Presentation on theme: "Drama for English Language Learners"— Presentation transcript:
1 Drama for English Language Learners Wendy K. MagesHarvard Graduate School of Education
2 Drama & Language Theory Research “Being ‘exposed’ to a flow of language is not nearly so important as using it in the midst of doing” (Bruner, 1990, p. 70)Research3 Meta-Analyses indicate drama does affect language development(Conard, 1992; Kardash & Wright, 1987; Podlozny, 2000)So why do educators and administrators remain unconvinced of the relevance of drama in early childhood education?Don’t Read It (hard to locate) or Can’t Interpret ItInterdisciplinary nature of DRAMA researchDifficult to synthesize the findingsScholars note that much drama research is marred by methodological flawsFlaws limit the interpretability of researchThis may prevent educators and administrators from using this research as the basis for curricular programming.
3 Why is Drama Beneficial for Language Acquisition? Provides a context for language useDrama simultaneously engages the mind, the body, and the emotions
5 First Stanza of the Poem There were a few dozen who occupied the fieldacross the road from where we lived,stepping all day from tuft to tuft,their big heads down in the soft grass,though I would sometimes pass a windowand look out to see the field suddenly emptyas if they had taken wing, flown off to another country.
6 A “Taste” of Drama Sample a number of drama strategies Experience what it is like to be a student in a drama class
7 Drama Teaching Techniques FreezeEnsures safety of participantsSide CoachingListen to the words I useI will try to coach you with my voiceNo Right or WrongCreates safe environment for explorationEncourages participation
8 Strategy: Walk About Techniques Rationale Fast & Slow Heavy & Light Large & SmallHigh & LowRationaleEngage participantsDramatizing vocabularyAids comprehensionAids retentionI used vocabulary from the poem
9 Strategy: Character Walk TechniquesLead with your headLead with your ToesLead with one shoulderEtc.RationaleEncourages whole body engagementTeaches vocabulary for body parts
10 Strategy: Greetings Techniques Rationale Hello Goodbye Introductions Use just your eyesUse your head and faceUse your head, face, and voiceGoodbyeTouch feetTouch elbowsIntroductionsFormalInformalRationaleBegin collaborative workTeaches basic greetings in contextTeaches informal and formal introductions
11 Strategy: Statues Technique Rationale Number off by twos Use your whole body to show meHappySadWar (view museum)Peace (view museum)RationaleEngage body in vocabulary development
12 Strategy: Group Sculpture Tableaux TechniqueAs a group build a sculpture of a wordSculptures:Waiting for RainShockingMysteriousPainRationaleEncourage collaborationVocabulary development
13 Strategy: Word Symphony TechniqueDistribute words from textAllow students to experience the sound of the wordsConduct the word symphonyRationaleEncourage students to explore the sound of wordsIntroduces vocabulary from the text
14 Strategy: Choral Reading TechniqueShow first stanza of poemDistribute lines of the poemDiscuss line meaning in small groupsStudents collaborate to perform poemRationaleIntroduces text interpretationIntroduces text performancePromotes comprehension