Activity 10: Comparison Roleplay

▶ Duration:  10–15 min
▶ Aim:  Speaking practice; vocabulary practice
▶ Summary:  Student discover how the facts or opinions on their roleplay card differ from their partner's.

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This activity is more restricted than most of the roleplays described on this site. Students work in pairs, and each has the same list of topics but the specific details differ. For example, it might be a list of foods which both characters have tasted, but each has a different opinion about the flavour. Students speak in english to compare the details, with some goal such as identifying which items they agree on.

Design the roleplay cards and photocopy enough so that each student receives one card (either an A card or a B card).

Examples can be found in the Resources section.

Explain the activity, perhaps using the blackboard to provide a concrete example. Model (and drill if necessary) the sort of language that will be needed to carry out the activity. In this way, you show that the dialogue should resemble a natural conversation (not an elaborate conversation, but at least using the information from the roleplay card to form sentences, rather than just reading the abbreviated information word-for-word).

Remind the students not to show their roleplay cards to the other student, and explain the goal of the activity, eg. find what you agree on. Check:


Salty Fish Roleplay: salty_fish_rp.doc (html preview)

NOTE: the handout for this activity includes chinese characters.

In this roleplay, the two characters have just finished a large meal and are going to discuss their opinions of the different dishes. Since one of the aims of this activity is to recall vocabulary, the opinions are printed in chinese. They are along the lines of "too salty", "too spicy", "very nice", etc.

Before the activity, elicit the different flavours. The vocabulary required is: salty, sour, bitter, sweet, oily, spicy/hot. Also elicit some questions for asking about food: "Is _____ nice?" and "How does _____ taste?" I also take the opportunity to explain why "Is _____ delicious?" is not an appropriate question in most cases (this is a mistake often made by chinese learners of english, but in fact "delicious" means "extremely nice" and is thus an acceptible answer but very rare in a question).

So, the sort of language to provide as an example before the activity might be:

Student B: How did the fish taste?
Student A: It was delicious!
Student B: Actually, I thought it was too salty. etc

The two characters agree on the roast turkey (really nice), the pizza (too spicy), and the chocolate cake (the nicest of all).
Rating: 4 stars