This is an opportunity for students to use language of deduction:
It could/might/may be….
It can’t be ….. because …..
It must be ….. because …..
I’m torn between …. and ….
I’m going to have a stab in the dark and say ….
By a process of elimination I’d say it’s ….
There’s no way it’s …. because …
… is too obvious.
I’m going to plump for (choose) …
Put students in pairs or threes and have them discuss the three examples and give their answers. Award points for correct answers.
Students create false definitions:
Now give each pair one of the game cards. The cards contain a rare English word and the correct definition. Students must invent two false definitions for the word and write them down. Set a time limit of 3-4 minutes for this part. Groups then read out their words and the three definitions, encourage them to be expressive and inventive in their definitions and their presentations in order to better convince their opponents. Award points for groups who guess the correct definition and points for the groups who successfully convince opponents into choosing their invented definitions.
Use the sheet Red Herrings to introduce the game. Choose one of the examples from the sheet and put it on the board.
There are strange words with 3 possible definitions, put SS in teams, pairs or threes depending on numbers. SS have to decide which is the correct definition, encourage them to explain why they think it is correct, they should use modal verbs of deduction:
It can’t be number 1 because
It could be number 2 because
It must be number 3 because
Each team gets 1 point for each correct guess.
Do 2 examples if necessary. Then you can either give the students the strange English words with the correct definition (on the handout) and they have to invent to fake ones, or you give them the dictionaries and they find strange words themselves.
Students must prepare 3 definitions (1 real, 2 fake) with a sentence example. Teacher must check definitions and sentences for accuracy before they’re used in the game, if there are mistakes it is obvious which ones have been invented.
Give SS time to write their definitions and correct them, then play the game as a class, each team reads out a word and the 3 definitions and the others must guess which one and explain their decisions. SS get 1 point for a correct guess and the team whose word it is gets 1 point for each team they tricked the others into guessing a fake definition.
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.