ROLE PLAYS IN
Provided you have more than three students in a
class, and provided they have enough knowledge of the language to
function in at least simple situations, group preparation of Role
Plays can provide several advantages:
- By working in groups more people are
- They are working on a task in the target
- Peer pressure should push them to produce
something of high quality.
- The teacher can concentrate attention
where most required.
- As students prepare the RP in groups, each
group's RP, when acted out should have an element of
surprise for the others.
- Consists of a generalised preparation
filling in vocab gaps with the whole group and talking
over the situation to be acted out.
- Get ideas from the pupils as to what sort
of problems might occur in the situation being explored.
- Students may come up with totally new
ideas or variants when it actually comes to putting ideas
down on paper but don't count on it. Make sure that an
adequate choice of workable ideas has been provided which
the pupils can fall back on if they don't have any
original ones themselves.
- Split class into groups of 2 or 3 .
- Tell them to prepare the dialogue of a
Role Play on paper, tell them it is to be acted out when
- The teacher moves from group to group
advising. He should reject ideas too complicated for the
level and simplify concepts so that they can be expressed
in available structures.
- Students decide who is to play the parts.
- If groups of 3 are formed, locate the
pupil in each group who is least inclined to participate
actively and make him do the writing. That way he is
forced to communicate with the others and to take a more
- Make groups of 3 move to table ends with
one on either side of the writer who is at the table end.
It makes for better group dynamics.
- People nominated from each group act out
their prepared Role Plays. Groups do this in turn.
- Students can either read their lines from
written notes or try to do without them. This depends
upon the teacher's opinion of their ability to handle the
role play without notes, if they try to do without them
they can appeal to the third person in their group, if
there is one, for help if needed.
- When each group has acted out its role
play, and if third members of groups have done nothing
active as yet, get them to give summaries of what
happened in another role play to that in which they
If it is the first time a group has done a Role
Play you can seriously consider instigating applause for the
first effort. If you can get them to clap each other's
performance it will act as an additional spur to put more real
theatrical effort into their performances next time.
© Mark Yates 2000