This study investigated the effect of role-play and simulation approach on Malaysian Polytechnic engineering students’ ESL oral communication skills. In addition, the study examined the students’ perceptions of the effect of the role-play and simulation on their oral communication skills. A mixed method design was employed, using both quantitative and qualitative data collection approaches. The quantitative data were collected from the quasi-experimental study (n=100). The data were collected using a set of questionnaires, a pre and post-test. The data from the questionnaires were analysed using descriptive statistics (percentages and means). The results showed that there was a significant difference between the pre-test and the post-test scores of the role-play and simulation group compared to the traditional group. The findings indicated that the students in the role-play and simulation group had performed better in the post-test compared to the pre-test after the exposure to the role-play and simulation approach in the ESL oral communication skills classes. An implication of the study is that role-play and simulation approach can serve as a possible strategy to improve students’ ESL oral communication skills.