Research studies

Using Role Play in Teaching English Literature at Sudanese Secondary Schools

 

Prepared by the researcher

  • Dr. Mohammed Alameen Yousif Kiber, Associate Professor, White Nile University, Kosti, Sudan
  • Dr. Abedelrahman Mohammdain  Abdurrahman Ahmed , Associate Professor , El Imam El Mahdi University, Faculty of Arts and Humanity, Kosti, , Sudan abogamals1977@gmail.com
  • Dr. MohiEldeen Ahmed Abdelrahman Ahmed, Assistant Professor, White Nile University, Faculty of Arts, English language department, Kosti, Sudan

Democratic Arab Center

Journal of Afro-Asian Studies : Fifteenth Issue – November 2022

A Periodical International Journal published by the “Democratic Arab Center” Germany – Berlin.

Nationales ISSN-Zentrum für Deutschland
ISSN  2628-6475
Journal of Afro-Asian Studies

:To download the pdf version of the research papers, please visit the following link

https://democraticac.de/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Journal-of-Afro-Asian-Studies-Fifteenth-Issue-%E2%80%93-November-2022.pdf

Abstract

The aim of this study is to investigate the role of using role -play in teaching English literature at Sudanese Secondary Schools.  The role-play method is one of the methods proven to improve students’ comprehension of literature which is not utilized at Sudanese secondary schools when teaching literature. This study aims to provide more in-depth explanation of the use of the role-play method in learning English to improve students’ understanding of literary works. It is a literature study by carrying out stages in the form of searching and finding relevant data, analyzing the data found, and expressing ideas from these findings.

 It examines the understanding of the role-play method, the procedure for implementing the role-play method, and the impact of the role-play method, especially in enhancing comprehension of literary works. Accordingly, the researchers found out that the role-play method can improve students’ understanding of literary works, develops students’ helping each other as well as building self-confidence. Moreover, it develops the learning process by making it more interesting and enjoyable.It creates a good situation of learning.

Introduction

Choosing the suitable learning method is essential in successful teaching process. Numerous English learning materials that are ineffective or less important just because of the method, approaches and techniques which are used are not suitable. So, disregarding students’ needs, motivation, facilities and environment results in negative outcomes. In this study the researchers would like to shade a light on the role-play method that can be used as an effective method of teaching English literature in Sudanese secondary schools.

According to Nguyen, Ho (2021) Role-Playing has been applied to teach literature in many countries; however, research on this subject is minimal. So the recent study aims to investigate the impact of using the technique of role- play in teaching English language literary works at Sudanese secondary schools.

According to Ian Glover ( 2014 ) Role-play is a technique that permits students to utilize the realistic circumstances by interacting with other people in a managed way in so as develop experience and trial different strategies in a supported environment. Utilizing this technique as a means of instruction, students, might apply a role which is similar to their own or could play the opposite part of the conversation or interaction. Both options provide the possibility of significant learning.  Both permit experience to be gained and encouraging the student to develop an understanding of the situation from the ‘opposite’ perspective.

Statement of the Problem

The aim of this study is to investigate the role of using the role play in enhancing teaching and learning English literature at Sudanese secondary schools. It is important because it tackles a very essential issue in the field of teaching English which the best method to be chosen when teaching literary works.

The problem that is been tackled by this study is the absence of utilizing the technique of role play in teaching literature which is considered to be as an crucial feather. The researchers as instructors with long experience in teaching English literature observe that Sudanese instructors do not use role play technique in teaching literature. This result in poor outcomes. So the study aims to focus and investigate why this effective technique is not used by the instructors.

Questions of the Study

This study aims to answer the following questions:

  1. To what extents does using role play help in teaching English literature at Sudanese secondary schools?
  2. Why role play is not utilized when teaching literature at Sudanese secondary school?
  3. To what extents do Sudanese teachers are trained to teach English literature utilizing the role play technique in teaching literature?

Hypotheses of the Study

This study aims to verify the following hypotheses:

  1. Using role play help in teaching English literature at Sudanese secondary schools.
  2. Role play is not utilized when teaching literature at Sudanese secondary school.
  3. Sudanese teachers are trained to teach English literature utilizing the role play technique in teaching literature.

Objectives of the Study

This study aims to achieve the following objectives

  1. To make sure whether using role play help in teaching English literature at Sudanese secondary schools or not.
  2. To emphasize the role of the role play when teaching literature at Sudanese secondary school.
  3. To make sure if Sudanese teachers   are trained to teach English literature utilizing the role play technique in teaching literature or not.

