Данная статья посвящена имплементации ролевых игр в преподавании иностранных языков. В ней рассматривается ряд преимуществ и недостатков данного интерактивного метода.
Ключевые слова: ролевая игра, особенности, мотивация, интерактивный, коммуникативный подход, эффективность.
The effectiveness of role-play technique in language education has been discussed by many educators, but perhaps the most comprehensive summary of the advantages to using role-play is that provided by Maxwell who mentions that the essence of role-play is role-play which can develop students’ language skills, increase their motivation and interest and make it possible for teachers to teach the language as well as cultural awareness.
The following list is based on Maxwell and other scholars’ work on the advantages of role-play in language education:1) It enables students to learn and practice the target language in meaningful context.2) It improves students’ different skills needed for the language acquisition process.3) It motivates students to be interested and involved in learning.4) It creates low-anxiety learning environments for students.5) It offers students a variety of experiences and improves their 4 language skills.6) It helps to improve students’ cultural and nonverbal behavior.
Van Ments summarized the advantages of role-play on attitudes and feelings of the students as follows [1.56]: еnables students to express hidden feelings; еnables student to discuss private issues and problems; еnables student to empathize with others and understand their motivations; gives practice in various types of behavior; portrays generalized social problems and dynamics of group interaction, formal and informal; gives life and immediacy to academic descriptive material; role plays are motivational and effective because it involves activity; provides feedback for teacher and student; it is student- centered; closes gap between training and real life situations; they change attitudes; permits training in the control of feelings and emotions.
Role playing is the best way to develop the skills of initiative, communication, problem-solving, self-awareness, and working cooperatively in teams, and it can be seen as an interaction between play, games and simulations and the student that performs an activity with learning outcomes. Implementation of role playing activities: encourages students to create their own reality; develops the ability to interact to other people; increases students motivation; engages shy students in class activities; makes students self — confident; helps students to identify and correct misunderstandings; is agreeable and fun; shows students that the real world is complex and problems that appear in the real world cannot be solved by simply memorizing information; underlines the simultaneous use of different skills.
There are other reasons why role-play can be considering a valuable didactic method: it give students an understanding of their own learning by creating their own role-plays; can teach about ethical and moral issues arising from the science curriculum; it helps students to recognize and interpret their place in the world; it gives to the students a chance to experience life events in a physical way that is more appropriate to their own learning style;
Learning with role-playing enables students to reduce their anxiety while they gain confidence, they have a better professional know-how when they understand the situations, roles and questions asked or to be asked, the answers they should give, and how to listen actively. These abilities are gained because role-playing allows repetition and the acquisition of reflexes and habits.
There is no better way of sympathizing with others than to put yourself in their own difficult situation, avoiding the lime lights that prevent true identification of their problems, needs and demands.
Role-playing enables the participants to understand group dynamics and personal freedom, sharpens perception and encourages creativity and self-fulfillment.
Role-play is an effective technique to animate the teaching and learning atmosphere, arouse the interests of learners, and make the language acquisition impressive. So this research will mainly focus on how to apply it successfully and take the most advantage of it in English class.
The outcome shows there are some crucial factors for its success: the topic chosen should be real and relevant; the teacher need 'feed-in' the appropriate language; correct errors in a proper way;
Incorporating role-play into the classroom adds variety, a change of pace and opportunities for a lot of language production and also a lot of fun!
Role-play, like other teaching approaches, has its weaknesses.  It has potential drawbacks which can cause real problems in class.
The problems with current role-play implementation and the real problems the participants in the classroom could be summarized as follows:
- Problems with Current Situation
there is a lack of professional and theoretical preparation for teachers using role-play both in teachers’ college and in the schools where they work. Their major training sources of them were general introduction of communicative language approaches including role-play with a few sentences or the observation of experienced teachers using role-play.
- Pedagogical Problems in the Classroom
Some methodologists summarized the disadvantages of using role-play into different categories:
– the lack of classroom space;
– cost of a lot of classroom time, students’ play acting, chaos in the classroom;
– the lack of grammar work;
– lack of enough opportunities to participate.
In order to solve the above –mentioned problems and to avoid classroom chaos teachers must not use too difficult or too emotionally loaded role-plays, they must emphasize the evaluation criteria for their students and try to make the activity more effective for their students.The most thorough studies on the potential drawbacks of role-play have been made by Van Ments. He offered the following list of the potential drawbacks of the usage of role-play: [1.67]
1) Teacher loses control over what is learnt and the order in which it is learned.
