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What is roleplay?


Students play a role (either their own or somebody else's) in a specific situation


The role is taken on in a safe environment.  They are experimenting with their knowledge of the real world without the risks.



What roleplay is not.


Teachers sometimes ask students to read or memorize dialogs – this is not roleplay because students are not creating their own sentences to communicate meaning. 



Why use roleplay?


·        It trains students to deal with the unpredictable nature of language and to think while speaking


·        You can ask students to practice speaking in real-world situations, or even imaginary situations. 


·        It encourages students to speak with emotion and feeling and lets them experiment with sentence stress and intonation.


·        Roleplay puts students in a situation where they can develop social skills that are  often neglected by coursebooks.  It also introduces them to the different levels of politeness needed in everyday situations.


·        Roleplay can help shy students by providing them with an imaginary personality to hide behind. 


·         Perhaps most important of all - roleplay is fun.

Ruth Goode,
Oct 13, 2009, 6:55 PM