ROLE PLAY - English

1. AGE 11-16
2. LEVEL: Secondary Primary School (6th grade)
3. COURSE 1º -4º ESO - 6th grade (primary)
4. TOPICS: Refugees and human rights. Moral dilemmas
5. CONTEXT: The school is implementing an interdisciplinary project about refugees during this course.They have made a film forum with “Terraferma” and they have analyzed the causes of migrations, the refugees´ routes and the refugees´ crisis in Social Science bilingual subject. They have held a debate in Language subject.
The purpose of this “refugees” drama game is to create awareness of the difficulties experienced by refugees as they flee their homes towards a better life in Europe. They run the risk of losing their lives on the way to a better life for their families.  When they reach Europe they run the risk of being arrested and sent to refugee camps or being deported. It is important to realize the journey difficulties and the emotions associated with the loss their home and their loved ones.
ü  To walk a mile in refugees´ shoes
ü  To develop empathy and solidarity towards the refugees
ü  To understand that the causes of migration are many and varied
ü  To discover several reasons to migrate and to apply for asylum
ü  To realize that refugees leave their countries because they are forced to do so
ü  To realize that there are refugees from different countries, not only Syrian refugees
ü  To understand the reasons of the coastguards to enforce the law
ü  To reflect on fears and prejudices related to refugees
ü  To spark dialogues, debates and thoughts about refugees and migrants
ü  To use a foreign language effectively and practice their language skills
ü  To improve their listening and speaking skills
ü  To work together in co-operation between the group and to improve the teamwork
ü  To respect the views of others and dialogue as constructive as possible
7. TIME FRAME: 1 class period (55 minutes)
- Step1: 10 min
- Step2: 20 min
- Step 3: 15 min
- Step 4: 10 min
8. MATERIALS: Blackboard, Vocabulary cards (Annex 1) and Refugee role-play cards (Annex 2)
9. ORGANIZATION: Whole class and small groups of 2-5 students.



1A – Brainstorming about refugees, reasons for migration, problems on the arrival on the coast… The teacher writes on the blackboard the main vocabulary
1B – The teacher reads aloud this short text:  Your life has been turned upside down. You have fled your country because of the war, the persecution, the famine, the bombardments or the poverty. You have lost your savings during the terrible journey to Europe. You have lost your relatives, your friends or even some family members. If you are the smuggler, the local fisherman, the coastguard or the volunteers, try to understand this context

Think about what you have just experienced for two minutes.
The teacher reads out the following scenario:
“It is a dark and cold night on a Lampedusa beach. A group of refugees has just reached the coast with the help of two volunteers and a local fisherman. The boat has overturned and a two years old child has drowned while heading for Lampedusa Island. A coastguard has just arrested the smuggler and he wants to send the refugees and migrants to a refugee centre. Volunteers oppose this choice argue that they will be sent back to Lybia and they are refugees with the right to asylum. The local fisherman is ready to find refuge with host families, but…”

To form the small groups: the teacher divides the class into family groups and gives each pupil his/her role-card (Annex 2). There are another two groups, on the one hand one group with the volunteers and the fisherman, on the other hand the policeman and the smuggler.  The teacher acts as a mediator and guide, helping the groups with the vocabulary, arguments and options
Teamwork - Working together, you must prepare your role and the possible dialogue. Choose a few key words that they may be useful in your situation. You must express sadness, anger, anxiety, fear, fatigue, sympathy, empathy, guilt, embarrassment, regretful, disapproval… Act out these feelings without speaking first.
Context: A cold night in a beach in Lampedusa

 Start the role-play: The players adopt their roles and they must express their feelings about the situation. Teacher observes and takes notes about the use of vocabulary, arguments, the ability to listen without prejudice and with respect for the others. It´s important to encourage respect in the classroom.
After the role-play, discuss it and dialogue using the following questions:
ü  What are your impressions of the role-play?
ü  How did the situation work out? What happened?
ü  How did it feel to be a refugee?
ü  How did it feel to be a coastguard/smuggler/volunteer/local fisherman?
ü  How do you fell now?
ü  What did you say in order to convince the coastguard let you cross the border?
ü  Has it been possible to reach agreement?
One potential problem is the difficulty of the vocabulary, but teacher can help with the vocabulary cards and he/she can write the key vocabulary on the blackboard after the brainstorming. Key vocabulary can be reinforced in bilingual Social Science subject. Teacher must help groups to find arguments during the team work before the role play. If there are more pupils you will create more characters. You can give the immigrants pupils a different role like the coastguard, the fisherman, the volunteer or the smuggler in order to understand the reasons of the others and develop empathy. You must check the time because it´s important to leave time for the final dialogue and debate.

Nouns: Refugee, migrant, border, persecution, war, poverty, asylum, country of asylum, coastguards, humanitarian aid, shelter, asylum-seeker, refugee status, refugee center, refugee´s camp, repatriation, host country, solidarity, hunger, poverty, smuggler, lifejacket, human rights violations, asylum request, political corruption, ethnic groups, ethnic cleansing, volunteer, smuggler, coastguard
Adjectives: (to be…) exhausted, desperate, anxious, frightened, sad, angry, handicapped, displaced, embarrassed, guilty, sympathetic
Verbs: to cross the border, to flee their homes or countries, mass exodus, to find asylum, the authorities, to settle down, to live in camps, to provide water and food, to seek asylum, to get in touch, to go through, to determinate refugee status, to be given asylum, to be rejected by, to get worse, to be afraid of/for, to smuggle, to take a boat, to be forced to marry, to gain asylum, to drop out of school, to be denied, to be mislead, to enforce the law, to be deported, to be arrested, to enforce the law, to flee, to be killed, to bomb, to denounce,  to be in a state of shock , to be injured, to argue, to require, to send back, to integrate

Mother A, 32, farmhand
Son A, 10, farmhand
Daughter A, 11, farmhand
Country: Southern Sudan
Our family lives by farming the lands. We are illiterate. Civil war and ethnical conflicts are destroying our country. There are land mines in the ground and our son lost his leg. He is a handicapped person. Our father went to Italy three years ago and he has a job. We want to meet our husband and father in Rome.