2) Simplifications can mislead.
3) Uses a large amount of time.
4) Uses other resources-people, space, special items.
5) Depends on the quality of tutor and student.
6) Impact may trigger withdrawal or defense symptoms.
7) May be seen as too entertaining or frivolous.
8) May dominate learning to the exclusion of solid theory and facts.
9) May depend on what students already know.
In conclusion we can say that the use of role-playing activities is not only the way of co-teaching a foreign language and second language culture, but also they can be very effective for experiencing cultural principles and cultural awareness if teachers effectively incorporate teaching culture into role-play implementation.
Our purpose here is to explore the interactive methods of teaching English that have attracted the attention of the teachers in recent years, to show reason for interest in them, in what they are exploring, in what they accomplish, the principles and ideas that guide them and to integrate role-playing in the teaching-learning process in order to achieve better integration of theory and practice and a greater involvement of students in their learning process.
Having studied benefits of implementation of role playing activities we came to
the following conclusions:
– Role-playing is an important and effective methodological tool for the teaching-learning process.
– Role-playing allows students to deal with care situations from an individual and realistic perspective.
– Role-playing is an element that integrates the theory and practice of teaching.
– The use of role-playing in the teaching-learning process is very positive and fun
– Role-playing enables learners to cope with anxiety, fear, doubts, before facing future real-life care situations.
– Team work in role-playing is identified by students as a very positive aspect in their learning process.
– Teaching students highly value active participation and interaction with teachers in the teaching-learning process through role-playing.
– The critics on the simulations represented are positively valued.
– Stage fright is the main problem identified in the enactment of role-playing.
– There is a need to maintain and increase the use of role-playing and its integrative capacity.
– The use of video as a support tool in role playing is highly valued.
While analyzing the effectiveness of implementing role play activities with the mixed ability students we summarized as following: when the difficult parts of the task is adopted, or when the teacher can organize the roles according to their abilities, the result will be much more effective than expected, because each little attempt will improve learners’ acting and speaking skills.
Besides, coming up from the results we can say that there is a possibility of using role play activities in reading, writing and listening classes. It may make the lesson more interesting and teacher can check students’ understanding by asking them to act out the passage.
Role-playing has helped us understand how to act in a real situation and how to assess it, even if it is a simulation, with a certain basis of knowledge. Role-playing enactments are essential. Through them you can visualize and face different situations that we will probably experience.
Role-playing has been the most appropriate way to deal with a situation very similar to reality. Role-playing is the most interesting project. With this activity you realize how prepared you are to deal with this kind of situations. Cures and techniques are something you learn automatically by practicing, but facing situations that you really do not know how to cope with is quite scary, so role-playing has turned out to be very helpful.
Moreover, it can be considered as an essential part of the learning process. It is a very thorough activity for applying integrated knowledge. Theory is easy to understand but we think it would be easier to put theory into practice with the help of role-playing activity.
Through role-playing, students learn to assess, criticize and think about their individual teaching-learning process. It makes easier to understand the teaching-learning process regarding the difficulties that arise, the objectives achieved. Moreover, it promotes the participation of students in their evaluation process and thus, in their teaching-learning process, which is an important step towards a comprehensive education and has a more communicative perspective.
Through role-playing students are encouraged to discuss not only theoretical concepts and situations experienced, but also feelings, values, beliefs and other emotional aspects involved in the process of care. This method contributes to giving students the confidence and peace of mind necessary to get over this “stage fright” and thus be able to take advantage of role-playing and the subsequent discussion.
To sum up, learning English language involves a number of difficult skills: For instance, the traditionally recognized skills like listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. But many students hesitate to speak in front of the class or others as they are not sure of the correctness of language. The process and the method of learning the language should help one to acquire fluency as well as proficiency. In this context, role playing activities become an effective tool and strategy.
Studies have shown that role-play can be used effectively to improve students not only language skills, but also interpersonal and communicative skills. The different roles designed in role-play offer the students opportunities to practice their oral skills in various types of behavior and give life and immediacy to academic descriptive material. So, implementation of role playing activities in language teaching process plays a pivotal role in improving students’ communicative skills.
- Van Ments, M. The effective use of role-play: A handbook for teachers and trainers. New York: Nichols Publishing. 1997.