esl negotiation role plays

12 ESL Negotiation Role-plays: Real-life situations

We want to teach our students real-life skills, don’t we? It sure is nice to read Shakespeare and discuss metaphors, but it is not what our ESL/EFL/EIL (or whatever you call it) students need. They need to practice their speaking skills in a way which resembles real-life situations as closely as possible.

Again, which situation is a 16-year-old teenager most likely to experience?

  1. Imagine you are the CEO of a big company and you need to make an important decision.
  2. You are a 16-year-old teenager and you want to talk to your friend about a problem you have.

You get my point.

What skill do we apply every day? The skill teenagers apply every day with their parents, teachers, friends? The skill that can be immensely beneficial at work and that can improve not only our working but also our private relationships?


A negotiation, simply put, is a compromise. Two or more parties come together, have a discussion, and reach an outcome that addresses the needs of everyone involved. Sounds much less threatening when it’s put like that, doesn’t it?

We’ve put together 12 ESL negotiation role-plays based on real-life situations. Situations teenagers experience every day. When using these role-plays, students will learn how to:

  • prepare for everyday negotiations
  • look at real-life situations from a different perspective
  • know their goals
  • prepare to accept not to get everything
  • identify non-negotiables
  • adapt their strategy
  • ask questions
  • listen

Here is one of the negotiation role-plays you can find in the ebook.

A You have too much on your plate right now and you need help with your English essay assignment which is due on Friday. Ask your classmate for help. What would you be willing to do for them if they helped you? Think of the things you are willing to offer:

B Your classmate needs your help with the English essay assignment which is due on Friday. You might consider helping them if they can provide the right incentives. Think of four things you want for helping them(can’t be money):

If they agree with three of the four, you might consider helping them.

Download the PDF ebook 12 ESL Negotiation Role-plays here or click on the picture below.

Other speaking resources:

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