Personal Complaint Menu Roleplay
(Teaching Complaints and Responses)

by Peter Snashall

Be sure that students are aware of complaint,apology and excuse grammar and vocabulary before you embark on this activity.It is suitable for pre-intermediate and intermediate levels.

Step 1 On the board write "NEIGHBOR COMPLAINT MENU" then ask around the class for sample complaints. Write themon the board. The board might look like this:

                                 NEIGHBOR COMPLAINT MENU

                                   They always have noisy parties.

                                      The dog barks all night.

                                   The children are really naughty.

                               There is always trash in front of the house.

                                           Etc. etc. etc.

Step 2 Put students in groups of 3 and have ready an A4 sheet of paper for each group. Each sheet of paper has one of the
following headings:
                                 NEIGHBOR COMPLAINT MENU

                                   BOSS COMPLAINT MENU

                              BROTHER/SISTER COMPLAINT MENU

                               HUSBAND/WIFE COMPLAINT MENU

                                  FRIEND COMPLAINT MENU

                           RESTAURANT MANAGER COMPLAINT MENU

                      BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND COMPLAINT MENU and so on....

Each group of students then chooses one of the complaints topics and begins to write complaints on their sheet of paper ( as you modelled on the board).

Step 3 Rotate the complaint menus every 3 or 4 minutes so each group gets to work on each menu. In this way they get a feel for the different kind of complaints.

Step 4 Once the menus have rotated right round the class or the sheets of paper are full of complaints tell the students to stopwriting and model the final part of the activity - the roleplay. Pick up one menu (Neighborhood Complaint Menu) and address a pair of students saying

      "Look, you are my neighbors and I'm not very happy. My first complaint is that you always have noisy parties."

The "neighbor" students will apologize and try to make excuses....and then you continue through the complaints....

                           "Also, there is always rubbish in front of your house.."

Step 5 Finally, select one student out of each group to be the complainer. Give this student one of the complaint menus. The students then begin to roleplay. Be sure to rotate the students and menus around to keep the topic material and responses fresh.