A simulation is an activity in which students are required to participate in imaginary situations in which they respond as they themselves would do in real-life situations.
This contrasts to role plays, in which students take on imaginary roles to "play" out imaginary situations.
Typically the teacher will set up a situation and a problem and ask the students to participate in the encounter. Under some circumstances the simulation may be designed to exploit skills such as persuading, negotiation, disagreeing, and so on. Other simulations may provide opportunity to use vocabulary which has recently been taught.
The teacher will usually monitor the activity and later give feedback and advice.
Rationale for simulations
- As the simulation requires more spontaneous use of language than permitted by the roles adopted in a role play, the emphasis is on fluency rather than specific, predetermined language functions.
- The "acting" required in role plays may not appeal to some older students and they may prefer the opportunity to give their "opinions" towards resolving the situation presented in the simulation.