Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What is Role Playing?....Would it help to learn a new language?

What is Role Playing?....Would it help to learn a new language? 

In its most basic form, roleplaying is just that: playing a role other than yourself. The most prevalent and well known form of this would be acting, where someone becomes a character either for the stage or screen. They study the character, his/her personality, accent, thoughts and then throughout the film/play, the actor essentially ‘is’ that character.

Another way to roleplay would be Play-By-Post Online Roleplaying. This is generally played on forums, and takes upon itself a role similar to acting, in that you are taking the role of a character (or several) and throughout the roleplay you essentially become that character. The major difference, of course, is that online roleplaying is performed through writing, rather than playing the actions yourself. Online roleplaying could very well be more aptly defined as ‘collaborative creative writing.’ You are working in collaboration with other writers to write creatively – each person taking the point of view of one character in your story.

With the arrival of the metaverse and 3D environtmets, roleplaying became an important part of the MMORPG, "Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game", like world of Warcraft and Second Life. Role-playing in a medieval sim in SL, means that students and professors play the role of a character living in a fantasy world. How much or how little they role-play is up to the level and command of the language they have, also the degree of digital literacy and SL skills they can handle; In order to roleplay in most of the sims, roleplayers must construct basic background histories for their characters and adopt unique mannerisms when they’re “in character.”

This kind of roleplaying in 3D worlds is the best for language learning, since roleplaying occurs the way it'll happen in the movies or the theater and at the same time it ocurs throught writing, oral skills are also improved and learning happens in a more natural way,students interact with people from the world. Roleplaying is an excellent way to get new vocabulary, enhance reading skills, use critical thinking and have fun. Students are given the chance to learn, create and design the characters that later, they will portrait making it meaningful to them and becoming producers and creators, storytellers and the stars in their own stories.

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