PPRR – Role Play


1. This is a simple framework for creating a role play based on a given topic. T writes on the board:

2. T asks SS to think about a given topic and write down in their notebooks 4 people connected with it. Then T takes feedback from each group and chooses the most interesting (most promising) 4 people and writes them on the board, underneath the heading ‘Person’.

3. If it is the first time the class has done this activity, T could explain what they have to do. SS copy the grid from the board into their notebooks and, working as a team (or pair), think of a problem for each person, then a reason WHY it is a problem, then a possible resolution to the problem – positive or negative, or both, for example:

4. Option 1: After 10 mins, or so, T asks for feedback from each group and selects the best (most promising) problems, reasons, and resolutions, and writes them on the board. All groups have the same material with which to work.

Option 2: SS work with what they have produced with their group.

5. T gives SS a short time, e.g. 10 mins, to produce a short role play drama or dialogue based on one of the story outlines. T monitors, checks, and corrects.

6. Group feedback: each team performs their work for the rest of the group. T notes grammar, usage, and pronunciation errors in a notebook. T could encourage the groups who are watching to take notes about errors too (constructive feedback) as well as what they like about the work (positive feedback).

7. T leads a group feedback session, outlining errors on the board and eliciting corrections and


  • SS will get a lot of satisfaction from thinking up and developing their own creative work, rather than reading a dialogue aloud from a book, because the level of involvement and use of skills involved in this activity far outweigh simply reading somebody else’s ideas aloud.
  • PPRR is the basic framework. T could encourage SS to be as creative as possible, developing the plot and characters, and working on making the dialogue individualised to the characters. SS could develop longer pieces, where a character might encounter more than one problem and resolution – as they might in a film or TV programme. SS could be more ambitious and use props and costumes, lighting, and staging, as part of a project that involves dedicated time in several consecutive lessons.
  • SS could use the mood cards on p.128 and/or the character cards on p.129 to add variety to their characters. The ‘audience’ could be invited to guess which character had a particular mood or character; or a role play could be performed several times, but each time the characters have different moods or characters.
  • SS could use the functions cards (from p.130) to give particular tasks to their characters. Again, the ‘audience’ could be invited to guess the functions, or match functions to characters.
  • SS could give faces to their characters by using the picture cards (from p.132) or finding pictures in a newspaper/magazine/catalogue, etc.
  • SS could write up their role play or dialogue as a script or short story (or comic book, etc.!) for homework.