Staffroom Event: Role Up! Bringing adventure to English learning January 20th 2024 10am-1pm

“Has the computer been repaired?”
“Good afternoon, I’m here to meet Mr Johannson…”
“Is the customer using the correct password?”

Roleplays are a mainstay of language teaching – after all, they practise communicative English in an open, natural manner.

But… and let’s be honest here… do they really?
How many times have you experienced roleplay activities that sound more robotic than a Kraftwerk concert?

Or in which your students are mired in self-consciousness?

Or simply bored and uninspired by the prospect of buying yet another coffee… without the reward of actually getting to drink it?

Roleplaying games (‘RPGs’) – yes, like Dungeons and Dragons – are a solution to all of these problems. They’ve come far from old stereotypes and are evolving and developing incredibly rapidly, but one definition of them is:

“… games in which a group of players take on the roles of various characters and attempt to complete quests, tell a story, or overcome obstacles set before them” (Hensley and Black, 2019)

… although even this definition is overly-limiting!

The language is almost identical to that found in language-classroom roleplays – but with a story your learners are invested in:

“Have the wires been cut?

“Good afternoon, I’m here to meet the head of the Paranormal Detective Agency…”

“Is the archmage chanting the ritual phrase?”


There is an unbelievable wealth of RPGS, materials and settings online. Almost every genre of story and complexity of rules and language is available for every age group, and adaptation and customisation is not only possible, but supported.


In this session, Kit Flemons will guide you through using RPGs in the classroom. We will look at what these games are, spend some time playing them, and examine the language used and how to adapt it to different groups of learners.

This will be a relaxed and highly interactive session; expect it to be engaging, insightful and fun – just as the best of our English lessons should be!

Because of the social nature of these games, it is encouraged to turn up in-person, although online participation will also be possible.


Location: Chausseestr 86, Hofgebäude, 10115


ELTABB members please RSVP on the NING.

Non-members email: