Sunday, June 12, 2011

Genuine or Counterfeit?


This is a role play I did with my students in China, and they seemed to have a lot of fun with it. It takes about 40 minutes (10 prep + 20 role-play + 10 reveal) and could be easily adapted for any foreign language classroom.

Cut up the cards below and give one to each student. Make sure to tell them not to show their cards to anyone.

Some of the students will be consumers; it will be your job to try to get the best deal you can on the items on your list. But remember, you don’t want to get tricked into buying counterfeit or shoddy goods. Ask a lot of questions and see how trustworthy the businessperson seems.

Other students will be businesspeople: some legitimate and some dishonest; it will be your job to make as much money as you can in 20 minutes. Good luck!


You are a dishonest businessperson who sells counterfeit goods. Of course, you tell everyone that they are high quality imports from Japan. In reality, your products come from a nearby factory.

DVD player = 525 RMB

CD player = 375 RMB

MP3 player = 450 RMB

You are a dishonest businessperson who sells counterfeit goods. Of course, you tell everyone that they are high quality imports from Korea. In reality, your products come from a nearby factory.

CD player = 350 RMB

Digital camera = 900 RMB

Mobile phone = 650 RMB

You are a legitimate businessperson who sells high-quality goods imported from Japan. Of course, that means your products are more expensive than locally made goods, but you should try to convince the customer that it’s worth paying a little extra for something that won’t break.

DVD player = 650 RMB

MP 3 player = 500 RMB

Video camera = 1,600 RMB

Digital camera = 1,200 RMB

You are a legitimate businessperson who sells high-quality goods imported from USA. Of course, that means your products are more expensive than locally made goods, but you should try to convince the customer that it’s worth paying a little extra for something that won’t break.

CD player = 450 RMB

MP3 player = 625 RMB

Mobile phone = 800 RMB

Video camera = 1,800 RMB

You are a legitimate businessperson who sells cheap goods made in a nearby factory. They are not as high-quality as imported goods, but you should try to convince the customers that it’s worth it to save a little money and help support the local economy.

DVD player = 400 RMB

CD player = 275 RMB

MP3 player = 350 RMB

Mobile phone = 525 RMB

You are a legitimate businessperson who sells cheap goods made in a nearby factory. They are not as high-quality as imported goods, but you should try to convince the customers that it’s worth it to save a little money and help support the local economy.

DVD player = 450 RMB

MP3 player = 300 RMB

Digital camera = 600 RMB

Mobile phone = 475 RMB

You are an undercover police officer trying to catch those people who are selling counterfeit goods. Try to get the business people to tell you where their products really came from. Don’t tell them you’re a policeman. Pretend to be a customer looking to spend a lot of money on digital and video cameras. Write down the name of anyone who you suspect of selling fake goods.

You are an undercover police officer trying to catch those people who are selling counterfeit goods. Try to get the business people to tell you where their products really came from. Don’t tell them you’re a policeman. Pretend to be a customer looking to spend a lot of money on CD, DVD and MP3 players. Write down the name of anyone who you suspect of selling fake goods.

You are a customer looking to buy a good DVD player for your home. You do not want to buy a shoddy one. Of course, you also don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. Look for the best deal, but try to make sure the product isn’t of poor quality. Ask lots of questions. Write down the name of the person who you bought the DVD player from.

You are a customer looking to buy a good video camera to take on vacation. You do not want to buy a fake one. Of course, you also don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. Look for the best deal, but try to make sure the product isn’t a fake. Ask lots of questions. Write down the name of the person you bought the video camera player from.

You are a customer looking to buy a good MP3 player. You do not want to buy a shoddy one. Of course, you also don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. Look for the best deal, but try to make sure the product isn’t of poor quality. Ask lots of questions. Write down the name of the person you bought the MP3 player from.

You are a customer looking to buy twelve good mobile phones for your company. You do not want to buy counterfeit ones. Of course, you also don’t want to spend a lot of money on them. Look for the best deal, but try to make sure the product isn’t fake. Ask lots of questions. Write down the name of the person you bought the mobile phones from.

You are a customer looking to buy a good digital camera to take on vacation. You do not want to buy a shoddy one. Of course, you also don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. Look for the best deal, but try to make sure the product isn’t poorly made. Ask lots of questions. Write down the name of the person you bought the digital camera from.

You are a customer looking to buy three good CD players for your office. You do not want to buy counterfeit ones. Of course, you also don’t want to spend a lot of money on them. Look for the best deal, but try to make sure the product isn’t fake. Ask lots of questions. Write down the name of the person you bought the CD players from.

You are a customer looking to buy four good MP3 players to give as gifts to family. You do not want to buy shoddy ones. Of course, you also don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. Look for the best deal, but try to make sure the product isn’t of poor quality. Ask lots of questions. Write down the name of the person you bought the MP3 players from.

You are a customer looking to buy a good mobile phone. You do not want to buy a shoddy one. Of course, you also don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. Look for the best deal, but try to make sure the product isn’t of poor quality. Ask lots of questions. Write down the name of the person you bought the mobile phone from.

You are a customer looking to buy a good MP3 player to give as a gift to your best friend. You do not want to buy a counterfeit one. Of course, you also don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. Look for the best deal, but try to make sure the product isn’t fake. Ask lots of questions. Write down the name of the person you bought the MP3 player from.

You are a customer looking to buy a good digital camera to give as a gift to your boss. You do not want to buy a counterfeit one. Of course, you also don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. Look for the best deal, but try to make sure the product isn’t fake. Ask lots of questions. Write down the name of the person you bought the digital camera from.

You are a dishonest businessperson who sells counterfeit goods. Of course, you tell everyone that they are high quality imports from USA. In reality, your products come from a nearby factory.

DVD player = 650 RMB

CD player = 375 RMB

Video camera = 1,200 RMB

Mobile phone = 700 RMB

You are a legitimate businessperson who sells cheap goods made in a nearby factory. They are not as high-quality as imported goods, but you should try to convince the customers that it’s worth it to save a little money and help support the local economy.

CD player = 250 RMB

Digital camera = 600 RMB

MP 3 player = 325 RMB

You are a legitimate businessperson who sells high-quality goods imported from Korea. Of course, that means your products are more expensive than locally-made goods, but try to convince the customer that it’s worth it to pay a little extra for something you know won’t break.

DVD player = 475 RMB

Digital camera = 800 RMB

Mobile phone = 625 RMB

You are a customer looking to buy a good DVD player to give as a gift for your parents. You do not want to buy a shoddy one. Of course, you also don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. Look for the best deal, but try to make sure the product isn’t of poor quality. Ask lots of questions. Write down the name of the person you bought the DVD player from.

You are a customer looking to buy two good video cameras to make commercials for your new business. You do not want to buy a counterfeit one. Of course, you also don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. Look for the best deal, but try to make sure the product isn’t fake. Ask lots of questions. Write down the name of the person you bought the video cameras from.

You are a customer looking to buy a good CD player to take on vacation. You do not want to buy a shoddy one. Of course, you also don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. Look for the best deal, but try to make sure the product isn’t of poor quality. Ask lots of questions. Write down the name of the person you bought the CD player from.

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