ESL Role-play Activity for Practicing Phrasal Verbs or Idioms
Basic Idea: Have students create a role-play using recently taught idioms or phrasal verbs.
Total Time: 15 minutes (depends on the number of groups)
Strengths: entertaining + allows students to use their creativity + reinforces language
Levels: Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate, Advanced
The bulk of idioms and phrasal verbs are generally used in spoken English. Therefore, role-playing is perfect for practice.
Basic Speaking Activity
- After teaching your students 8-12 idioms or phrasal verbs (for a print-out of useful idioms, see here), put your students into pairs.
- Tell them you’re going to give them 5 minutes to create a conversation dialogue with their partner using as many of the idioms/phrasal verbs as possible. (You can say “the group who uses the most/all the expressions wins” if you want to motivate them, but this probably won’t be necessary).
- Tell them to try to make their role-play about 2 minutes or longer, if they can.
- Let them do it. Listen while they plan it and offer help where possible.
- Have each group present their role-play.
This activity is simple but effective. Students enjoy using their creativity. The role-plays my students create are usually pretty entertaining. Give it a shot and be sure to commend your students on their role-plays and review major mistakes after they have finished.
– Matthew Barton / English Current