Words into Worlds: Learning a Second Language through Process Drama

Words into Worlds: Learning a Second Language through Process Drama

Words into Worlds: Learning a Second Language through Process Drama

Words into Worlds: Learning a Second Language through Process Drama

Synopsis

An analysis of learning a second language through process drama. Topics covered include: evoking dramatic moments in second language learning and teaching; the nature of teacher-student interaction in drama-orientated language classrooms; and the psycho-social aspect of drama on learning.

Excerpt

Language teachers nowadays have available a wide range of drama activities for engaging students' participation and promoting active learning in the classroom. These include language games, storytelling, role-play, simulations, scenarios, prepared and spontaneous improvisation, and processoriented drama activities. In addition to these [informal] drama approaches, there is also the more formal and traditional method in which participants study a scene or play and then perform it in front of an audience, as in tiieatre. The difference between these two approaches is that, as Dorothy Heathcote, the British drama educator, points out, [The difference between the theatre and the classroom is that in the theatre everything is contrived so that the audience gets the kicks. In the classroom the participants get the kicks] (in Johnson & O'Neill, 1984, p. 158). The distinction between formal theatre and informal drama activities in educational settings was clarified in the 1950s and '60s when Peter Slade and Brian Way emphasized the developmental aspects of drama. They believed that drama activities could be used to increase individual awareness, selfexpression, and creativity. Later, Dorothy Heatcote, Gavin Bolton, and other drama educators shifted the focus from using drama for personal development to an emphasis on the significance of drama in the learning process. They stressed the importance of understanding how drama activities can be designed and structured in the classroom in order to promote insights into subject matter, motivate research and the pursuit of knowledge, and facilitate the development of language. Their concern with content and the broader functions of drama has led to its increasing acceptance as an educational tool as well as a separate subject in the curriculum.

The approach advocated by Heathcote and Bolton is known as [drama in education] or [educational drama.] In the early '90s, a new term, [process drama,] emerged among drama educators in the United States and . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.