Posted in Conversation Classes

Role Play: Haggling


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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?

Haggling Role-plays.

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:

Target language:

Here there is a link to a vocabulary handout:!237&authkey=!ABIJf3pM5-L4cDA

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.!136&authkey=!AIFFG0Wkh2MkSSw

Give the students plenty of time to haggle, negotiations sometimes drag on for a long time!

Wrap up:

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?