Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Role Playing as a Language Tool


In the article, Role Play, Joanna Budden details what role play is, why it is a useful technique and how it can applied. She specifically explores how it can be used in the classroom as an effective learning tool. This extends to her own role for facilitating the process as well as how it must be kept relevant and used to bring situations to life.


Role playing is used as a method of putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes or imagining yourself in a different situation in order to experience it and learn from it. Although rather simplistic in the classroom setting, role playing demonstrates an interesting way of analyzing something from a unique perspective. This is applied to learning and practicing languages in this example. By being memorable, offering a safe practice environment and taking the consequences of mistakes out the equation, the learning phase becomes easier.


  • · · Changes perspective of the participant
  • · Requires in depth thought and involvement
  • · Encourages users to discover outcomes rather than be told information
  • · Quieter students get to express themselves


  • · It is somewhat simplistic
  • · Requires belief in the method and requires being taken seriously
  • · Can be time consuming to prepare
  • · Can be difficult to evaluate effectiveness
  • · The outcomes vary with the role players


Role Playing is a technique that facilitates learning and differing perspectives but requires participants to buy into its effectiveness and usefulness as this cannot be easily measured. In the language/educational example it gives a safe environment in which to practice and learn. However, this may not be the case for every type of role play.


Teaching English: Role Play. BBC. London. Retrieved from; http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/articles/role-play

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