role playing: haggling in English

First things first: do you know what haggle means? If so, skip over the dictionary entry. If not, here’s what it means:


(taken from the Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary)

Haggling is obviously culture-specific, so this post might make more or less sense to you depending on where you’re from. But if you teach students who are familiar with the concept of haggling, here’s a fun video you can use for role playing in class:

In this short excerpt, the characters of Leonard and Sheldon (the tall skinny guy) are buying a sword (!) and trying to talk the salesman down to the best possible price. The video contains most of the lexical chunks students would need to perform a similar role play. Check it out:

The extract is really short (1 minute), so you can use it in a number of ways without disrupting the coursebook-related work you’re doing. After all, has there ever been an intermediate / advanced textbook that failed to include a unit on money or shopping?

To explore the video, you will probably want to:

1. Talk to students about the concept of haggling.
2. Ask two or three general comprehension questions and play the original video (the second one) once.
3. Set a noticing task to enable students to listen out for the chunks used: “Can you do any better?” “That’s pretty steep” etc. The idea here is to help students pay attention to HOW the characters said what they said.
4. Have students repeat the target sentences using the correct stress / intonation and memorize them.
5. Role playing: Propose similar situations for students to act out in pairs, using the new language.

Thanks for reading. Have fun.

By the way, if you like to use sitcoms, click here and here for more fun stuff.

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