Role-playing activities are useful when teaching, especially when teaching English as a second language (ESL). These types of activities allow students to practice English in a creative way and in a setting that encourages class involvement and enjoyable learning. Role playing also builds confidence, decreases inhibitions and provides a memorable and authentic learning experience.
Scene From a Play
Acting out a scene from a play is a beneficial role-playing exercise when teaching literary term ESL. A teacher or instructor can divide the class into small groups of 3 or 4 and designate each group a different scene from a play to act out. Allow the class to add their individual spin on the play before performing it out loud, either by modernising a scene, adding stage directions, changing an aspect of the scene (such as the setting) or adding different accents for different nationalities. An audio or video recording of the exercise will allow the students to assess the use of the correct pronunciation, sentence rhythm and vocal expressions.
Students can practice speaking English with a one-on-one role-playing activity such as checking into a hotel room on a vacation. Divide the class into several groups, with two students in each group. Student "A" will be the customer who is checking in at the front desk of a hotel. Student "B" will be the person who is working at the front desk reception and is responsible for checking in customers. Allow the students who are not participating in the role-play activity to create different situations for both student A and student B. For example, student A may request a single room with a view, and student B may find all single rooms with views in the hotel are occupied.
Role playing a visit to the doctor's office is a useful way for ESL students to increase their English vocabulary. Divide the class into two different groups. One group will play the doctors and the other group will play the patients. The instructor should provide each doctor with a list of easy to understand medical problems such as the flu, a sprained ankle or a sore throat, along with a list of treatments for the problems. Provide each patient with a list of symptoms for the illnesses. Have each patient visit 2 to 3 doctors to have the condition diagnosed and a treatment prescribed.
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