The Favor Microsketch: Learning Pragmatics Through Drama

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Higher Education, Adult Education
Formats Included
  • PDF
13 pages
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This drama activity leads students through reading, analyzing, and performing a short sketch that highlights how we ask for a favor in natural English conversation. Then they apply what they have learned to a new roleplay! Perfect for ESL or EFL students as well as students in speech therapy who may need explicit instruction in conversational skills.

Inside Find:

  • Three short, one-page scripts for two people that show different situations where we ask for a favor.
  • Comprehensive teacher's notes to guide students through:
    • reading and analyzing the scripts
    • practicing using voice and body to express emotion and attitude
    • discussing useful language for asking for favors, and saying yes or no!
    • strategies for asking for favors
    • creating a new role-play to practice the skills they've learned!

However, the lesson is flexible enough to be easily adaptable to a broad variety of classrooms. Spread the activities out over several days or do it in one lesson. Suggestions for doing it through distance learning, including live classes or asynchronous learning are included. It can even be used in drama class, as an audition for a play, or a class in playwriting.

Help students practice a broad range of communication tools with these pragmatics-focused microsketches!

Wait, what's pragmatics?

Pragmatics is the hidden “grammar” of conversation-the set of unspoken rules about how we communicate. What rhetorical strategy do we use in what situation, how do we choose our words, use our body language, facial expressions, and voice to get things done? How do we talk to a parent differently than we talk to a friend or a boss? These rules can be hard for ESL or EFL students to learn in English as well as students in need of speech pathology.

Why do drama activities?

Drama is a powerful way to raise awareness of pragmatics. Scripts replicate real-life situations and have characters negotiate them with words. A play highlights natural conversational language and how to understand as well as employ these communication tools in conversation. Acting is also an engaging activity that allows students to distance themselves from their words-it's not them talking, it's a character. That freedom lets them experiment, make mistakes, and grow!


Looking for more? Check out our whole range of Drama products, including short plays, Shakespeare adaptions, drama games, and even coursebooks built around original one-act plays.

Total Pages
13 pages
Answer Key
Does not apply
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating a command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.


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