What is Drama in Education?

Drama in Education (DiE) is an approach to learning which enables participants to explore new issues, scenarios and ideas through active identification with imagined roles and situations. The focus is on the process rather than performance - drama is the medium through which learning occurs rather than the end product. While performance is often involved, the focus is on what was learned as a result of performing rather than a judgement of the performance itself.

 

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Modern Fairytales

Practising narrative tenses and developing speaking skills through storytelling.

Learning a second language through drama provides a rich environment in which to try out new vocabulary, explore grammatical concepts, practise meaningful communication and fully engage mind, body and emotions in the learning process. Reading, writing, listening and speaking can be integrated naturally through drama and developed in new and creative ways. There are many wonderful drama-based pedagogies which take an embodied approach to language learning, including Performative Language Teaching, Drama Grammer and Grammar in Motion.

Soundscapes

Finding our voices through play and creativity. This audio was created by my students using just their voices and bodies.

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Patchwork Poems

Creating and performing original works by cutting and pasting favourite song lyrics and poetry.

.My own approach to teaching languages through drama draws a little from each of these areas as well as incorporating improvisation and voicework. A typical class (groups, one-to-one, online or face to face) consists of breath and voice work to enhance pronunciation, improvisation games to promote fluency, spontaneity and confidence in speaking, and embodied grammar activities to explore the rules of language within a physical, emotional context.  Courses and workshops also involve devising and performing scenes together and working with poetry and song lyrics to develop reading and writing skills. The wonderful thing about drama is that each class and course is unique: the students and teachers I work with bring their own interpretation and creativity to the learning process so no two classes are ever the same.

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Embodying Grammar:

Creating poses to explore our relationship to our own past, present and future alongside the grammatical rules.

       Recommended Reading for the Curious:

 

  • Embodying Language in Action by Erika Piazzoli

  • Drama Grammar by Susanne Even

  • Imaginative Grammar by Jean-Reimi Lapaire

  • Drama Worlds by Cecily O Neill

  • Putting Process Drama into Action by B.Heap and P. Bowell

  • The Process of Drama by John O Toole

  • Scenario journal

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