The TEFL Centre Malaga. TEFL course classroom tips. Presentations: Role playing dialogues 1.

As noted in article 14, many text books contextualise the target language to be taught by TEFL teachers in a short introductory dialogue that simultaneously provides:

  1. exposure to the students of the new language and the opportunity to deduce its meaning through a logical thought process based on previous knowledge.
  2. a situation in which the target language will naturally occur.
  3. a vocabulary field related to the context.
  4. various forms of the target language, such as affirmatives, negatives, questions and short forms.
  5. commonly used expressions embedded in the dialogue.
  6. interest to the student due to the relevance of the dialogue.
  7. a piece of recorded material.

This presentation approach is standard but does have drawbacks:

  1. it only engages the students to a limited extent since participation is not active but passive
  2. the situations are often not especially memorable
  3. it is a format that school aged learners will find unstimulating since they are exposed to this approach in other subjects everyday, leading to saturation.

However, the dialogue does offer the opportunity for the students to memorise the text and reproduce it in a roleplay. This immediately takes on a more stimulating form of treating the language, and the need to learn it by rote lends the activity some of the merits of drilling, although it doesn’t substitute for it.

TEFL / TESOL class considerations:

Role playing a presentational dialogue opens up many opportunities to use classic TEFL teacher training techniques, to be discussed in later articles (dialogue, memory or listening reconstructions, gap fills, correction exercises etc.) It also allows a lot of classroom management language as students use props and organise themselves to create their ‘performance’.


Posted on June 15th, 2017


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