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This is a fun lesson based around informal negotiations.
Level A2 – C2 Language can be adapted depending on levels.
Put the verb “to haggle” on the board.
Play “call my bluff” with the word. (you give them 3 possible definitions of the word, they have to guess which is the correct one)
3 definitions could be:
1. To laugh in an evil way like a witch.
2. To negotiate the price of something.
3. To curl up into a ball because you’re cold.
Students have to guess the correct definition. Award points for correct answers.
Depending on the students level you can now show them examples of haggling:
Monty Python The Life of Brian haggling scene:
TIP: When showing youtube clips in class have them loaded up before to avoid awkward buffering moments.
Alternatively with a younger or American English class you can use this clip from The Big Bang Theory (stolen from another haggling lesson plan, thanks guys):
This clip can be mined for some useful language:
What do you want for it?
Can you do any better?
Steep = expensive
For my friends let’s say………
It’s a limited edition.
To give a discount.
We’ll take it.
My final offer.
You’re killing me here.
You throw in (something extra)
Class Discussion Questions:
(depending on class size either put students in small groups 3-4 or as a whole class)
- Have you ever haggled?
- If so where?
- What did you buy?
- Did you get a good price?
- What strategies did you use?
- Do people often haggle in your country?
- What other negotiating do you do in your everyday life?
Tell the students that they are now going to role-play some haggling situations. Before you start you can go over some vocabulary and structures:
Here there is a link to a vocabulary handout:
Haggle, Compromise, worth, expensive (too expensive, way / far too expensive), overpriced, a rip-off, cheap (too cheap, way / far too cheap), bargain, good value, cheap as chips, to cost an arm and a leg.
Other synonyms of expensive: Pricey, steep, dear.
Other synonyms of cheap: Affordable, reasonable, economical.
For higher levels you can ban the use of “expensive” and “cheap”.
Put the students into pairs (3’s are also ok, 2 customers and 1 shopkeeper) and hand out role-cards (see below)
Link to printable role-cards:
Here you have a link to the role cards for several different role-plays. These were written specifically for classes in Barcelona so they have a Catalan theme. However, the objects for sale can easily be changed for ones related to the target audience.
Give the students plenty of time to haggle, negotiations sometimes drag on for a long time!
Once everyone has had a go at both roles get the groups to feedback about their experiences.
Who was the best haggler?
What strategies did you use?
Which role is easier, customer or salesman?