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Unbelievable story role cards - a roleplay for ESL or EFL students

In this roleplay, students have to express disbelief.

Taxi driver:

Today, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were running away from paparazzi when they got in your cab. You took them to LAX (Los Angeles airport). While you were driving them to the airport, they were making out and telling each other how in love they were.

Tell your friend about what happened. This is very exciting because Tom and Nicole broke up years ago. Are they back together now? They had been one of the hottest couples in Hollywood before the breakup. Convince your friend that Tom and Nicole are getting back together again.

Driver's friend:

Your friend is always making up stories about meeting celebrities. Politely tell your friend that you're tired of hearing make-believe stories. You should be interrupting your friend's story about meeting Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman to ask questions and make comments.

Teacher's notes

1. I would consider putting drivers and friends together before the roleplay so that they can plan what they're going to say. If students object that the topic is too old, I would tell them that Tom and Nicole being together makes the story even more newsworthy (but I should probably just update the role cards - I don't becuase I don't feel like researching celebrity gossip at the moment).

2. Set the scene. It seems like every text book has a unit about movies, which could provide a nice context for this roleplay. You can use this one at any time; just make sure to provide a brief warmer, perhaps asking if any students have met celebrities or what they think about paparazzi (you may need to teach this word).

3. This is an opportunity for meaningful use of many past and present tenses. During the activity, monitor students to see if they are using the tenses correctly. Also, see if students can perform the following functions in English: politely tell someone you don't believe what they're saying (friend); tell a story (driver).

4. I often let the students have more than one go at it. Have all the friends stand up and rotate clockwise or have students exchange role cards (you may want to let students have a few more minutes to plan if they're going to switch roles). If there are few students and an odd number of them I usually participate, having the students rotate so everybody has to talk to the teacher.

5. Try to provide feedback between role-plays so students can try to incorporate your advice when they do the roleplay with their next partner.

While this is a made up story about taking Tom Cruise to LAX (Los Angeles Airport) normal people need to get to the airport as well. Airport transfer is normally less expensive than airport parking and less stressful than driving to the airport.