Role-playing games as a key technology for developing students’ speaking skills outside the language environment

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Abstract


This article deals with the issues related to speaking skills development among advanced students outside the language environment. The importance of this subject is determined by the crucial role that speaking assumes in the light of communicative approach to teaching Russian as a foreign language. The goal of the study is testing the effectiveness of regular use of role-play activities when working on untrivial B2 topics with advanced students under conditions of few in-class hours. The paper presents an overview of the scientific methodological work on the subject and generalizes teaching experience accumulated in the sphere of higher education in Italy. The research demonstrated that the use of role-play activities as a key didactic technique leads to an increased amount of speech produced by Italian students in the Russian language classroom. The author stresses the importance of role-play activities as it represents an extremely flexible technique that can be successfully adapted to a wide range of topics and objectives. It also contributes to creating a more comfortable and stimulating atmosphere in order to involve students into a live communication process and to boost their motivation. Finally, the article reports on the results of the inquiry carried out among students that confirm the effectiveness of the applied approach.


About the authors

Ksenia D. Balakina

University of Bologna

Author for correspondence.
Email: ksenia.balakina2@unibo.it
136 Corso della Repubblica, Forli, 47121, Italian Republic

lecturer, teacher of Russian as a foreign language at the Department of Interpretation and Translation of the University of Bologna. Research interests: methodology of teaching Russian as a foreign language, methodology of teaching translation, learner corpus research

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