Significance of the Study

The significance of the study stems from the way of encouraging the students to utilize the role play in teaching literature. It is significance for secondary schools students, instructors as well as for the curricula designer, the curricula designers utilize this paper in helping the to incorporate the role play technique in Sudanese secondary school, curricula. The application of this technique results in developing student’s growth in English as a foreign language. Without role play learning is not possible, so in education the role of role play is effective on the student learning. It increases the performance of learning. It is a factor of high or low of the goal.

Methodology

This study adopted the descriptive analytical method. The researchers used different sources of information. Data and information are collected from various sources such as reference, books, previous similar research results, articles, notes, and journals relating to the problem to be determined.  Further, this study was conducted by identifying and seeking information from relevant data. The data was analyzed to get the findings. This study examines literature related and previous studies to the implemented of role-play in the learning process to improve students’ understanding and learning of literary works.   In addition to what has been mentioned, this study tackles three essential things, including explanation the meaning and the important of   the role-play method, the role-play method procedure in learning, and the impact of the role-play method in learning especially to improve students’ understanding of literature.

The population of the study is Sudanese secondary school students. Whereas the sample is the learners of Aljazeera Aba Centre of Languages and Translation.  They are students from 3 different study levels. The students are divided in some groups chosen randomly. The class consists of 21 students. It means there are 3 groups of three role players.

Literature Review

What is a role play?

There are a lot of definitions of the term role play. But in this research the researchers would like to mention some of them. These definitions about the role-play method are according to the expert. One of the definitions of the role-play method is that it is a method that is an activity where students can express ideas, opinions, or feelings through words or articulation to others. It is also can be defined as a technique which involves student interaction as role players and conducting discussions with members in role playing. According to the above definitions, role play can be used to encourage students’ proficiency in speaking. In practice, providing opportunities for students to express what they feel and think. So, we can conclude that the role-play method is a series of learning that can provide opportunities for students to build interaction, communication, cooperation, discussion, develop and express ideas to others, and train proficiency in speaking orally. In the implementation, this role involves one or several members by providing a role that wants to convey, where this activity provides an opportunity in the form of interactive dialogue.

 According to Ian Glover  (2014) role play is ‘a technique that allows students to explore realistic situations by interacting with other people in a managed way in order to develop experience and trial different strategies in a supported environment.

According to the above definition, one could say that role play helps in creating a real environment that helps in learning English language literature vial exchanging the experience and ideas. The learners might play the role similar to their own one or the opposite part of the conversation. Both of the roles that are played by the learners result in developing and enhancing learning English language literature.

There are many models that can be applied in using role play as a technique in learning English language. One of them is that students are given particular roles to play in a conversation or other interaction in literature lesson, such as playing a role of a hero or other character in a literary work; they can be given a role to play whether it is negative or positive one. There should be particular instructions on how to act or what to say, as the character of Santiago in the novel ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, or required to act and react in their own way depending on the requirements of the exercise. The participants will then act out the scenario and afterwards there will be reflection and discussion about the interactions, such as alternative ways of dealing with the situation. The scenario can then be acted out again with changes based on the outcome of the reflection and discussion.

Ian Glover  (2014) stated that Role-play is considered to be useful in learning English because it requires no devices. It is very flexible teaching approach learners might work via a role-play exercise just as effectively in a lecture hall as in a seminar room. Moreover, modern technology can provide significant advantages, and even new possibilities, for using the approach as a learning activity.

How to apply role play in classroom?

Journalism students role-playing various interview methods

If you are interested in trying out role-play there are a few practical questions that you should answer:

  • Where in the course/module would this approach work best?
  • Are there situations and interactions that students would benefit from being able to explore?
  • Would ‘live’ role-play be most appropriate or would it need to be staggered over a longer period of time?
  • Should the students take on all of the roles, will the tutor take a role, or can people with direct experience be involved, e.g. having a genuine client or patient plays their own part?
  • How much technology should be involved? Which tools are most suited? What support would be needed?
  • Are the students (and other tutors) ready for this?

Having thought about these questions, you should have worked out whether role-play is an approach that makes sense in your context and have some ideas about how to introduce it. If you are still unsure, you could try a small exercise in a single session and see how the students respond.

According to Nisa Syuhada (2017) cited in Kolb, 1995, p. 233) role play offer joyful teaching learning based on experiential learning. To create this method, there some conditionals of learning to be regarded:
1. Learning is a process, it is not the
result
2. Learning is continuously process
based on experience
3. Learning process needs problem
solving of the conflicts in the
world
4. Learning is a holistic process to
adapt the world
5. Learning involves mutual
relationship between individual
and the environment
6. Learning is a process of creating
knowledge.

