Tuesday, 17 May 2011

English Register Role Playing

Because the Korean culture is so heavily influenced by Confucian ethics, there is a big emphasis on hierarchy. This is reflected in the language, particularly the Korean vocabulary. Different words are used when addressing people of higher up or lower down the status hierarchy. Register in Korean is very clear cut. In English we also use different register when talking to our seniors versus to our peers, in formal settings versus informal settings. But because register in English is more a way of talking, than just a choice of vocabulary, Korean students seem to think that English does not have register. To help my one class today see how different register is required I had them pair up and do a role playing game discussion exercise to the following roles:

  • Master / Slave
  • Employer / Employee
  • Parent / Child
  • Teacher / Student
  • Newly Weds
  • CEOs of two big companies
They enjoyed the exercise and hopefully understood the lesson as well.

1 comment:

Retha said...

Very creative!