Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics: Role-plays (ESL/EFL)

ESL/EFL Sochi 2014 Olympics Role-play Cards (Intermediate)

Role-play cards are great for warm-up, practicing communication and negotiation skills, and making a lesson fun. Below are 4 role-play scenarios related to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Some of the scenarios are a bit strange, so please read them first before giving them to your students. It's up to you to decide whether the material is appropriate.

Sochi 2014 Olympic Role-Play Card Instructions:

  1. Download and print the 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.
(1A) You are an alpine skier in Sochi. Yesterday you lost your race. But it wasn’t your fault! You have had many problems in Sochi (with your equipment, the course, and other things..) Complain to an Olympic official (the other student). 
(1B) You are an Olympic official. Your job was to take care of the alpine skiing event. The event was yesterday and a Russian skier won. It was great.
(2A) You are supposed to skate with your partner in the paired figure skating event today but you woke up late! The event will start in 20 minutes. You left your room in a rush and you forgot your ID. You are trying to enter the arena now, but there is a security guard in the way. Please ask him to move so you can enter. (2B) You are a security guard at the Olympics. You are working at the figure skating event. You are guarding the arena. There have been many people trying to get into the arena but only people with tickets and proper identification can enter. 
(3A) You are Russian president Vladimir Putin. You are walking around the Olympic Village. It’s a wonderful day. Everything is great. (3B) You are a gay athlete. You’ve heard that there is a secret gay club in the Olympic Village. You want to find out where it is.  You see another man on the street. Try to ask him if he knows where it is.
(4A) You are a judge of the figure skating event. The event will happen tomorrow. You are walking around the Olympic Village now.  (4B) You are the coach of a figure skating team. You really want your team to win the gold medal. You are in the Olympic Village now, and you see one of the figure-skating judges. Try to bribe (give money to) the judge so that your team can win.

Other Sochi 2014 Olympic-related ideas for class include:

Olympic Host Country Presentation or Debate

Have students prepare a presentation on why their country should host the next summer (or winter) Olympics. You, the teacher, will represent the International Olympic Committee. At the end, decide which country should get the Olympics. Alternative: If all of your students are from the same country, conduct a debate with half of the class being in favor of their country hosting the Olympics and the other half being against the idea.

Boycott Sochi Debate

Introduce the problems surrounding the Sochi Olympics (security and the ban on 'homosexual propaganda'). Introduce the word 'Boycott'. Divide the class into two groups: one side in favor of boycotting Sochi 2014, and the other side against it. After some preparation time, conduct the debate and monitor the students. Let them speak freely and review errors at the end of class. 

Have fun and enjoy the activities.

– Matthew Barton, creator of

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