Previous Studies

This study was conducted by Nisa Syuhda (2017). It was entitled as’ Role-Play in Teaching English Literature’ it aims to investigate how to offer a method for EFL students to study English through literature. Role-play as a teaching method to increase students’ linguistic competence through narrative as one of literary works. This paper also offers evaluation system to measure the students’ competence in learning literature study through narratives. This study is related to the recent one is that both of them tackle the contribution of using role play as a technique in teaching English literature. The recent one focuses on Role-Play in Teaching English Literature whereas the recent one concerns on the using the role play in teaching literature.

This study prepared by Irma Manda Negara). It was entitled “Why use of the role-play method in learning English? It aims to improve students’ speaking skills”.  The role-play method is one of the methods proven to improve students’ speaking ability. This study aims to provide a more in-depth explanation this research is a literature study by carrying out stages in the form of searching and finding relevant data, analyzing the data found, and expressing ideas from these findings. This study examines the understanding of the role-play method, the procedure for implementing the role-play method, and the impact of the role-play method, especially in improving students’ speaking skills. Based on the results, it was found that the role-play method can improve students’ speaking skills, increase self-confidence, collaboration among students, and make the learning atmosphere fun and interesting. This study related to the recent one in term of that both of them aim to investigate the role of role play I learning English. This study aims to investigate the role of using role play technique in teaching English whereas the recent one focuses on the contribution of role play technique to enhance speaking skill.

This study was conducted by Vijayamalini Sathasivam(     ). It was entitled as ‘The Usage of Role Play Techniques in Teaching Short Story for Average Level of College Students’. The main concern of this study is to know how teaching short stories to non-English speakers has proven to be a huge obstacle due to the lack of proficiency. Though it was difficult for them, some techniques can be implemented to teach short stories in a simpler approach for them to understand. In concern over this matter, a study was conducted in Kolej Yayasan Melaka. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of using role play in ESL classroom. The college sampled was from average level of Diploma students. The students were observed and given questionnaires. The major result of this study shows that students enjoyed learning literary text through role play. This indicates that students were motivated in understanding the short stories. The results of the findings revealed that most of the students considered that role play also increased the confidence level. It is further hoped that, lecturers would attempt to incorporate role play techniques in their ESL classes as this activity will provide an enriched learning ambience for both the students and lecturers. This study related to the recent one is that, the study focuses on the usage of Role Play Techniques in Teaching Short Story for Average Level of College Students whereas the recent one is that it focuses on the contribution of the role play as a technique in learning literature.

The important thing in teaching and learning process is teaching method. However, the teacher’s creativity is more important than the method itself. This paper offers a method for EFL students to study English through literature. Role-play as a teaching method to increase students’ linguistic competence through narrative as one of literary works. This paper also offers evaluation system to measure the students’ competence in learning literature study through narratives of Hodja

This study was conducted by Dhea Mizhir KrebtThe (2018). It was entitled as ‘ Effectiveness of Role Play Techniques in Teaching Speaking for EFL College Students’. The paper aims at investigating the impact of role-playing as a classroom technique on Iraqi EFL students’ speaking skill on Iraqi EFL students at the college level. The students are 40 college language students in University of Baghdad, College of Education Ibn-Rushd randomly chosen. Then, they were divided into two groups, experimental and control groups. Thirty questions were applied to both groups as a pre-test of speaking and the students asked to answer them orally. The experimental group was taught speaking skill of the targeted role-play technique while the control group was taught in traditional method. After 20 lessons of the teaching, the post-test of speaking was conducted in which the students in both groups were asked to answer. The results showed that there is a significant improvement in speaking skill of experimental group. The two groups were significantly different to the sake of using role play technique. The two studies are related to each other’s in term of both of them investigate the contribution of using role play in enhancing studding English language as general. This study focuses on the role play techniques in enhancing speaking skills whereas the recent one aims to investigate the role of role play in learning English literature.

Data analysis

According to the researchers own experience in teaching literature to secondary schools; private and governmental ones, it has been observed that literature cannot be understood well without real participation of the students. The researchers have been adopting Information-Based Approach that basically depends on the following techniques; the instructor   asks questions to check students’ knowledge based on what they have read. He or she puts the students on the right track to identify and read informative extracts in the story. Finally, he or she talks about the main content of the text to the class. This method of teaching doesn’t result a good outcome. So role play as a technique    has an increasing need to teaching literature.

