ESL Role-play Cards (Intermediate – Advanced) Set 3

ESL/EFL Role-play Cards (Intermediate/Advanced) — Set 3

(Note: Set 1 can be found here: ESL/EFL Role-play Cards Set 1 and Set 2 here: Telephone Skills Role-plays)

ESL role-play cards are great for warm-up, improving communication and negotiation skills, and making a lesson fun. Here is the latest (and probably last!) set containing 8 role-play scenarios. The majority of them are for telephone communication.

Warning: I have already exhausted most conventional role-play situations in Sets 1 and 2. As a result, some situations in this set are bizarre. If your students have a sense of humor, they should enjoy these cards. Please remember that, as a teacher, it is your responsibility to pre-read the cards and make sure they are appropriate for your class!

Role-Play Card Instructions:

  1. Download and print the telephone skills role-play cards.
  2. Put students in pairs. Ask each student read one side of one a role-play card, silently, to his/herself. When ready, have them begin the role-play.
  3. Take note of their mistakes (without interrupting) and encourage your student to debate and make it interesting. Tell them to use their imagination and try to win their position (where applicable).
  4. Discuss mistakes, commend students, and make recommendations when they have finished.
Student A RoleStudent B Role
(1a) You are a parent. You have recently spent $10,000 to send you child to an expensive college overseas. You have no more money. And you are quite worried about the safety of your child. Soon, your phone will ring.
(1b) You are a student. You are studying abroad. Yesterday, something bad happened (think of something). Now you are in prison. If you don't pay $5,000 dollars, you will have to stay there. You have one phone call. Phone your parent and ask them to send you money.
(2a) You are a manager at a restaurant in the United States. A customer wants to speak with you. Go to his/her table, introduce yourself, and see if there is something you can help him/her with.
(2b) You are on holiday at a restaurant in the U.S. You had a horrible experience at the restaurant. Think of problems that you can complain about. Then talk to the manager of the restaurant, tell him/her your problems, and try to get a refund.
(3a) You are an English teacher. It's late at night and you are out with your friends. You have a class tomorrow morning but you don't want to go. Call your student and to cancel your class.
(3b) You are not satisfied with your English teacher. Recently you have been thinking about finding another teacher. It's 11:35 pm and you are in bed. You have class tomorrow morning. Soon, your phone will ring.
(4a) You are elderly. Your new desktop computer doesn't work today. You don't know anything about computers. Call you son/daughter for help. (You don't know this, but the problem is that the monitor cable is not connected to the back of the computer so you can't see anything on the screen. See if your son/daughter can find the problem.)
(4b) Your parents are very old. They recently got a desktop computer. They don't know how to use it. They think that you are a computer expert. Soon, one of them will phone you. Try to troubleshoot their problem.
(5a) You have an account with a bank called SmartBank. Soon, you will get a phone call.
(5b) You are a criminal. Call the other student and pretend to be an employee of `SmartBank.' Tell them there has been a problem at the bank, so all customer PIN codes must be reset. Try to get his/her bank card number & PIN.
(6a) You are a college professor. One of your students has come to your office to talk about an exam he/she has failed.
(6b) You are a student. You have recently failed a major final exam. Now you cannot graduate college. You have decided to visit the professor's office. Think of an excuse for why you failed and try to convince the professor to let you write it again. If that doesn't work, try to bribe (give money to) the professor so he/she'll let you pass.
(7a) You are a police officer. Yesterday, a jewelry store was robbed between 6pm-6am. The robber, as seen on the store video camera, looks a lot like a man/woman you see on the street right now. Stop this suspicious man/woman and question him/her. Find out exactly what he/she was doing between 6pm-6am.
(7b) You are walking on the street when a police officer stops you.
(8a) You are a parent. Your son, Billy, has a new friend named Jimmy. Since Billy met Jimmy, he has become a bad kid. He swears a lot, he doesn't listen, and you suspect that he is smoking cigarettes. Call Jimmy's house and tell his parents that you don't want your son to see him anymore.
(8b) You are a parent. Your son, Jimmy, has a new friend named Billy. Since Jimmy met Billy, he has become a bad kid. He swears a lot, he doesn't listen, and you suspect that he is smoking cigarettes. Soon, your phone will ring.

Related Articles: Best Role Plays & Debates of 2011Best Role Plays & Debates of 2012

ESL/EFL Role-play cards copyright Matthew Barton of English Current

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4 comments on “ESL Role-play Cards (Intermediate – Advanced) Set 3

  1. ANi (Posted on 5-29-2016 at 08:35) Reply


  2. Tina (Posted on 1-26-2019 at 00:50) Reply

    Thanks a lot :) It’s great!!!

  3. Muhammad Sajid Karim (Posted on 1-10-2022 at 02:57) Reply

    Very innovative. Great job

  4. Mr. Ray (Posted on 5-18-2022 at 04:04) Reply

    great job! interesting dialogues

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