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TESOL Tips for Teaching English with Drama

发表时间:2021-10-21 14:14作者:TESOL in China

Do you have any tips about teaching English with Drama? After experimenting and learning with English teachers from many different countries and cultures, here are some of my most useful tips. All of these tips are simple, adaptable and easy to implement while teaching English with Drama.

Think of the skills, not just the performance

A performance is a reflection of the preparation. Learners who spent time developing their skills: language skills, (body + voice), performance skills, and soft skills will shine through during the performance. Ensure that there are plenty of activities and games related to developing those skills during preparation rather than only reading lines.

Guide the class through the questions

“Can you hear that? What's over there? Why do you think the dragon is angry?” A drama activity can be led through questions; rather than telling learners to do something, guide them through an activity with questions.

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Give choices

Part of being creative means to be able to choose between different options or create new ideas. Sometimes during an activity, there can be more than 1 way;   imagine walking through a story with your learners and you need to get to a castle, you can ask “shall we walk or run?”. Check out the difference between open and closed questions for more ideas.

Imagination

Imagination is a powerful tool that teachers can use to engage learners through an interactive learning experience.

When we use our imagination, what we experience is related to our senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste). Asking our learners to use their imagination can be as simple as saying, “look at this picture, what can you see? Imagine you are in that place, what else could you see? What might you hear or smell?”.

In relation to narrative, asking our learners to use their imagination we can say, “what do you think happens next in the story?”.

Remember, as a teacher you can use the collective imagination of your learners.

Questions, questions, questions

Give your learners lots of opportunities to answer questions and respond with an imaginative idea. Use divergent or open questions, these kinds of questions have more than one answer, and will really encourage learners to respond with their personal ideas.

Show the clock + set a time

Give your learners the opportunity to manage their own time (or at least, let them think they are). One idea is to show a timer or stopwatch to let them know how much time they have to do a group task.

Another is to verbally tell them they have "5 minutes" to complete the task, you may schedule 7 minutes in total but after 5, you can say "would you like 2 more minutes?". Often, they’ll think you have been kind, by giving them more time, they will finish the task and feel like their work is important.

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