stages of a simulation 

So how does a simulation work? 
The situación describes the background against which the simulation takes place. Each situación is accompanied by a brief description of the stages of that simulation. 

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The 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). 

Stages 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.

introducing ¡Te toca!     what this book is...and is not  stages of a simulation    seven golden rules     checklist for teachers
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