Role plays can often be a fun and entertaining way of getting the class to practice their English. There are literally hundreds of possible ideas available, and what is listed below is only a few of them.
Language of course is meant to be spoken. It originally evolved as the spoken word, and in historical terms writing is more or less a new invention. As a result, speaking classes are probably one of the most essential parts of teaching a language. Understanding and learning the grammar is all well and good, but if the students don’t get practice, then how will they be able to use the language effectively? By putting them in different scenarios, students’ minds will pick up faster and be able to work properly. Taking a look on the Internet, one can find a whole range of pre-written role plays that can be adapted for the class, or used in their original format (you have checked our own ‘Role Plays’ section already, right?). This is usually up to the teacher. Often, when beginning a new language, it is possible for one to practice simple phrases with a role play. Another interesting challenge would be to have the students design their own one. Often this can help bring out their creative side, and allow with the production part of speaking.
Try These Top 10 Role Plays With Your Next Speaking Class!
Telephone conversations are good because, unlike ordinary face to face conversations, they require people to listen solely to the words. Normally, you would have the students sit back-to-back and pretend they actually are on the phone. Appropriate telephone manner is then taught during this, such as always saying “hello” when answering the phone (this is particularly important when it comes to business, always answer with “hello”).
Going to the Shop
For this role play, you can teach the basic vocabulary. If students are planning on going abroad soon, then this will allow them to practice dealing with the general public. This role play will also make great use of certain grammatical structures, for example, the difference between: “I would like those” and “I would like that”. Even if your class is sufficiently advanced, this can be helpful for fine tuning specific grammatical errors.
A doctor’s appointment will get the students used to particular medical terminology. As you can see, each role play serves a specific purpose when practicing speaking. It allows the student to become more familiar with certain terms.
Another important one, especially if the students are planning on emigrating any time soon. They will need to know certain vocabulary, and doing a role play of this nature is definitely going to boost their confidence.
Looking for Accommodation
Finding accommodation in another country is tricky. Using this type of role play, one student can act as the estate agent and the other can be the prospective buyer or tenant. It might also be a good time to let them jot down some very common terms used when it comes to dealing with getting accommodation such as land lord, lease, etc.
Booking a Hotel Room
For student going on holiday, this will also be helpful. Again, it can be tied in with telephone manner. Try practicing this both as face to face and on the telephone!
This is going to be of particular interest to business students. Job interviews will generally require a lot of business phraseology in order for the interviewee to appear professional to the employer. Even when not learning a language, practicing a job interview can relieve a lot of the stress that comes along with looking for work.
Integration is another important point when it comes to moving to a new country. Helping the students learn common phrases and even slang in English is going to be just as vital as teaching them “proper” words. Whilst they will have all the knowledge, getting used to various slang words is something which needs to be worked on. A fun class would be to show the differences in accents in English speaking nations from around the world!
Talking About a Holiday
Using a specific topic or theme, depending on what vocabulary one wants to teach on a specific day, can be very fruitful. The students can pretend to be a travel agent and a customer, or simply two friends.
Whilst not necessarily a role play, a debate is always a good way to begin a class. Students will get used to the different modes of argument and sometimes the debates themselves can become quite heated. It will, overall, make for a very interesting class.
Role plays, ultimately, are more fruitful when the students make them up themselves.
Of course this is usually done with guidance from the teacher, in order to weed out any grammar mistakes. It is important to use a variety with your students if teaching general English. There are many more resources out there on the web, so you will never be short of great ideas!
What's your favorite role play? Tell us in the comments below!
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Role plays are essential as long as given in the context of a real life situation like the ones suggested, and not a contrived one. It is absolutely true that students learning English will remember what they act out and practice, as opposed to staring at a worksheet.