DRAMA and ROLEPLAY • Drama is an excellent way to get Ss using the language. • It involves using the imagination to make oneself into one character, or the classroom into a different place. • It can be a starting point for exciting listening and speaking work • It can be utilized as a tool to provide practice in specific grammatical, lexical, functional or phonological areas. • By bringing the outside world into the classroom in this way we can provide a lot of useful practice ( in cafes, shops, banks, businesses, parties, etc ) that would otherwise impossible. • Success or failure of drama activities depends crucially on the perceived attitude of the T and of the other Ss; without a certain degree of trust, acceptance and respect the chances for useful work are greatly diminished.
TYPES of common DRAMA ACTIVITY • ROLEPLAY • SIMULATION • DRAMA GAMES • GUIDED IMPROVISATION • ACTING PLAY SCRIPTS • PREPARED IMPROVISED DRAMA
ROLEPLAY • Role play is a way of bringing situations from real life into the classroom. When we do ask Ss to roleplay, we ask them to imagine : • A role : in other words, they pretend to be a different person ( e.g. a farmer ); • A situation : in other words, they pretend to be doing something different ( e.g. planning a holiday ); • Both a role and a situation ( e.g. a police officer asking about a lost bag ). • In roleplay, Ss improvise. The situation is fixed, but they make up the exact words to say as they go along. ( So, reading a dialogue aloud is not the same as roleplay ).
SUITABLE ROLES & SITUATIONS for SCHOOL CLASSES The situation we use for roleplay should as far as possible be within the experience of the SS. In general, the more familiar a role or situation is, the easier it will be. • Suitable Roles : • People familiar to Ss from everyday life, e.g. parents, brothers, sisters, teachers, shopkeepers, police officers. • Characters from the textbook, and from other books or from television • Suitable Situations : • Situation which Ss see or take part in in everyday life, e.g. shopping, holidays, using local transport, asking the way to places. • “Fantasy” situations from stories they read, or from the textbook.
RUNNING A ROLEPLAY : some guidelines • Make sure the Ss understand the idea of “Roleplay”. Do they know what’s going to happen? Do they know what ir required of them ? Are they comfortable to do that or not ? • Make sure the context or situation is clear. • Do they understand the information on their own card ? Allow reading time, dictionary time, thinking time ( during which you can go round and help if necessary ). • Give them time to prepare their ideas before the speaking starts; maybe encourage note-making. • …but when the activity starts, encourage them to improvise rather than rely on prepared speeches and notes. The preparation work they have done will inform their roleplay, but could simply get in the way if they over-rely on it. (It may help to take away the cards when the roleplay starts.)
DRAMA GAMES • Walking • Making a picture • Puppets and dubbing • Interesting situations