Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Shopping Role Plays

One of my lessons for my first years was to write out a shopping role play script between a salesperson and a customer. Today we started some of the presentations and it brings such joy and warmth to my frozen cold fingers and toes when my students really make an effort and enjoy what they’re doing.

I don’t really care too much about grammar as long as they can express themselves and get a message across. To me, that’s what communication is all about.

We encouraged the students to use facial expressions, crazy ideas and gestures to make their role plays more interesting.

These examples remind me why I get up every morning (even on those dark, cold Winter mornings), walk up that hill (rain, snow or shine) and greet my kids with a big smile of genki-ness.

A: Excuse me. Excuse me. Excuse me. EXCUSE ME!!!
B: Oh, may I help you?
A: Yes. I’m….
B: May I help you?
A: YES!!! I’m looking for a watch.
B: (Walks away and looks at the TV for a long time)
A: (Looks confused) No!! Not watch TV. WATCH!! (points to wrist) I feel out of place!!
B: Here you are. (takes off his watch and gives it to other student)
A: Thank you!! How much is it?
B: 100 yen.
A: (Hands over 100 yen) Thank you. Good bye. (waves)
B: Good buy?? (angry face)….Good bye! (smiling face)

Apparently student B loves puns and play on words. His English is quite good but he will say and do some pretty random things. For example, one time when I said “Don’t look at the paper yet. Turn it face down. Face. Down.” He would go “Face down? Face? Down?” while planting his face down on his desk. Cheeky!

A: Hello. May I help you?
B: Excuse me. I’m looking for a new girlfriend.
A: I’m sorry. It is not my shop.
B: Really? Let’s see…
A: How about me??
B: Really?? I’ll take it. In fact…I wanted you.
A: Really?? Me too.
A and B then run towards each other in slow motion and embrace while the whole class, including us teachers, howl with laughter. Public display of affection between male students is quite common. No matter how blokey, tough, cool or bad they may appear, they have no qualms about sitting on each others’ laps, hugging each other from behind or bear hugging while jumping up and down. Not that there’s anything wrong with it but I’m sure it would raise a few eyebrows in other countries.

After another role play, a ‘customer’ student walked behind the desk and pulled that escalator move where you slowly walk down and disappear behind the desk. It was classic.


At 11:12 pm, Blogger tita said...

i loovveee this post, it's so hilarious!

thanks for sharing it :)

At 5:28 pm, Anonymous Geri said...

It's so hilarious!

Reminds me of the time I tried to rent a car in Hokkaido and could hardly speak Japanese but wanted to be sure that the car rental insurance policy we were taking out included hospital.

I ended up using my hands and fingers 'crashing' and then making the sound of the ambulance siren and pretending to play dead.


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