Some of the funniest roleplays I’ve ever done in class were based on situations revolving around giving and receiving tacky / useless gifts. I can still recall a group of intermediate students I once had roaring with laughter as they took turns giving each other such things as plastic flowers, wigs, Elton John-inspired sun glasses and so on.
So here’s a very short sitcom extract that you can use if you ever do a roleplay like this in class. You can use the no-subtitles version for general comprehension and the subtitled version to draw students’ attention to the functional language they can use during the roleplay.
To explore the video, you will probably want to:
1. Talk to students about giving and receiving gifts.
2. Ask two or three general comprehension questions (e.g.: Why did Amy buy the gift? Why does she feel grateful? etc.) and play the original video (the first part) once.
3. Set a noticing task to enable students to listen out for the chunks used (e.g.: I wanted to get you something that you didn’t have). The idea here is to help students pay attention to HOW the characters said what they said.
4. Play the second part of the video for them to check.
5. Have students repeat the target sentences using the correct stress / intonation and memorize them.
6. Propose similar situations for students to roleplay in pairs, using the new language.
I found the extract delightfully funny, though perhaps not as language-rich as the haggling video I posted a while ago. Still, give it a try if you feel it’ll engage students, liven up your lesson and/or generate good language practice.
Thanks for reading. And happy roleplay.