Father B, 30, fisherman
Grandfather B, 50, fisherman
Son B, 12, fisherman
Daughter B, 11, homemaker
Country: Ghana
Our village depends on fishing. There is scarcity of fish in our region. It means hunger. Our mother died last year and our daughter had to drop out of school. We had to sell our belongings and everyone in village helped us to pay the journey to Europe. We want to live in dignity, free from hunger and poverty

Mother C, 28, doctor
Grandmother C, 44, housewife
Great-Grandmother C, 65
Daughter C1 10
Daughter C2 9
Country: Syria
Syria is in a civil war since 2011. The Islamic state (ISIL) has occupied our region and they have imposed the sharia laws. My husband was murdered. Our daughters had to drop out of school. The situation was getting worse with Russian bombardments and we are becoming afraid for our lives. We had to sell our belongings and we went to a refugee camp in Lebanon, but the conditions were deplorable and we didn´t find jobs. A smuggler offered us the opportunity to go to Europe through Egypt and Libya to Italy, because Greek borders are closed at the moment and Turkey is sending immigrants and refugees back to Syria or confining in a refugee camp. We had to pay him all our savings and we took a boat in Libya. Our Great-Grandmother is a diabetic and she requires urgent treatment.

Father D, 38, teacher
Mother D, 34 housewife
Daughter D, 12, schoolgirl
Baby, 8 months
Country: Nigeria

We lived in Nigeria. We were afraid of Boko Haram. They are terrorists and they are causing panic and destabilizing our country. They are kidnapping girls in our region. Boko Haram kidnapped all the schoolgirls in a nearby school last month. We decided to go to Europe for a better life. We want my daughter can study and work. We went to Lybia and we gave all our money to the Libyan smugglers.
Our two years old son fell into the water last night and he died in spite of wearing life jacket. We paid fifty Euros per lifejacket but it didn´t float. We are all devastated.
Girl E, 19, domestic servant
Country: Somalia
I was forced to marry when I was 13 and I had to live in my mother-in-law house.  She treated me as a slave. I was beaten every day. My cousin tried to help me and my mother-in-law saw us talking in the market. I was accused of adultery and the sharia court condemned me to death by stoning. An Amnesty International volunteer helped me to escape and he advised me to seek asylum. I had to hide and wait a few months, but my asylum request was denied. The volunteer helped me to escape to Libya and I had to work hard as a servant during five years. I had saved money to the journey to Europe and I gave all my money to the Libyan smugglers.

Mother F, 32 farmhand
Son F ,15
Country: R.D. Congo
I lost my husband in coltan mines. I don´t want my son have to work in coltan mines. Armed groups kidnapped children in our region. We had to flee our home to escape abduction. We had to walk thousands of kilometers and then we could hide in a lorry. In Lybia we had to work hard and I could save up money to go to Italy. My brother is working in Germany and he has sent me money too. We want to meet my brother. He will take care of us.

Volunteers A B
Country: Spain
We are brothers and lifeguards. We usually work in summer, but we are unemployed now. We have watched the terrible situation of the refugees and we want to help, so we have joined to a group of volunteers and we have come to Lampedusa  Island for helping refugees and migrants who try to reach Europe. They are misled by corrupt smugglers. We have just rescued the endangered refugees from water with the help of a local fisherman. We are giving them humanitarian aid like water, food and first aid. We are looking for some local people who provide them shelter.
Coastguard A
Country: Italy
I am a coastguard. I like my job. I think everybody has to enforce the law and I have to obey the laws and my authorities. I am sorry about the situation of the refugees and the war, but they can´t live in Europe. It´s not our problem. Why don´t they go to Islamic countries or others African countries? Most of Islamic countries are rich countries, like Saudi Arabia. We have high unemployment and our youth can´t find a job. Corrupt smugglers take advantage of migrants and refugees, but we can´t let them to cross the borders. If I see illegal immigrants I have to take them to an immigration detention center. If they are asylum-seekers they can go to a shelter or a refugee´s camp. I am only doing my job.
Smuggler A
Country: Lybia, 45
I am only helping migrants and refugees to achieve their dreams. There are high unemployment in my country and I couldn´t find a job. I have to support my family and I have a disabled son. I help the refugees to reach Europe and I sell authentic lifejackets for 50 Euros, they are not false. It´s a business like any other. If somebody dies it´s not my fault.

Local elderly fisherman A
Country: Italy, 73
In the last ten years immigrants and refugees have arrived to the island in desperate conditions. Many of them have lost their families in terrible journeys. This year has been a hard year. Many families have arrived to Lampedusa because of the war in their countries. I am old and I remember when Europeans fled our countries because of the war and other countries helped us. We have to do the same. I am a fisherman and I have to respect the law of the sea. I have to help people who are lost at sea. I have just rescued a group of refugees in an unstable boat. I must provide them shelter.

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