Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Smith, Kara (Faculty of Education)


Education, Bilingual and Multicultural.




This study explored role-play implementation in secondary school EFL classrooms in China with a main research question: How can Chinese EFL teachers make effective use of role-play in their classroom teaching? To explore this question, the author reviewed relevant literature and proposed a theoretical framework for the use of role-play that incorporates three lenses: particular research background in Chinese EFL education context (including a proposed CRCTL approach to meet learner's cultural needs), theoretical ground for positioning role-play in EFL education, and introduction of particular role-play literature (concept, strength and weakness, tutor roles and tasks, previous research studies). A multiple case study on seven Chinese EFL teachers using role-play in their classes is the overall methodology and data were obtained from individual/focus group interviews, direct classroom observations, and questionnaires. The findings not only reflected the benefits of role-play as a language teaching strategy; the strength of CRCLT in particular cultural contexts, but also responded to a complex question of the needs of teachers and students doing role-play in EFL classrooms in China and to the question of a series of issues that need to be considered in order to meet their needs. Based on the findings, recommendations to classroom teachers, teacher educators and educational administrators have been made followed by a sample role-play project 'Christmas' which integrates various levels of role-play in different EFL classes. Supported by detailed information from classrooms, this study intends to facilitate more in-depth discussions from researchers and practitioners regarding role-play implementation in EFL classrooms. This study is expected not only to be helpful for EFL teachers and students in China but also for those in other countries.