Learning a new language can be difficult, regardless of your circumstances. Learning a new language without being fully immersed can be even more difficult. There are a lot of different things you can do to create an immersive environment, like reading newspapers (HERE) and utilizing YouTube (HERE), but it can be difficult when you can’t use your newly acquired vocabulary in context.
Role-playing can be a crucial component in your language learning journey. Role-playing simply means putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and acting out an imagined situation. This kind of activity helps you express yourself in a plausible situation and access practical, useful words and phrases that you can use in everyday life. Language can be unpredictable, but role-playing builds confidence to interact appropriately in various situations.
Here are some other benefits of role-playing to learn a new language:
Role-playing provides an opportunity to add expression and emotion into the situation, thereby deepening your connection with the words and phrases and enabling you to learn faster.
It creates a safe environment to practice your language skills without embarrassment, while also creating opportunity for correction.
Learning within a context will help elicit a response naturally when you are in a position to actually use your new language.
Once you have settled into your role, you will find yourself able to question the situation much more deeply, giving you opportunity to explore new ways to express yourself and building new word connections. How could you present your ideas differently? Why should a question structured that way? Asking questions is always important in language learning success!
Role-playing helps us as language learners prepare to be flustered. Reading from a book or watching a video is completely different from interacting with a real-life person with quirks. By role-playing and simulating real life, we are more prepared to respond to people appropriately without getting nervous or shaken by their responses to us.
It helps us be better listeners. This is something we could probably do better in our native tongues as well. Role-playing forces you to consider what the other person will say in order to respond the right way.
After you’ve practiced role-playing a situation several times, you can continue to add your own touch to the script. How could you use inflection differently? Does your body language reflect what you are trying to communicate? For example, if you were trying to order a cup of coffee, you wouldn’t use a monotone, cold voice; rather, you would smile and use your hands comfortably while ordering. You might even make a joke or two. These are the types of things you can successfully achieve in real life by role-playing the situations first. To sum it up, role playing makes you prepared to be a friendly, relatable person in real life situations.
I am not sure how to transition here. Should I just offer the link for German language learners? Here is my shot at that…
To get you started, the UpVerb Team (upverb.com) has created a role-playing situation in German for you to practice. “im Cafe” will introduce you to common expressions used when ordering in a cafe. Find someone to partner with, and get to work!
If you are would like even more opportunities to incorporate role-playing into your language learning experience, check out UpVerb’s challenges (HERE), designed specifically to meet your needs and put you on the fast track to fluency. Our native speaking teachers are ready to offer you an immersive experience on our online platform. Begin today by enrolling in a free trial class (HERE).
We hope you’ll find role-playing takes your language learning experience to a new level. Happy learning!