Activity 20: Used Car Roleplay

▶ Duration:  20–25 min
▶ Aim:  Oral fluency practice; car vocabulary
▶ Summary:  Roleplay a telephone call based on a list of used cars.

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Introduction

This is a roleplay for pairs. Each person gets a list of 8 cars, with brief descriptions. They alternate the roles of buyer and seller. The buyer telephones the seller and enquires about a particular kind of car, and the seller describes the cars that might be suitable.
Preparation

Make enough copies of the two roleplay sheets so that each pair can receive one of copy of each sheet. The two sheets are in this document: car_rp.doc (html preview).

NOTE: if you tell the students not to write on the sheets, then they can be collected and reused in another class.
Procedure

Quite a lot of vocabulary needs to be taught or reviewed before handing out the roleplay sheets. The necessary terms are:

You should also explain how the terms "make", "model", and "year" are used in the context of cars.

In order to give students some idea of how the phone conversation should sound, you could demonstrate a conversation with the help of a student. Let the student play the buyer, while you play the seller. For example, you could use the "Student B" sheet and get the student to telephone and enquire about cars which are less than 5 years old. In your conversation, you should briefly describe the suitable car(s), and ask some questions such as "How much do you want to spend?", "Are two seats enough?", and so on. In the end, invite the buyer to come into the shop some time to have a look at the car.

Aside from this demo, the roleplay is fairly straightforward as long as the students follow the instructions at the top of the sheet.
Notes

In fact, the way I ran this activity in my class was closely tied to the chapter called "Driving a Car" in my textbook, Advanced Talks Book 2 (Huadong Teachers University Press). The chapter not only starts with a phone conversation on exactly this topic, but also includes pictures of different types of car.

The car pictures on the roleplay sheet are all from free clipart collections on the internet.
Rating: 3.5 stars

The activity runs well. But it's unfortunate that it relies on a large number of new words that probably aren't very relevant to the students' lives. As explained in the Notes section, this activity was inspired by a particular textbook. And although the activity can still be done without this textbook, it might be unsuited to the content of the course.
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