Author: Adrian Tennant | Published on 1 December 2023
Read what a teacher says about this activity:
I use role-play a lot in my classes. The best thing about role-play is that we can create situations in the class that are similar to ones in the real world. Last week we did a role-play in which the learners worked in pairs. One was a visitor and the other had to give directions to help the visitor get around.
Stage 1: Prepare
Role-plays are a good way of getting learners to practice grammar and vocabulary in real-life situations.
Before class, think about:
- A good topic for a role-play (e.g. something you have been studying recently in class)
- The language needed for the role-play
- The grammar needed for the role-play
Stage 2: Pre-teach
For example, the role-play might be At the doctor’s. At the start of the lesson, you could elicit / teach the following:
- Parts of the body: head, finger, arm, ankle, stomach etc
- Words connected to injury i.e. ache, twist(ed), break / broken, cut, pain etc.
- Words connected to cures: medicine, tablets, rest, etc
How can I help you?
Doctor, I’ve …
What should I do?
You should …
Why don’t you …?
Stage 3: Introduce
Put learners in pairs and say: 'One of you is a doctor. The other is a patient. The patient should tell the doctor what is wrong with them and the doctor should give some advice.'
Model the role-play with a learner at the front of he class, with you as the doctor. Afterwards, you could also get two learners to model a role-play.
Stage 4: Do
Get the learners to do the role-play. Monitor and help where necessary. Then say: 'Swap roles and do the role-play again.'
You could also tell the learners to work with different partners, and repeat the task.
Stage 5: Present
Ask a few pairs to come out to the front of the class and act out their role-play.
Rather than providing learners with the vocabulary, you could get them to work in groups and brainstorm the vocabulary and structures that they need. Role-plays are a good way at the end to practise language taught during the lesson.