Power-Up: Drama Games for Language Teaching

Here you can read a summary of the full content of the award-winning Power-Up: Drama Games for Language Teaching online course:

1) An opening webinar introducing the course and the online content
2) Three weeks of online learning supported by videos
3) A second webinar with details of the final course assignment
4) Final detailed feedback
5) Places limited to 16 participants to ensure adequate contact time
6) All materials and videos available to download for six months after the end of the course

Unit 1 – Warm Ups
Duration: approx 2.5 hours

In this section you will learn five warm-up games to energise your students, encouraging spontaneity, creativity and self-confidence. Some of these activities are very short, yet they can have a tremendous effect on the attitude of students and the atmosphere of the lesson.

1.1 One Two Three
1.2 Circle and Cross
1.3 Clap Across the Circle
1.4 Fruit Salad
1.5 Anyone Who
1.6 Reading: The Value of Drama
1.7 Food for Thought
1.8 Unit Tasks:
(i) Introduce yourself
(ii) Benefits of Drama Games

Unit 2 – Next Steps
Duration: approx 2.5 hours

Unit 2 explores three drama games which will encourage students to use mime and to make shapes with their bodies. These games engage students through a range of learning modes at kinaesthetic, visual and aural levels. Some of the games are largely physical, while others use different levels of language skills, developing vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, role play and narrative skills. We will also look at soundscapes and think about structuring drama sessions and activities.

2.1 What Are You Doing?
2.2 Ten Second Objects
2.3 Imaginarium
2.4 Structuring Drama
2.5 Reading – Soundscapes
2.6 Food for Thought – Soundscape
2.7 Questionnaire – Using Drama Games

Unit 3 – Freeze Frames
Duration: approx 3.5 hours

Freeze frames are such a fantastic way of involving students, getting them off their chairs and interacting with one another. This drama technique gives them an opportunity to share ideas in a fun way and only takes seconds to do. However, like any technique, there are good and bad ways of doing it. In this unit we will learn some really effective ways of using the approach.

3.1 Telling Stories
3.2 Thought Tracking
3.3 Action Clip
3.4 Uses of Freeze Frames
3.5 Reading – Exploring Fairy Tales
3.6 Food for Thought – Freeze Frames in the Classroom (video of lesson)
3.7 Unit Task – Putting it into Practice
3.8 Week One Self Check

Unit 4 – More Drama Games
Duration: approx 2.5 hours

In this unit we will learn five quick and fun drama games which can be used to extend and revise vocabulary, remember parts of the body and explore physicalisation of characters and emotions. They also help with self-confidence, listening and communication skills. Later in the unit there is an opportunity to discover some useful drama books and read about the theory behind drama in language teaching. In the Unit Task you will be asked to review your favourite activities so far.

4.1 Word Tennis
4.2 Alphabet Objects
4.3 Person to Person
4.4 Stop Go Jump Clap
4.5 Frog in Space
4.6 Reading – Drama Expert
4.7 Unit Tasks – Favourite Activities

Unit 5 – Drama Strategies
Duration: approx 3 hrs 20 mins

In this unit we are going to look at a number of drama strategies, also called drama techniques. These are different to drama games, which tend to have a more defined time span. Drama strategies can be used alongside other teaching techniques and can be used over an extended period. They help to develop enquiry and communication skills as well as performance abilities such as storytelling, character development, mime and movement. They can be used in many areas of the curriculum as well as for language teaching.

5.1 3D Living Pictures – Introduction
5.2 3D Living Pictures – Guess Who I Am
5.3 3D Living Pictures – Examples
5.4 Conscience Alley
5.5 Storytelling Whoosh!
5.6 Reading – More Drama Strategies
5.7 Food for Thought – Netherlandish Proverbs
5.8 Week Two Self Check

Unit 6 – Course Assignment
Duration: 2-3 hrs

This unit focuses on the course assignment. You need to complete this assignment to receive your Certificate of Successful Completion. The unit includes a live webinar, where the tutor explains what needs to be done to complete the assignment.

The objective of the assignment is for you to plan ways in which you can apply at least five of the drama activities from the course to material that you teach (or would like to teach). Ideally the material you select will be a unit of a course book, but it could also be a text, story or chosen topic. The textual materials can include dialogues, scripts, poetry, novels, short stories, movies, fiction or non-fiction – anything!

You may add additional ideas, activities or techniques above and beyond those included in the course. Your plan may of course include other learning approaches, such as reading, writing and discussion. We anticipate that the content you produce for the assignment will be of great value in your forthcoming teaching.

If you are interested in taking part in the course, then you will be pleased to know that we run it several times a year – here is the link: Power Up: Drama Games for Language Teaching

This course won the Prize for the Best Resources for Teachers in the English Speaking Union’s English Language Awards 2018.

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