Resolutions Role Play: End-of-the-year vocabulary activity

Level: intermediate to advanced

Targeted words: vocabulary related to goal-setting and lesser-known professions

STEP 1 – Ask students to call out their professions and/or the professions of friends and family. Select lesser-known professions, assuming that popular ones, such as doctor, teacher, lawyer, businessman, and musician, are already familiar to everyone. Add others to the list. Suggestions: portrait photographer, real estate agent, bartender, medical assistant, telemarketer, contractor, florist, customer service representative, administrative assistant, hair stylist, and social worker. The number of professions should be limited to the number of students in the class.

STEP 2 – Read through the list with the class, having each student explain a profession to his/ her best ability. Assist the speakers and clarify the definitions as needed. Be sure to practice pronunciation and encourage students to write down the list in their notebooks.

STEP 3 – Tell students that they are going to be secretly assigned a profession from the list, and assuming the role of that professional, they must write their New Year’s resolutions. Provide a model using a common profession.



My goal is to get more work and perform more often. I intend to quit my day job and play my music full-time.

To keep the professions a secret, number them and pass out the numbers randomly to the class.

STEP 4 – Explain that students must write without actually mentioning the profession by name. Provide additional prompts for expressing resolutions: I plan on (-ing)/ I plan to…/ I aim to…/ It’s my goal to…/ I promised myself that… Then ask students to work independently.

STEP 5 – Once students are finished writing their resolutions, ask them to work in small groups of 4 of 5. Each student will read his/ her resolution aloud, and the group must guess the profession.

STEP 6 – When all members have read their statements to the group, they can shed their roles and state their real New Year’s resolutions using the highlighted expressions for goal-setting.


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