One of my main writing projects in the last few years has been working on the Business Result series from Oxford University Press. Part of the project was to develop a teacher training DVD to accompany each teacher’s book in the series along with a worksheet for teachers and session notes for teacher trainers. Over at the OUP Global blog they are starting a series of articles written by me about different aspects of training Business English teachers. You can also see a clip from the relevant DVD. So to accompany this series, I’ll be offering tips and ideas at this blog for teacher trainers to go with the OUP blog posts. The first one is a brief outline of a session you can do on how to teach the language of negotiating and the skills.
1 Write these five contexts for negotiating on the board. Put trainees in pairs and ask them to discuss which are more formal and need planning:
a negotiate for a cheaper price
b negotiate to decide who washes up
c negotiate terms and conditions
d negotiate the deadline to complete a job
e negotiate a pay rise with your boss
2 Afterwards discuss the responses and ask if anyone in the group has had to do any of a-e. The aim of the task is to highlight that ALL of us negotiate on a regular basis and it isn’t just something high-flying exec types do.
3 Working in the same pairs, ask the teachers to role play this situation: It’s Sunday evening and one of you has to teach a one to one lesson at 7am the next morning. You’ve had a very busy weekend (partying, etc) so you call your colleague and try to convince them to do the lesson for you so you can have a rest. The other person normally has Monday off because s/he works on Saturdays.
After the role play, discuss which pairs reached a successful deal. Did you both win? Did one of you do better in the negotiation? Why?
4 Next, ask the teachers to reflect on the kind of language they used during the role play. They should write down any useful phrases they might have used. Another way to do this is to record some of the role plays in 3 and play them back to analyse the language. Or add a third ‘listener’ student to the role play in 3 whose job it is to listen to the dialogue and write down any useful phrases.
5 Follow on from stage 4 by asking teachers to look at examples of language taught for negotiating in course books and how the stages of a negotiation can be broken down. Ask them to comment on how much the language presented in the course book reflects the kind they used in their role plays.
6 If you have time, ask participants to prepare a lesson where students negotiate something similar to the role play; for example, negotiating with a work colleague to do some extra work. In the plan they should note the language and skills needed and how they will teach them to the students.
As ever, your comments on the above are welcome – especially if you have experience of training teachers in this particular area!