Literature and Drama in Language Teaching

by | Sep 6, 2016 | Drama Teaching, Features, Language Teaching

I’ve just spent a terrific two weeks working with a group of seven teachers from across Europe (Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Spain and the United Kingdom). The event was Literature and Drama in Language Learning which I was co-teaching with Alan Pulverness at the NILE School in Norwich. Below is a summary of most of the activities we did.

Introductory Sessions
Interactive drama games and drama strategies for group cooperation, creativity and language learning. These included Ten Second Objects, Clap Across the Circle, Freeze Frames, Word Tennis, I Am A… and many others.

Performing a short script extract. The purpose of stage directions, how to block movement and the value of status exercises.

Exploring poetry through drama. Bringing words to life through performance. Exploring opinion through the game ‘ Where Do You Stand?’

Short Stories
Exploring a short story through drama. Performing the story in sections and exploring the soundscape of a story. Investigating and creating characters through Hot-Seating and Role on the Wall.

Interactive games and activities for exploring Shakespeare, speaking the text and performing the stories. Particularly memorable was the section where groups created ‘movie trailers’ for A Midsummer Nights Dream. Here is a short trailer that one group made.

Other Drama Disciplines
We looked at the work of Augusto Boal and explored Image Theatre leading onto a performance of some Forum Theatre around the theme of oppression. We also had a brief look at Dorothy Heathcote, process drama and Teacher in Role.

NILE have asked me to create a short online course about the use of drama in language learning and I will be using some video shot during this course to illustrate examples. Hopefully I will get working on this in November/December 2016.