty Images

Nowadays, it's common to talk about products, their functionality and marketing. In this lesson, students come up with a product idea, mock-up a design for the product and present a marketing strategy. Each student owns a step of the process in the final presentation to the class. Combine this lesson with a lesson on pitching a product and students can practice the essential elements of finding investors.

 

Aim: Learning vocabulary related to product development, developing team player skills

Activity: Develop, design and market a new product

Level: Intermediate to advanced level learners

Lesson Outline

  • Bring one of your favorite innovative products into class. Ask questions using the vocabulary terms provided in the product vocabulary reference. Give examples for your questions such as: What functionality does this phone have? - You can surf the internet, send email, and download apps. to help students with understanding.
  • Once you've reviewed vocabulary as a class, ask students to provide their own examples of innovative products. 
  • Provide the vocabulary reference and ask students to write five sentence describing a product they like.
  • Have students divide into small groups - three to six students is best. 
  • Ask each group to come up with a new product. They can either invent a new product, or create a variation on a product they know. 
  • Have students answer the worksheet questions about their new product.
  • With the worksheet answered, students should move on to developing a plan for building, designing and marketing their product. Students who feel more comfortable with drawing can design, and business orientated students can take on marketing. 
  • Help students by checking grammar descriptions, asking probing questions about the functionality, logistics of production and marketing, etc. 
  • Students complete the project by giving a presentation to the class. The inventor should provide a product overview, the designer provide a sketch of the product, and the marketer an advertising strategy
  • Vote on the best product as a class.  

Vocabulary Reference

Use these words to discuss, develop and design a new product.

functionality (noun) - Functionality describes the purpose of the product. In other words, what does the product do?
innovative (adjective) - Products that are innovative are new in some way. 
aesthetic (noun) - The aesthetics of a product refer to the values (artistic as well as functional) 
intuitive (adjective) - An intuitive product is self-explanatory. It's easy to know how to use it without having to read a manual.
thorough (adjective) - A thorough product is a product that is excellent in every way and well designed.
branding (noun) - The branding of a product refers to how a product will be marketed to the public. 
packaging (noun) - The packaging refers to the container in which the product is sold to the public. 
marketing (noun) - Marketing refers to how a product will be presented to the public.

 
logo (noun) - The symbol used to identify a product or company. 
feature (noun) - A feature is a benefit or use of a product. 
warranty (noun) - The warranty is a guarantee that the product will work for a certain period of time. If not, the customer will receive a refund or replacement. 
component (noun) - A component can be thought of as a part of a product. 
accessory (noun) - An accessory is something extra that can be bought in order to add functinality to a product. 
materials (noun) - The materials refer to what a product is made of such as metal, wood, plastic, etc. 

Computer Related Products

specifications (noun) - The specifications of a product refers to size, construction and materials used. 

dimensions (noun) - The size of a product.
weight (noun) -  How much something weighs.
width (noun) - How wide something is.


depth (noun) -  How deep a product is.
length (noun) - How long something is.
height (noun) - How tall a product is.

When developing computer related products the following specifications are important:

display (noun) - The screen used.
type (noun) - The type of technology used in a display.
size (noun) - How big the display is. 
resolution (noun) -  How many pixels the display shows.

platform (noun) - The type of software / hardware a product uses.
OS (noun) - The operating system such as Android or Windows.
chipset (noun) - The type of computer chip used.
CPU (noun) - Central processing unit - The brain of the product.
GPU (noun) - Graphic processing unit - The brain used to display videos, pictures, etc. 

memory (noun) - How many gigabytes the product can store. 

camera (noun) - The type of camera used to make videos and take photos. 

comms (noun) - The different types of communications protocols used such as Bluetooth or WiFi.

New Product Questions

Answer these questions to help you develop your product. 

What functionality does your product provide?

Who will use your product? Why will they use it?

What problems can your product solve?

What advantages does your product present?

Why is your product superior to other products?

What are the dimensions of your product?

How much will your product cost?