Friday, January 23, 2015

A Low Intermediate Role Playing Activity + Pronunciation Rubric

This activity uses role-playing cards (Big Town English card sets ) to get students to use certain grammatical structures (yes/no and wh- question forms + short answers) and a pronunciation rubric that focuses on clarity, accuracy, intonation, and fluency when speaking during a role play.

The activity worked well for a low-intermediate class, but could also be adapted for higher level English language learners. The rubric is attached as a Word document so that you can alter the descriptors to suit your needs.

Instructor needs to create separate role play cards using the card sets linked above, or he/she can have students create their own characters. Students choose a role play card and study their character. They practice playing roles during part of one class session. They ask and answer questions (i.e., the context was that they were at a party and getting to know people; they had to speak with at least six different people in the class and find out about their jobs, hobbies, favorites, and so on). The following week, students were given the attached rubrics and the target features were briefly reviewed. Students were asked to record themselves with one of the instructor's two digital recorders or to use their own iPhone as a recording device during the role playing conversation. If students used their iPhone, they sent the recording to the instructor's e-mail for assessment. Students recorded themselves in casual conversation in English for 2.5 to 3 minutes. Question prompts were written on the whiteboard to ensure that students asked and answered a range of yes/no and information questions. Each student was given his/her score with the rubrics and comments about individual weaknesses and strengths.

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