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Статья "Examples of role play situations in teaching English in primary school".

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Role play situations in teaching English in primary school.

Language learning is hard work. The main aim of learning language is to learn to communicate in that language. In real life the two skills of listening and speaking are fully integrated in most everyday situations involving communication. While teaching spoken language, real and near-real situations should be created to stimulate pupils’ speech. The most difficult task is to teach pupils to use unprepared speech. In this case role plays are preferred.

Role play is a type of drama activities. Some theorists see it as intrinsic to all human behaviour whether in games children play or roles that adults play each day. They concur that role-taking is so flexible that when applied in education, it will suit all personalities and teaching circumstances.

Role play is a class activity which gives the pupils the opportunities to practice the language aspects of role-behaviour, the actual roles they may need outside the classroom. Role play is thus an activity which requires a person to take on a role that is real or imaginary. It involves spontaneous interaction of participants as they attempt to complete a task.

Role plays help and encourage many learners to sustain their interest and work. They are highly motivating and entertaining, and they can give shy pupils more opportunity to express their opinions and feelings. They give pupils a break and at the same time allow pupils to practice language skills: speaking, listening, writing and reading, to practice many types of communication. Role plays encourage pupils to interact and communicate. Role play prompts mental and bodily activity. The activities require active participations. Concentration is also often required and it is not easy for a pupil to stay passive for long.

Situations are created for the pupils to use the language meaningfully and this would motivate the pupils towards participation. The need for meaningfulness in language has been accepted for some years. A useful interpretation of “meaningfulness is that the pupils respond to the content in a definite way. If they are amused, angered, intrigued or surprised the content is clearly meaningful to them. Thus the meaning of the language they listen to, read, speak and write will be more vividly experienced and, therefore, better remembered.

Role plays give pupils an opportunity to practice communicating in different social contexts and in different social roles. Real life situations and communication are unpredictable. A pupil may learn all the correct forms of communication but may not know when to use them appropriately. Role play provides opportunities to react these situations and give the pupils a taste of real life. In role play situations the pupil remains the same individual while reacting to a task that has been simulated on the basis of his own personal experience or professional training.

All children learn in slightly different ways. Some are tactile learners, others, visual or auditory learners. Using role play situations as a teaching method opens the door to participation for all children at all levels-it is the perfect classroom tool because it involves each child in his or her own learning process. The mix of movement, whether it is handling props, acting or just moving around, listening to the lines and seeing the play coming together allows for a richer experience that sitting over the textbook. The use of role play is a break from the usual textbook teaching and the “chalk and talk” method of the teacher. The atmosphere in the classroom is less formal and this can reduce tension.

Very young children are easy to teach because they are so full of curiosity and excitedly explore new ideas. They love acting and playing. Using situations and dialogs from teaching materials and acting out some dramatic situations help to teach vocabulary, lines, and the dramatic elements needed for a role play situation. When pupils practice in pairs or small groups, every pupil can be involved in the role play exercises and enjoy the benefits of role play.

There is a whole range of role play activities. It ranges from the simple to the complex, from the structured to the unstructured. Scholars suggest different steps and various successions in applying role play in teaching, for example.

1: choose a situation for a role play, select role plays that will give the pupils an opportunity to practice what they have learned; they need the role play that interests them.

2: come with ideas on how this situation may develop.

3: predict the language needed for it. Before asking them to perform a role play you should prepare the pupils by asking questions. The questions should incorporate the major parts of the role play and the vocabulary or (and) idioms involved.

4: concrete information and clear role descriptions so that the pupils could play their roles with confidence.

5: act out a role play in front of the class, though it might be a good idea to plan in advance what roles to assign to which pupils. Whether taking any part in the role play or not, the role of the teacher is to be as unobtrusive as possible. Listen for pupils’ errors making notes. Mistakes noted during the role play will provide the teacher with feedback for further practice and revision. Avoid intervening in the role play with error corrections not to discourage the students.

6: After the role play, the students are satisfied with themselves, they fell that have used their knowledge of the language for something concrete and useful. This filling or satisfaction will disappear if every mistake is analyzed. It might also make the students less confident and less willing to do the other role play.



I offer some examples of role play situations in teaching English in primary school. An excellent way of testing speaking is an oral interview since listening and speaking can be assessed in a natural situation.

Situations for the interview.

1. Topic “Personal Identification”.

A pupil is an English journalist. He needs some information about Russian pupils. He comes to school and what questions will he ask the pupils? (ask 6-10 questions).

2. Topic “Famous English and Americans writers”.

A pupil is a Russian reporter. He is interviewing a well-known writer (Mark Twain, William Shakespeare…) to find out about his life.

Unprepared dialogue.

  1. This is one-sided dialogue.

You meet an English boy (girl):

Pupil 1: Hello! My name is Misha. And what’s your name?

Pupil 2: . . . . .

Pupil 1: Are you from Great Britain?

Pupil 2: . . . . .

Pupil 1: I’m from Russia. I’m ten. And you?

Pupil 2: . . . . .

  1. This dialogue takes the form of an incomplete dialogue with prompts.

Two classmate s are talking over the telephone. The line is bad and some sentences are missing.

Pupil 1: Hello! Is that you, Paul?

Pupil 2: . . . .

Pupil 1: Would you like to come to play chess?

Pupil 2: When?

Pupil 1: . . . .

Pupil 2: I’d love to but I can’t.

Pupil 1: . . . .

Pupil 2: Because at 6 o’clock I usually help my sister to do her homework.

Pupil 1: Oh, what a pity, your sister isn’t good at doing her homework. What about 7?

Pupil 2: I’m sorry I can’t. . . . .

