These are simple little rôle playing games, which I and my students find
very enjoyable and useful, because they give students experience in real life situations.
I divide the students into pairs, trying not to put two people who speak the same language together. I realize
that my class is more diverse than many, and that this may not be possible in many classes. I print out sheets containing
a number of situations and cut them into strips and give one strip to each pair or group of three. I have a
few that involve three people, that I use when I have an odd number of students present. The parts are often buyer
and seller, service person and customer, etc. I give them a few minutes to decide what they are going to say, and then I have
them get up in front of the class and act out the scenario. I discourage them from writing a script.
I find that this is an excellent opportunity to teach them American customs on meeting, greeting, and taking
leave. They learn a few niceties, so that they don’t sound so abrupt and rude to Americans. Since they also have to
speak so that the entire class can hear them, it also encourages them to speak out so that they are audible. I find that it
is more effective to have class members say, "I can’t hear you," than it is for me to say it.
The shy students are often reluctant to begin, but everyone participates, and everyone has a good time. The
class usually applauds good performances, and sometimes they get very creative and funny.
Click on the links below to download pairs and groups for role playing.