Roleplaying is an effective tool for practicing conversational English in an unintimidating environment. Non-native English speakers often have difficulty communicating in various everyday scenarios. Learning English phrases and frequently asked questions will significantly improve a student’s confidence when speaking. English teachers can utilize these 8 role play ideas during their online Skype English classes to familiarize students with the phrases and words often used in English-speaking countries.
1) Ordering food from a restaurant
Practice receiving a food order from your student. Ensure that he or she includes all the necessary aspects of ordering a meal. Examples include: asking the price of items, indicating order size, and specifying desired components of their order. Ask questions to help prompt your student to include all of the necessary information. Try to implement cultural phrases or questions such as “Is this for here or to go?” and “Cash or card?”.
2) Speaking with a landlord or apartment office
This is a situation commonly encountered by English students living abroad. Questions about rent payments and appliance repairs are referred to an apartment office or landlord. Knowing the proper terminology to explain complicated situations can be tricky for non-native English speakers. Invite your student to practice inquiring about specific issues during online Skype English classes . Assume the role of landlord and help correct minor linguistic errors while also teaching relevant vocabulary.
3) Communicating with police officers
Encounters with officers of the law are common. It’s important to be aware of proper etiquette and terms of respect when dealing with authority figures. Communicating with individuals in positions of authority can be daunting, but this skill is especially important as compliance to instruction is predicated on understanding. Therefore, it may be a good idea to let your student assume the role of police officer first. Give examples of proper responses and phrases used when addressing authority figures. Then change roles and let your student try. For online Skype English classes practice speaking in scenarios such as traffic stops, random public encounters, and even interrogations.
4) Department and grocery store shopping
When visiting a store of any kind, there are a few important questions that every shopper should be familiar with. “Where can I find (insert item)?”, “Do you have any more (…) in stock?”, “Can you tell me the price of (…)?”, “What time do you close?” are all examples. Play the role of sales associate of a fictitious store and respond to questions posed by your student. If possible, use words that may not be familiar to the student.
5) Asking someone out on a date or casual outing
Having the ability to invite someone on a date or outing in such a way that prompts them to say “yes” is an invaluable skill. Even if the student never encounters this situation, practicing it provides great preparation for other potentially awkward instances.
During online Skype English classes let your student practice asking you if you have any plans on a specific date and if you’d be interested in accompanying them to an activity. Have fun with this role play scenario! The best way to get over initial awkward feelings is to laugh at oneself.
6) Meeting with an instructor outside of class
Instructors are another example of authority figures. However, unlike the law enforcement scenario mentioned earlier, casual language and friendly terms are often perfectly appropriate when speaking with teachers. In many countries, instructors are held in high regard. In fact, it is often considered disrespectful to attempt friendly conversation with one’s teacher. This is not the case in most English-speaking countries. Help students become comfortable communicating and being open, yet respectful during online Skype English classes . Teach the dynamic of using casual language, while still respecting an individual’s position.
7) Speaking with customer support
Lengthy calls with a company’s customer support department can be aggravating. This process becomes more frustrating if the individuals communicating have trouble understanding one another. It is vital to emphasize the importance of clear pronunciation and concise statements when communicating via telephone. Invent a scenario and ask your student why he is calling. Follow a typical line of questioning, asking for descriptions and detailed information, until the issue is resolved.
8) Successfully negotiating a business deal
Even if the individual learning English is not involved in business, mastering this scenario is beneficial for numerous reasons. To conduct a successful business deal, one must have the right balance of charm, class, and forcefulness. In many ways, this is the ultimate crucible for a student learning English. Intricate sentences, advanced vocabulary, and intimate knowledge of one’s field are all utilized when negotiating a deal. This role play scenario may be used multiple times over the course of a student’s learning process. Create a scenario for online Skype English classes and gradually become a tougher sell as your student becomes more adept at speaking English.