Role playing is an important element of learning English, and is particularly impactful for professional English development. Research shows that role playing helps students apply English in context, advance speaking skills, and increase confidence. It also enables students to progress beyond theoretical grammar rules, and have a deeper, more natural understanding of the language.
In the digital age, role playing can be done on demand using an AI tutor. Such programs or applications create virtual scenarios where students can have a dialogue in English that reflects the real-world situation. What’s more, AI tutors often incorporate speech recognition and feedback mechanisms to enhance learners’ pronunciation and conversation skills. And, AI tutors offer a wide range of possible role plays, so users can select ones that are most relevant to their learning needs and business goals.
To promote your professional English, try the following five role plays with your AI tutor.
Role playing a salary negotiation can help you hone your communication skills, as well as pick up vocabulary that is essential to navigate the professional world. Salary negotiation can be sensitive and requires being firm but fair. So, roleplaying a salary negotiation can build your confidence to articulate your needs in great professional English. Likewise, salary negotiation role play can support better comprehension around nuanced responses.
With an AI tutor, you can participate in tailored, realistic salary negotiation, where you deliver a clear, convincing case for a certain salary. You can then practice answering questions from employers and defending your position in English. This dialogue is additionally beneficial to understand contextual insights, as negotiation etiquette can vary across countries and industries.
An AI tutor can encourage you to think about:
- How to phrase your opening offer by asking ‘What salary are you expecting for this position?’
- How to respond to a counteroffer by asking ‘At this time, we can only make an offer below your proposed amount, is that OK?’
- How to negotiate your salary by asking ‘We have stock options and flexible hours, will you accept those as part of your salary deal?’
- How to defend your position by asking ‘What experience do you have to warrant the salary you’re suggesting?’
- How to finalize an offer by asking ‘What do you need to confirm the salary proposal?’
Networking at a conference
Knowing how to network in English can lead to career development, deeper community engagement, and greater knowledge exchange. At a conference, where there are numerous opportunities to network, role play beforehand can equip you with engaging topics of conversation, and ensure that you project your company’s messaging and values.
When role playing with an AI tutor, you could set up a scenario where you have to introduce a project, plan or problem from your company to your industry peers. Alternatively, you could try pitching a product to a panel of judges, or simply starting a chat during a coffee break. The AI tutor will give feedback about your talking speed, terminology, and approachability in doing so. It can also prompt you to ask more questions in return, and strike a balance between being professional as well as friendly.
An AI tutor can fuel your professional English while networking at a conference by:
- Ask you to give a list of open-ended questions that could initiate conversation with strangers
- Tell you to craft a concise and interesting elevator pitch to introduce yourself in under 30 seconds
- Practice back-and-forth dialogue to exchange contact details with a potential customer
- Present you with possible networking scenarios e.g. asking a question at a talk, following-up with people you met
Appraisal with your boss
An appraisal can be intimidating even in your native language. When speaking another language, it can feel more daunting, which is why role playing an appraisal is a smart way to overcome nerves and accelerate your professional English. This role play enables you to practice the vocabulary used in evaluations, goal setting, and giving feedback. Not only does this type of language ensure that you can deliver and understand your own performance, but also review other people’s performances if you become a leader in the future.
An AI tutor can embody your boss, asking you to give examples of your achievements at work and areas where you have room for improvement. It could also push you to think about a development plan, and explain where you see yourself at the company in a year’s time. Plus, think of questions for your boss, focusing on more complex themes to address in English.
Your AI tutor may concentrate on prompts like:
- Explain how your personal professional goals align with the company’s objectives
- Anticipate feedback your boss might provide you during the appraisal. How would you respond to constructive criticism or suggestions for improvement?
- Talk through any unexpected setbacks or difficulties you encountered during the year. What lessons did you learn from these experiences?
- How would you respond when your boss acknowledges your achievements?
Coffee with a mentor
Although a casual meeting, having coffee with a mentor is a prime moment to exercise your business English. Role playing this situation can prepare you for one-on-one professional interactions and make sure that you get the information that you need. It can equally allow you to rehearse applying professional English in more informal environments, showing you what is appropriate communication and what isn’t.
With an AI tutor, you can role play introducing yourself to your mentor, asking them about their experience, describing why you want mentorship, and the ways you prefer them to support you. You can also reverse roles and be the mentor, giving advice to the AI mentee. This reversal is valuable to understand the type and tone of English from both sides.
If you’re using AI to learn English, your tutor could:
- Help you brainstorm open-ended questions to ask your mentor
- Generate topics to discuss during the coffee
- Describe a professional dilemma and have you articulate how your mentor can assist you with it
- Construct a short paragraph expressing gratitude toward your mentor
Contributing in an online meeting
Role playing an online meeting is advantageous to perfect how you interject, participate, and convey ideas remotely. Not to mention, it can help boost your confidence when speaking English to large groups of people online. Especially considering that call connections can sometimes be weak, and if you don’t have your camera on it can be harder to follow someone’s line of thought, role playing ensures that you speak with clarity.
Leveraging your AI tutor, you can review how you participate in virtual meetings and carry out tasks such as:
- Imagine you’re the host of the meeting. How would you welcome participants and set a positive tone for the discussion?
- Imagine you need to confirm the meeting’s purpose. Practice asking questions to ensure everyone is on the same page
- Practice using phrases like ‘I’d like to add,’ ‘in my opinion,’ or ‘from my perspective’ to contribute to the discussion
- Consider how you would express agreement or disagreement with a proposal. Practice using diplomatic language to convey your stance
Role playing is the stepping stone to excellent professional English in the real world. By embracing AI tutors that can replicate in-person exchanges, you can prepare your English to be the most natural and fluent. And when you come to speak in the moment, your communication will be just as successful as your business abilities.
Ready to role play?