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How to get students to role-play....

 
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5682
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 4:39 am    Post subject: How to get students to role-play.... Reply with quote

i had a junior high class yesterday and one of the dialogues in their text would have been easier to understand if role-playing had been used. the dialogue involved two guys fighting over a girl and had some pushing and cutting in front of people, which i thought might be fun to act out. i solicited the class for volunteers, and no surprise, there were none. then i urged a few handpicked students to come on up. they refused. after trying that for a few moments, short of beating some kids on the head and forcing them to come up, i saw it wouldn't work. i felt like i lost some of my authority (and credibility) in that class and am determined that we will act the dialogue out next week.

any ideas on how to get them up to the front, short of having a chinese teacher in there to do it for me?

regards ~ 7969
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Aristotle



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1388
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teenagers in general are incredibly self conscious. Try giving them a little practice before class and make it a graded exercise.
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killian



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 936
Location: fairmont city, illinois, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1 know your audience. calling out shy kids first'll squelch the wholething.
2 such is a new learning style for many of them. by junior high they are already trained to sit at their desk and shut-up. what you aspire to do is new for them. try to lure an outspoken student first. build it up slowly. attaining a beneficial role-playing set up doesn't happen in one day. it is part of the classroom culture.

3 sometimes, no matter how hard you try the chemistry still ain't there.
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surrealia



Joined: 11 Jan 2003
Posts: 237
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 4:09 am    Post subject: a better way Reply with quote

First of all, I admire anyone who can teach junior high school students in Taiwan. That takes guts!

I find role play works much better when you give them some time to practice. You could try these steps:

1) Show them some pictures/drawings related to the subject of the role play. Ask "What is he saying?" "What is she saying?". Call on individual students to give you some lines, and you put the sentences/phrases up on the board.

2) Assign them to do role plays in groups. They will do a better job in the end if they have time to rehearse. To reduce the stress level, they can write the role play down before reading it or even roleplay in Chinese (Taiwanese?) the first time around.


3)Try doubling the size of the groups. For example, if your role play calls for 3 characters, make a group of 6. Get three of them to do the role play
while the other 3 watch. Then they switch. Each group can then choose the better sub-group to do the roleplay for the class.

4) Walk around and monitor while they are practicing. If a group is not working, hover over them until they start. (You may feel like you are wasting time, but you will get much better results if you give them some time to prepare.)

5) After 30 minutes, clap your hands and tell them that in a minute you want them to do the role play in front of the class WITHOUT THEIR NOTES. Then tell them you want them to practice one more time, and to add something to their role play (more dialogue, some action, some gestures, etc.)

6) FINALLY, get groups to come up in front of the class and perform. By this time, they should have something pretty good.

I hope this works for you. Best of luck!
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surrealia



Joined: 11 Jan 2003
Posts: 237
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 4:13 am    Post subject: oh I forgot Reply with quote

here's a link you might find useful:

http://www.eslflow.com/roleplaysdramatheatregames.html
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jason_seeburn



Joined: 26 Apr 2003
Posts: 399
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2003 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Last edited by jason_seeburn on Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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tjpnz2000



Joined: 22 May 2003
Posts: 118
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fully agree with surrealia.

In addition, students are usually VERY self-consious at junior high school age, how many times did we put up our hands then when we were 13?

If I want to do role play I often pick the strongest student in the class and do the role-play with that student. When I do it I over act. over pronounce and generally play it for laughs. The student is in the role of my straight man so to speak.

This shows the students that the idea is to have fun and if I'm not embarrised then there is no reason for them to be.

Of course, you have to balance this with not being a clown. It is a fine line to walk between having fun and loosing all respect. I think my students know that I can have fun with them but that I will not tolerate challenges to my authority, but it is a daily struggle maintaining the balance. That I guess is why they pay us the big bucks.
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I teach JR. High once a week and it's like pulling teeth to get them to do anything.

I had to throw a couple of them out in order to get their attention.

I've since learned it's lucky that I'm still alive.

Ha, aha!!
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