Using Role Play in ESL Classroom

Topics: Second language acquisition, Education, Language acquisition Pages: 11 (3292 words) Published: September 25, 2014

Nurul Afifah binti Ahmad Fuad, Noorliza binti Abdul Razak
Jabatan Bahasa-Bahasa, IPG Kampus Dato Razali Ismail,

Based on the reflection form the teaching and learning process during the practicum period, the main issue focused on pupil’s lack of vocabulary. From the document analysis and observation, it has been identified that some of the pupils have problems in identifying several words with pictures. The issue has been supported by the findings from the diagnostic test that was conducted before the implementation of the intervention. The observation has also supported that the pupils with this problem were usually very passive in the classroom. Therefore, this action research is conducted to help Year 3 pupils to enhance their vocabulary with the use of role play with pictures in script. Role play is essentially learning through play. Learning through role play is important within the early primary classroom. In order to accomplish this, teacher have to equip the students with spaces, scenarios, props and the support they need to create a fun and interesting learning environment for their pupils. The research participants consisted of two boys and two girls which were chosen based on the diagnostic test result. The data were collected by instruments mainly document analysis, interview and observation. The qualitative data were analyzed descriptively based on each research participants. The findings had proven that the use of role play with pictures in script was productively able to help the research participants to enhance their vocabulary and solved the problem encountered by them. Pupils were able to relate words based on the pictures which were included in the scripts. It is the key that contributed to the success of enhancing vocabulary by using role play with pictures in script.

Key words: Vocabulary, role play, pictures, script

Based on my teaching experience during the third practicum at SK Chendering, I found out that the pupils of Year 3 Ibnu Rushd often ask teacher to interpret the meaning for the common nouns introduced by teacher. Pupils’ vocabulary will deteriorates when they become too dependent to the teacher during English lesson. They were not having interest in finding out the answers by themselves. Sometimes, the input has been repeated for a few days yet they are still reliant to the teacher. I encountered the same problem during my previous practicum. The pupils of Year 5 in SK Jongok Batu and SK Gong Tok Nasek cannot write the correct answers on vocabulary questions during my first and second practicum. Pupils were not offered multiple exposures and chances to see, hear, write, and use new words that they learn in the classroom. Besides, it is not enough to provide pupils with only opportunities to see, hear, write and use new words they learn in the classroom. Pupils must be provided with chances to speak in different situations to enhance their vocabulary. Activities such as role play will encourage pupils to think creatively and enjoy performing role play in the classroom. Pupils can develop their communicative skills and practice the second language, which in turn will provide an opportunity for enhancement in vocabulary. Vocabulary is a central of language and of critical importance of typical language. Without sufficient vocabulary, people cannot communicate effectively or express his ideas in both oral and written form.

In general, vocabulary is composed of word in language. According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, “vocabulary is the total number of words in a language”. According to Reutzel and Cooter (2003), vocabulary can have at least three different meanings; all of the words in a language, the words used in a particular context, and the words an individual person...

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Ladousse, G.P., (1995). Role Play: Resources Book for the Teacher Series. New York: Oxford University Press.
Long, M.H. and Porter, P.A., (1985), "Group work, interlanguage talk and second language acquisition", TESOL Quarterly 19, Vol. 2: pp. 207-227.
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Nickerson, S. (2008). Role Play: An Often Misused Active Learning Strategy. Toward The Best in Academy. Retrieved 8th July 2014 from
Sagor, R. (2004). The Action Research Guidebook: A four step process for educators and school teams. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
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