New Book by NYU Abu Dhabi Faculty Helps Readers Use Role-Play To More Effectively Learn New Languages

Press release
Published December 22nd, 2020 - 05:57 GMT
New Book by NYU Abu Dhabi Faculty Helps Readers Use Role-Play To More Effectively Learn New Languages
Role Plays
Highlights
NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Senior Lecturer of Arabic Nasser Isleem has co-authored a new book titled Role-plays: Communicative Activities for Language and Oral Proficiency Assessment

NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Senior Lecturer of Arabic Nasser Isleem has co-authored a new book titled Role-plays: Communicative Activities for Language and Oral Proficiency Assessment, which is designed to fit the needs of all learners regardless of their age or the language they are learning.

The book, which Isleem co-wrote with Associate Professor and Director of Asian Studies at the College of Charleston Ghazi Abuhakema, provides language users with a plethora of role plays across all language proficiency levels. The exercises are divided according to themes that are content-appropriate for each level. Any language learner will find the role play that fits his or her needs.

Both authors are professors who teach Arabic to non-Arabic speakers and are ACTFL-OPI (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages-Oral Proficiency Interview) Testers. They are licensed to assess the ability to use language effectively and appropriately in real-life situations, where they can assess random unrehearsed language.

Their use of role-plays reflects the close connection with task-based language teaching, which is a student-centered approach. This technique requires students to use their language to complete authentic tasks that they might encounter in the target culture. Role-plays are attempts to mimic situations that prepare language users to function effectively in the target culture.

Commenting on this approach to language learning, Isleem said: “Role-plays are instrumental in language learning and assessment. They provide meaningful contexts for language use and communication, allowing students to practice language conversationally in different social roles and helping them improve their fluency level. Moreover, role-plays allow learners to make mistakes in a non-threatening setting, which will ultimately increase their confidence, and intrinsic motivation.”

Role-plays in education are also widely viewed as a useful progress indicator in the learning process for pupils, instructors, and evaluators, forming a collaborative community in the classroom where students from different levels and backgrounds can work together, creatively. 

Role-plays: Communicative Activities for Language and Oral Proficiency Assessment is available for purchase on Amazon.

Background Information

New York University Abu Dhabi

NYU's agreement with the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to create NYU Abu Dhabi is the outcome of a shared understanding of the essential roles and challenges of higher education in the 21st century: a common belief in the value of a liberal arts education, concurrence on the benefits a research university brings to the society that sustains it, a conviction that interaction with new ideas and people who are different is valuable and necessary, and a commitment to educating students who are true citizens of the world.

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