Pupil 1: Is 8 o’clock all right with you then?

Pupil 2: . . . .

Pupil 1: Goodbye.

Pupil 2: . . . .

Role play card is a very useful tool.

One side of the cards is the same for all pupils and tells the main information about the role play situations and about the problem which need to decide. The other side of the cards is different for different pupils. They give the information about the person, his behaviour.

Topic : “Free time”.

Two friends meet and decide to go to the cinema.

Pupil 1: You are a cinema-goer. Try to invite your friend to the cinema to watch some interesting film.

Pupil 2: You want to go to the cinema. But you don’t know where and what to watch. Ask your friend.

Topic: “Travelling”.

Two classmates meet after summer holidays.

Pupil 1: You spent your holiday at home. Ask your classmate about his holiday.

Pupil 2: You spent your holiday in village with your grandparents. Tell your classmate about the village life.

TV programmes and shows as a role play where two forms of speaking: monologue and dialogue are used.

Magic Wonder – Field”

Pupil 1: (The pupil has the card with some phrases and questions – the plan of the game). Today we are going to play the game… . First of all I’d like to remind you the rules … . We need 3 players. Who would like to take part? You are welcome! Let’s applaud them!

The first game.

Pupil 1: Turn the drum. Tell us some words about yourselves. What’s your name (surname)? Have you got a family? . . .

Pupil 2: . . . .

Pupil 1:(explain the word); guess the word! Name the letter!

There is such a letter in this word.

Pupil 1: You turn, please! I’m sorry but you are a bankrupt.

Pupil 1: Oh! Prize! Will you get a prize or will you go on playing! . . .

Role play is really a worthwhile learning experience for both the pupils and the teacher. Not only can pupils have more opportunities to “act” and “interact” with their peers trying to use the English language, but also pupils’ English speaking, listening, and understanding will improve. Role play lightens up the atmospheres and brings liveliness in the classes. Pupils learn to use the language in a more realistic, more practical way. Thus they can become more aware of the usefulness and practicality of English. Role play is indeed a useful teaching technique which should be experimented and applied by teachers more often in the classrooms.



Краткое описание документа:

Very young children are easy to teach because they are so full of curiosity and excitedly explore new ideas. They love acting and playing. Using situations and dialogs from teaching materials and acting out some dramatic situations help to teach vocabulary, lines, and the dramatic elements needed for a role play situation. When pupils practice in pairs or small groups, every pupil can be involved in the role play exercises and enjoy the b         I offer some examples of role play situations in teaching English in primary school.  An excellent way of testing speaking is an oral interview since listening and speaking can be assessed in a natural situation.           Situations for the interview. 1. Topic “Personal Identification”. A pupil is an English journalist. He needs some information about Russian pupils. He comes to school and what questions will he ask the pupils? (ask 6-10 questions). 2. Topic “Famous English and Americans writers”. A pupil is a Russian reporter. He is interviewing a well-known writer (Mark Twain, William Shakespeare…) to find out about his life.            Unprepared dialogue. a)     This is one-sided dialogue. You meet an English boy (girl): Pupil 1: Hello! My name is Misha. And what’s your name? Pupil 2:  .   .   .   .   . Pupil 1: Are you from Great Britain? Pupil 2:  .   .   .   .   . Pupil 1: I’m from Russia. I’m ten. And you? Pupil 2:  .   .   .    .   . b)    This dialogue takes the form of an incomplete dialogue with prompts.  Two classmate s are talking over the telephone. The line is bad and some sentences    are missing. Pupil 1: Hello! Is that you, Paul? Pupil 2:   .   .   .   . Pupil 1: Would you like to come to play chess? Pupil 2: When? Pupil 1:    .   .   .   . Pupil 2: I’d love to but I can’t. Pupil 1:   .   .   .   . Pupil 2: Because at 6 o’clock I usually help my sister to do her homework. Pupil 1: Oh, what a pity, your sister isn’t good at doing her homework. What about 7? Pupil 2: I’m sorry I can’t.   .   .   .   . Pupil 1: Is 8 o’clock all right with you then? Pupil 2:   .   .   .   . Pupil 1: Goodbye. Pupil 2:   .   .   .   .                          Role play card is a very useful tool.           One side of the cards is the same for all pupils and tells the main information about the role play situations and about the problem which need to decide. The other side of the cards is different for different pupils. They give the information about the person, his behaviour. Topic : “Free time”. Two friends meet and decide to go to the cinema. Pupil 1: You are a cinema-goer. Try to invite your friend to the cinema to watch some    interesting film. Pupil 2: You want to go to the cinema. But you don’t know where and what to watch. Ask your friend. Topic: “Travelling”. Two classmates meet after summer holidays. Pupil 1: You spent your holiday at home. Ask your classmate about his holiday. Pupil 2: You spent your holiday in village with your grandparents. Tell your classmate about the village life.                TV programmes and shows as a role play where two forms of speaking: monologue and dialogue are used. “Magic Wonder – Field” Pupil 1: (The pupil has the card with some phrases and questions – the plan of the game). Today we are going to play the game… . First of all I’d like to remind you the rules … . We need 3 players. Who would like to take part? You are welcome! Let’s applaud them! The first game. Pupil 1: Turn the drum. Tell us some words about yourselves. What’s your name (surname)? Have you got a family?  .   .   . Pupil 2:    .   .   .   . Pupil 1:(explain the word); guess the word! Name the letter! There is such a letter in this word. Pupil 1: You turn, please! I’m sorry but you are a bankrupt. Pupil 1: Oh! Prize! Will you get a prize or will you go on playing!  .   .   . enefits of role play. 

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