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Showing posts from May, 2007

Why Role-Plays Fail

After conducting several workshops entitled, "Successfully Conducting Role-Plays in the English Language Classroom," the most common concern I get is about a teacher trying but unsuccessfully implementing role-plays in her classroom. To paraphrase her, "Why can't I get my students to do a role-play?"

My first response was that she needs to prepare her students for the role-play. Some teachers who are inspired by my workshop rush to their classes and implement this new activity without warning. I believe the students first reaction is shock and then resistance.

Students resist because they don't know the teacher's reason for a sudden change in the curriculum. If the change comes in the middle or at the end of a course, there's little chance that the students will be willing to try something new. They have already planned their own learning strategies for the course, and a new activity such as a role-play threatens their well-established learnin…