Role-play as Techniques that is used in teaching literature at least involves two activities. It gives a role to one or more members of a group of students and assigns an objective or purpose that participants must achieve. The aim or the objective was determined clearly by the researchers and the class was divided into four groups. Group one that consists of ten students at Aljazeera aba secondary school four girl. It is asked to read and to summarize the novel Jane Eyre that was written by Charlotte Bronte. The second group was asked to analyze the theme of the story. The group also includes ten members. The third one was asked to analyze the characters of the story and their role in the story. The last and final group was asked to tell about the setting of the story.

After the students in different group finished their work. The researchers analyzed the work by correcting and observing it

Learners’ attitudes and understanding turn as they obtain new perceptions about how reality works by using role play. These new perceptions let them to sensitize themselves to others’ ideas, sensibility, feelings, and values. Ethics training, which necessarily reaches inside into areas of values, usually concerns itself with what happens in the affective domain and provides rich opportunities for role play.

The Design of the Role play

The researchers   determined the learning objectives of the role-play. In this paper, the researchers will implement role-play to teach English for EFL through literature. It is aimed at broadening students’ comprehension on narratives of the short   of the Sudanese novelist, El Tyib Salih , his short story A handful of Dates. It aims to develop understanding and evaluation of literary works. It is aimed at broadening students’ comprehension of the short story mentioned above. It is also aims to inform the students to have new visions about how reality works.

The researchers choose a situation from reality that to represent the key concepts of the short story. This was done via re-enacting events from real   situation; students are able to deepen their understanding of real life situations. Additionally readings and context about A handful of Dates.

The researchers have already selected the a state  that represents the reality and the participants with their standpoints you need to consider the various stakeholders and their perspectives and adapt the situation to the classroom The  sample is the  learners of Aljazeera Aba Centre of Languages and Translation.  They are students from 3 different study levels. The students are divided in some groups of three randomly. The class consists of 21 students. It means there are 3 groups of three role players.

In the step of planning the structure of role- play. An hour was given to students to perform or play the role. Their role restricted and dedicated to read the short story mentioned above.   However an hour of time allowed for the students to read the story of   A handful of Dates and comprehend it. When comprehending the narratives, students should recreate the narrative into new form of genre, in form of acting on the stage that is scenario or dialog to be played by them.

The role play is done and there should be an evaluation of the using this method comparing to the previous one that is used by a lot of Sudanese teachers who teach literature at secondary schools. It is found that using role play as a method of teaching literature results in good consequences

Conclusion 

 The student performance showed that most of them   understand better about the literary work themes and plot through role-playing. The steps taken before the performance are supportive, helping students grasp the literary work’s content.

Throughout what has been discussed before, it could be said that role-play is one of the most important method in teaching language that has a special value. But it was not used in Sudan when teaching English literature. It affords special kind of practice and allows effective feedback. When using role play as a technique of learning literature, learners’ attitudes turn positively because they obtain new perceptions about how reality works. They feel the real environment when they are in groups. The groups learning helps them to build and establish the self-confidence which is essential in the process of learning English language.  These new perceptions let them to sensitize themselves to others’ ideas, sensibility, feelings, and values. Ethics training, which necessarily reaches inside into areas of values, usually concerns itself with what happens in the affective domain and provides rich opportunities for role play. The role play is a current and active way of learning in a normative and responsible attitude when the students meet problems. It helps them to solve the problems they face in peaceful way.  It frees students to be slightly creative in their linguistic output. In term of using role-play in English teaching through literature for EFL students, they will gain more ideas, sensibility, feelings and values. They also become more creative by creating the new product of genre in literary works. Their creativity can increase their linguistic competence, since the teacher’s assessment will depend on their creativity in some novelty in term of theme, plot, characters, coherence and their affective response.

References

1.Dhea Mizhir KrebtThe (2018) Effectiveness of Role Play Techniques in Teaching Speaking for EFL College Students, Article in Journal of Language. Teaching.

2.Ian Glover (2014)Role-play: An Approach to Teaching and Learning, Technology Enhanced Learning at SHU.

3.Irma Manda Negara (2017) Literature Review: Why Use Role-play Method in Teaching Speaking.

4.Nisa Syuhda (2017) Role-Play in Teaching English Literature, Pedagogy Journal of English Language Teaching, Volume 5, Number 2, Desember 2017.

5.Nguyen, Ho (2021) The Use of Drama Role-Playing in Teaching English Literature for English Majored Students: An Action Research at Van Lang University DO – 10.2991/assehr.k.210226.038 ER.
6.Vijayamalini Sathasivam (ND) The Usage of Role Play Techniques in Teaching Short Story for Average Level of College Students, BERJAYA University College of Hospitality Malaysia.

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