list of 'personajes' provides brief biographical details which normally
include pointers to each character's attitude towards the proposal or
polemic around which the simulation revolves (see 'The
Seven Golden Rules', especially rule 4).
of the simulation
1) At least a week before the
simulation, ALL the students in the class will:
a) have been introduced to the theme
or topic of the particular simulation.
b) have been provided with an introductory 'lead text' related
to this theme or topic. The text in question is designed to 'trail'
vocabulary of direct practical value for the simulation which follows.
Each lead text is followed by a number of comprehension questions.
c) have focused on and practised one or more points of functional
grammar which students will then be expected to use in their contribution
to the simulation.
d) have read through all the roles and other documentation associated
with the particular simulation.
2) The day of the simulation:
a) The teacher introduces the simulation,
explaining to those not already familiar with this type of activity
what it involves. This explanation should include what is expected of
the students and what they in turn can expect of the teacher, whose
function in a language simulation is one of facilitation and 'policing'
of the rules.
b) Participants are assigned their individual roles (see FAQ).
An occasional (temporary) sex-change is to be expected, as the names
and genders of simulation characters must be respected! Students should
be given about ten minutes to re-read and familiarize themselves in
greater detail with their role. The list of roles for each simulation
is set out in order of priority in two, different ways.
- In order of importance to the debate.
- The lists normally alternate between
those who are broadly for and against the 'motion'. The minimum number
of participants required to run a simulation is six, while the maximum
is approximately fifteen. For larger groups, the authors recommend
that two simulations be run simultaneously.
c) Students should already have
read the 'situación' and the 'etapas de la simulación', which should
now be followed. Generally speaking, students are first physically separated
into two groups (normally for and against the proposal), and are then
reconvened for the final debate, according to the stages suggested for
each simulation. Tables and chairs will often need to be rearranged
in the classroom for this.
d) Once the simulation is over, there may be a free vote by the
participants as to who, in their opinion, has won the argument. All
participants abandon their adopted character for this and vote as themselves.
e) It is essential that teachers leave at least ten minutes at
the end of the class for linguistic feedback to students as a group.
Associated written work will also be set at this stage and provides
the basis for more formal assessment and feedback.
The success of a simulation depends upon
strict adherence to the
seven golden rules.