New Book Helps Readers Use Role-play to More Effectively Learn New Languages

Book is designed to fit the needs of all learners regardless of their age or the language they are learning

Press Release

NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Senior Lecturer of Arabic Nasser Isleem has co-authored a new book titled Role-plays: Communicative Activities for Language and Oral Proficiency Assessment, which is designed to fit the needs of all learners regardless of their age or the language they are learning.

The book, which Isleem co-wrote with Associate Professor and Director of Asian Studies at the College of Charleston Ghazi Abuhakema, provides language users with a plethora of role plays across all language proficiency levels. The exercises are divided according to themes that are content-appropriate for each level. Any language learner will find the role play that fits his or her needs. 

Both authors are professors who teach Arabic to non-Arabic speakers and are ACTFL-OPI (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages-Oral Proficiency Interview) Testers. They are licensed to assess the ability to use language effectively and appropriately in real-life situations, where they can assess random unrehearsed language. 

Their use of role-plays reflects the close connection with task-based language teaching, which is a student-centered approach. This technique requires students to use their language to complete authentic tasks that they might encounter in the target culture. Role-plays are attempts to mimic situations that prepare language users to function effectively in the target culture.


“Role-plays are instrumental in language learning and assessment. They provide meaningful contexts for language use and communication, allowing students to practice language conversationally in different social roles and helping them improve their fluency level. Moreover, role-plays allow learners to make mistakes in a non-threatening setting, which will ultimately increase their confidence, and intrinsic motivation.”

NYUAD Senior Lecturer Nasser Isleem

Role-plays in education are also widely viewed as a useful progress indicator in the learning process for pupils, instructors, and evaluators, forming a collaborative community in the classroom where students from different levels and backgrounds can work together, creatively.  

Role-plays: Communicative Activities for Language and Oral Proficiency Assessment is available for purchase on Amazon.

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.