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Using Drama to Teach English

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Andrew Finch

on 13 February 2016

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Transcript of Using Drama to Teach English

Using Drama to Teach English
Primary and Secondary level
This presentation looks at drama as an effective and enjoyable means of learning English, at all levels and all ages.
Drama helps to educate the whole person - holistic learning.
Students grow cognitively, affectively (confidence, motivation, positive attitudes, reduction of anxiety), socially, and linguistically.
Dr. Andrew Finch
It is important to remember the goals of the Korean education system and apply them to English teaching.

These goals are based upon the traditional ethics of Korea and must be the foundation of curricula, syllabi, lesson plans, and teacher-student relations.
hongik ingan
model of a well-educated person:

one who seeks to develop his/her own individuality through a well-rounded and wholesome character development;
one who demonstrates creativity with a solid foundation in basic knowledge and skills;

one who explores his/her career paths on the basis of broad intellectual knowledge and skills in diverse academic disciplines;
one who creates new values on the basis of an understanding of the national culture;
one who contributes to the community he/she lives in on the basis of democratic citizenship.
The aim is to provide education centered on students' abilities and aptitudes, fostering sound values and creativity and developing self-initiative in order to adapt to globalization and the information age.
This presentation considers the effectiveness of drama in achieving these goals, by developing well-rounded, creative, knowledgeable, skillful, and independent citizens who understand their national culture.
But ...
Why should I use drama?
How can I use drama?
What do I need to know?
Do I need to be an actor?
It's OK!
Step by step ....
Start with mime.
Try out some Theatre Games.
Then try action stories.
Move on to role-plays.
Let students improvise.
How about Readers' Theatre?
Students can write short scripts.
They can perform to each other.
Then you can put on a drama event.
Make a video!
Drama in EFL
Drama makes use of all four skills.

Drama provides a variety of contexts for language use.
Drama creates contexts with feeling, meaning and motivation.
Drama brings us closer to ‘real’ experiences because it engages us in human, fictitious contexts.
Drama helps us not just to use language but to experience our use of language.
Children love being part of something
Preparing a play together is a bonding experience.  
All the children are involved and contribute to the final outcome.
Children want to belong.
Being part of a play allows
that to happen.

Why use drama in EFL?
You don't have time NOT to use ESL plays.  
Drama is not an addition to your teaching, but a method of teaching more effectively.  
It does not matter if you can't act.
The children will be doing the acting.
And they are the experts!
Theatre Games
Benefits of drama in EFL
1. Aside from direct benefits for learning English, creative drama makes students more skilled and more rounded individuals.
A three-year study funded by the Guggenheim museum in 2006, Teaching Literacy through Art, showed that including arts education increases literacy skills in elementary school students.
Students involved in these programs also "scored higher on expression, risk-taking, creativity, imagination and cooperative learning."  
Benefits of drama
4. Drama promotes active learning, enriching and reinforcing the more traditional school experiences.
7. It's authentic. Using drama enables children to use English in real conversations.
5. Most children are excited by the idea of performing in front of others. 
6. In terms of EFL, drama and children are a winning combination.
3. they give children the opportunity to learn to work together and to be part of something, to belong in a group and to develop tolerance and empathy as they begin to see the world from different perspectives. 
Benefits of Drama
2. English plays provide practical experience in communicating.
Benefits of drama
Benefits of drama in EFL
8. The conversational use of language in an EFL play promotes fluency.
While learning a play, children listen to and repeat their lines over a period of time.
By repeating the words and phrases they become familiar with them and are able to say them with increasing fluency.
9. EFL Drama teaches children to enunciate their words and to project their voices, helping them to become clear and confident speakers.
Benefits of EFL drama
10. Drama helps to improve the understanding and retention of language.
By the time a child has read, rehearsed and acted a scene using on the phrase "I've forgotten my..." there is little likelihood of ever forgetting how to use it in context.
Benefits of drama in EFL
11. Active participation in an EFL drama involves intellect, imagination, and emotions.  
12. By encouraging self-expression, drama motivates children to use language confidently and creatively.
13. Drama encourages different learning styles - visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile.  
Hearing the lines, seeing the actions, feeling the props, acting out movements and using expression all make the lesson a far richer one.
Benefits of drama in EFL
14. EFL plays are ideal for mixed ability groups.
Children whose language skills are limited can be given fewer lines, or they can communicate using nonverbal cues such as body movements and facial expressions.
Psychological benefits
We get involved with putting on a play, as well as learning English.
We have fun, and the students learn by doing.
The students get great joy out of performing.
The audience, even the mothers and fathers who don’t speak English, are delighted to see the performance.
We give the students a taste of success.
Through Drama, English becomes a living experience of communication.’
Psychological benefits

Books written by Dr. Finch for ELT in Korea

Books that can be downloaded – for no charge. These books
are in MS Word and PDF format. Teachers can open the MS Word files and use them as templates, changing the text as they wish.

Drama resources

ELT videos

ELT teaching links

Media and software links

Educational software

Discussion-related links
Practical Teaching Resources

Great links hosted by the Internet TESL Journal

330 grammar topics, hosted by the University of Victoria, Canada

A comprehensive site for language learning

Grammar Bytes

English 4 U
nglish Specialist
Grammar exercises:

Javascript Activities for ESL Students.

Dave Sperling’s ESL Quiz Center

ESL grammar quizzes

Karin’s ESL Partyland: The Quiz Center

EnglishClub.com: ESL Quizzes

Thank you for your time!
Professor of English Education (retired)
Teachers' College, Kyungpook National University

2000 Ph.D. Manchester University, UK
1996 M.Ed, Manchester University
1994 Certificate in ESP, ELC, London
1993 Diploma in ELT, ELC, London
1976 PGCE, University of Birmingham, UK
1972 MA, Music, University of Bristol, UK
1971 BA, Music, University of Bristol
Full transcript