Using the assumed knowledge of the pupils as a starting point, teacher presents vocabulary items to the pupils that include words and phrases required for role-play.
1. Sandwich, a glass of milk Please, thank you
2. Stationery : notebook, ruler, eraser, pencil and sharpener Help, need, get, pack Good evening, goodbye
Garment : pullover, cardigan, jacket
Colours and shades : red, green, yellow, grey, brown, black
Size : small, medium, large
Greeting : Good morning, Good afternoon, Good evening
Enquiry : What would you like? How much?
Acceptance : Yes, please.
Asking for something : I’m looking for…../I’d like to see, etc.
The teacher selects the two pupils who are to play the roles of the salesperson and customer respectively.
The teacher prepares all the pupils for the role-play by presenting the dialogue to be spoken in the given situation and making them practice it orally. The dialogue is not to be learnt by heart. The class can be divided into two groups : salesperson and customer. The teacher reads out the dialogue. She then asks the class to repeat sentence by sentence, changing the voice to indicate the person who is speaking, the salesperson or the customer. After the third repetition, the salesperson group says its lines followed by the customer group. This can be practiced a few times.
Finally, the two pupils who will play the roles of the inter-locators, the salesperson and customer, interact, repeating the dialogue. Suitable improvisations are to be encouraged rather than frowned upon The linguistic interaction will be accompanied by appropriate intonation, relevant body language and actions. For example, showing different sizes and colours of garments, trying one on, packing it, and lastly, paying for it at the counter and collecting it.
Thus, role-play is a valuable activity for the development of the skills of listening and speaking, and using socio- linguistic form appropriate to the context. Other activities like mime and language games prepare the way for effective role-play as they involve the use of movement, gesture, expressions, the phonetic features of spoken English and the linguistic features of oral interaction. These elements are necessary for a spontaneous, natural and realistic enactment of a role in a given situation.