Written Role Play
Purpose: To improve writing fluency and to practice language specific to the chosen role play situation. An interesting problem can get students writing without being too concerned about making mistakes.
Preparation Time: The time it takes to choose a scenario for the role play.
Materials: Paper and pens
Preparation: Choose a role play situation in which there is a problem to discuss. For example: Two roommates have different preferences for cleanliness with one that is quite messy and the other who likes things to be neat, or an employee is stuck in traffic and late for a meeting and a manager that has been waiting for twenty minutes.
1. Describe the role play situation from the point of view of one person in the role play. For example: You have a very messy roommate. You prefer to keep your house clean, but your roommate hasn’t cleaned up for weeks. You notice a strange smell when you walk into the house and decide that it is time to talk to your roommate about the problem.
2. Students get out pens and paper and write their names on their papers. Then they start writing what the person in the role play would say. Instruct students to write legibly so that someone else can read their writing.
3. After a few minutes ask students to finish writing their last sentence and then pass their papers to the right. Give students a minute or two to read.
4. Now all the students write the other role in the role play. They write whatever they want to in response to the original complaint. After a few minutes, students pass their papers back to the original writers who then get to write another response.
5. Continue trading papers and writing as long as there is interest.
Possible Follow up Activities: Students can read their dialogs out loud for other students to hear, they can edit their dialogs and then share them, or they can do the role play again as a conversation activity.
Variation: In a one-to-one tutoring situation, the teacher can write and then trade papers with the student.