Role Play

Method:

1. T writes the following template on the board:

2. T asks each group or pair to produce three different, distinct scenes connected with a given topic. T encourages them to think of the role play as three parts of a whole, with a through-line and a logical progression through the scenes, e.g.

  • Scene 1: Setting up the situation
  • Scene 2: Action
  • Scene 3: Result

To make the task more challenging, everybody could agree that all role plays have to include particular things, for example:

a) a person’s name
b) a place name
c) an object (e.g. an aubergine or a giraffe’s toothbrush)
d) a certain phrase
e) a prop
f) a costume

…and so on.

3. SS work in pairs or small groups and devise their role play. T gives an appropriate amount of time, e.g. 10-15 minutes, then monitors, checks, and corrects.

4. 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 listen carefully and make notes about errors.

5. To encourage peer assessment, the ‘audience’ could make their voice heard too, perhaps by giving marks out of ten for each role play based on:

  • language accuracy
  • effort
  • imagination
  • best costumes, use of props, lighting, sound, etc.

Or they could give thumbs up (1 or 2) or thumbs down (1 or 2).

6. T leads group feedback session, outlining errors on the board and eliciting corrections and improvements.

Tips:

  • 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 the former far outweigh simply reading somebody else’s ideas aloud.
  • 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, and use props, 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.

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