Role play in the classroom refers to a method of instruction in which students are asked to take the role of someone else in a given situation so that they can understand the situation from a fresh perspective than they normally would. It is an active method of learning and teaching. However, this method is not considered to be perfect as it has advantages as well as disadvantages.
Advantages of Role-Plays in the Teaching Process
Prepares for Real Life
Role-playing can prepare people for real-life scenarios so that they not only gain a glimpse of the situation but can also act upon it accordingly. They also get feedback about their performance which allows them to handle the situation effectively.
Identifies Current Skill Level
When an individual is given a particular scenario where he or she needs to role play, they are demonstrating how they would handle the scenario in actuality. It removes the hypothetical nature of the activity and develops the competence of individuals.
In this method, students have to come together and interact with one another which encourages them to learn in a communal atmosphere.
Develops Cooperation Skills
Role-playing also develops the cooperation skills of the learners as they have to team up and work in groups which force them to cooperate.
Improves Communication Skills
Since the method encourages students to talk a lot and interact more than they normally would in a learning environment, it also improves their communication skills.
Disadvantages of role-plays in the teaching process
Not all students may be comfortable with role-playing. They may hesitate to participate in the activity and their discomfort can go on to affect their performance as well.
Some learners may feel intimidated by the idea of role-playing which can be a setback for their performance.
Lack of seriousness
Since role-play is often regarded to be a fun method of learning, some students may take it lightly and may not complete the desired task.
For many learners, role-playing can be a bit overwhelming and the learning session may instead turn into a session of pure entertainment.
Some learners may get anxious about participating in the activity and this can affect their confidence and self-esteem as well.
Overall, role-playing helps develop and enhance communication skills. It also develops group morale as students work together in a group to address the given situation and solve a problem.