LEのロールプレイング/Roll Playing at LE


After a month of weekly meetings our LE seemed to be doing well. We enjoyed getting together every week to practice conversations and learn new words. After a while though エリ and I wanted to try studying something that might help if we found ourselves in a difficult situation. We wanted to practice scenarios that rarely come up in textbooks.


We thought about interactions that would be better to experience at LE before they happened in the real world. It seemed that adding a role-play activity to our meetings would be just the thing.


We decided to write a few scenes for both Team Japan and Team English. For Team Japan, we decided to focus on interacting with English speakers in uncomfortable moments like dealing with a car that won’t start, or making a trip to the emergency room.



For Team English, the focus was on travel situations that might come up like finding help at a train station or getting used to the honorific Japanese used by many store and restaurant employees.


This first example was for team Japan and focused on how to handle a minor accident. Besides practicing what to say during a stressful situation, it was also good to talk about what steps you should follow like checking for damage and exchanging information with the other driver.


<ロールプレイの例/Role-play Example>

例1/Example 1: 英語のロールプレイ/Role-play in English



Team Japanese : While leaving a store parking lot, you lightly bump into another car. Talk to the other driver and settle things regarding the accident.


Team English : Someone has just lightly bumped into your car in the parking lot of a store. Talk to the other driver and settle things regarding the accident.


For Team English we wrote a scene that would put any traveler in a panic: losing your wallet in a busy train station.


例2/Example2:日本語のロールプレイ/Role-play in Japanese


Team English : Oh no! You must have dropped your wallet when you were getting off the train. You’re stuck in Shimbashi Station with no train ticket, money or identification. Better ask someone for help.

英語チーム : 大変!電車を降りるときに、財布を落としてしまったみたいです。新橋で、切符もお金もIDもなく、駅から出られなくなってしまいました。誰かに助けを求めましょう。

Team Japanese : You are a station attendant. A concerned looking passenger tells you that they dropped their wallet. Do your best to help them.

日本語チーム : あなたは駅員です。困った様子のお客さんが財布を落としたと言っています。お手伝いをしてあげましょう。

To get the most out of role-playing, you need participants who are willing to ad-lib. It helps to take a few minutes after introducing the scenarios to plan out what direction the team wants to go in. For the accident role-play there must be at least two drivers, but there could also be a witness, policeman, or insurance agent. It just depends on how many people want to join in.



Finally, it helps if you have an enthusiastic team. I remember acting out a scene where a group of travellers had a limited amount of time to eat lunch at a restaurant before the start of their tour. It doesn’t sound very exciting, but one the members of Team Japan did such a great job playing a waitress that we felt that we were actually there, looking at the clock and hoping that our order would be served in time. With a little planning, role-playing is a lot of fun and a good way to practice speaking in unusual circumstances.



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