The Internet TESL Journal

Example Scenarios for Online Strategic Interaction

A sub-page of Online Strategic Interaction: ESL Role-Playing via IRC

The following example shows two scenarios that can be used in a Strategic Interaction exercise. One of the following is given to each group. Note that the teacher's instructions below are just different enough from those of the Principal's to create a "twist" that results in a communication breakdown for even the most advanced students.

Teacher and Principal-Report Due


You have been assigned to write an important report about your school. It is due in the principal's office tomorrow. However, if you could have one more day, it would be a much better report. (Actually, it is your first wedding anniversary, and you have made reservations at a very prestigious hotel for a romantic dinner with your spouse.) Prepare to discuss this matter with your principal.


A meeting with the ministry of education has been moved up from tomorrow to this afternoon. As a result, the report being written by your teacher is needed today, rather than tomorrow as originally planned. How will you tell your teacher to speed up the writing of the report without jeopardizing its quality?

In the real SI exercises, each group only has access to one of the above sets of instructions. In this way, neither group is prepared for the "twist" in the scenario.

This scenario has been excerpted with written permission of Mrs. Vincenzina (Robert) Di Pietro. Written permission is required for reprinting, electronically or otherwise, of these materials.

This page is a part of Online Strategic Interaction: ESL Role-Playing via IRC