I know many teachers who are hesitant about using role play with adult EFL classes, and some who avoid it altogether. They worry it may be perceived as being too childish, too frivolous, a waste of time. Another issue for some is that it can be hard to control, especially in larger classes where role plays are taking place simultaneously. The teacher has to take a step back, circulate and observe, offering assistance when needed. Mistakes will be made, you won’t catch them all. Additionally, the students may not be practicing the target language or structure as much as you’d like. Keep reminding yourself that they’re practicing a variety of skills, and that the goal is not perfection!
For role play to succeed, the teacher needs to believe that it will. You need to be convinced of its value, and be able to communicate the purpose, relevance and benefits of the task to your students.
Adult learner theory says that activities that allow adults to bring their own life experiences to the learning process are the most successful. In this way, role play is ideal. And it is not just important for low level learners to practice asking directions or buying a ticket. With a bit of tweaking, the same tasks can be used with more advanced levels. Some element of conflict can be easily introduced to make the task more challenging. Continue reading Role Play with Confidence