Abby Wakelin

Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
senior high school - adult Use English to express a desire and to negotiate a situation none 15 - 20 mins. Pre-prepared situation cards

Negotiation is a part of every-day conversational English. This activity allows students to use the vocabulary they know in a meaningful activity. They will surprise themselves (and you!) at how long a conversation they can hold and how they can express their wishes in English.

The negotiation situations may be held between pairs. Each student has a sheet telling them their side of the situation and the stance which they must argue from. Explain any vocab necessary beforehand and tell the students that they have a problem. they must first explain their problem to their partner, then listen to their partner's side of the story and then have a conversation to work out a compromise. It is important to emphasise to them that the conversation is more important than the eventual compromise. Otherwise you'll find they chat in Japanese about a possible solution. It is also a good idea to forbid them looking at each other's sheets.

Some examples of negotiation situations are included here. It is best to team up with a JTE to think of situations that suit your students' needs and interests best. The best situations are those in which you eliminate all apparent routes to compromise, so the students' conversations are kept going longer. They are very inventive!! Allow 15 - 20 minutes per situation.

Situation 1
You have just arrived in London from Tokyo. You are alone. It is late and there is only one bus that will take you to your hotel tonight. You realise that you don't have any pounds to pay for the bus fare. The exchange counters have already closed and the ATM cash machine won't accept your bank cards. You are very tired and worried that you can't get to the hotel. You need 20 pounds. If anyone would give you the money, you would send it back to them tomorrow after you have exchanged your money. You see a man and decide to ask him.

You are a man living in London. You have just returned from a trip abroad. A girl comes to you and asks for some money. She says she will return it, but where you come from, you don't trust anybody. There is no reason to trust anybody in an airport. Your girlfriend thinks you should give the girl some money, but you don't agree at all. She can't be trusted and you don't want your girlfriend to give her anything either.

Situation 2
You are a third-year high school student and will be taking entrance examinations this year. You have always wanted to live alone in Tokyo. The university you desperately want to go to is luckily in Tokyo, but it is a private university. You can't study what you want to in public universities. Your parents don't like your idea but you want to live your own life. You have to persuade your parents.

You are the parent of a third year high school students. Your son/ daughter insists on going to a university in Tokyo and renting an apartment to live alone. You and your husband/ wife are completely against the idea because you have heard of many dangerous cases of university students (especially girls) who live alone. You can't afford to pay for a private university. You have taken it for granted that your daughter should go to Utsunomiya University.

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