TO BE OR NOT TO BE

Hey everyone! I hope you all have great time with your cuties. Today my post is about drama!

As you know,drama is the most important speaking activity in language learning. When they are in a role, their fear of making mistakes vanishes. They feel like someone else. Drama in foreign language learning is not a new usage. Having been used to teach foreign languages since the Middle Ages, drama plays an important role in teaching the target language and culture(Tüm,et.al.,2010). Drama has played small but consistent role in language teaching in Britain and the United States since the 1970’s (Dodson,2000). The early,most-well known advocates of drama in the L1 classroom were Heathcote and Bolton (1984) who encouraged teachers to integrate theater into what they did.

For young learners, drama is linked to their developmental stages as well.

-students behave accordingly in certain situations by direct experience,

-it develops their problem solving talent and communications skill

-it develops children’s creativity

-children can learn the grammar subconsciously

It is not just the mind but also whole body is active during the all drama activities. Drama involves children at many levels, through their bodies, minds, emotions, language and social interaction (Zalta,2006).

ADVANTAGES OF USING DRAMA WITH YOUNG LANGUAGE LEARNERS

Zalta (et. al.,2006) has stated the following reasons for using drama with young language learners. As he argues drama;

-helps children to activate language and have fun.

-encourages children to speak and gives them chance to communicate even with limited language, using nonverbal communication, such as body movements and facial expressions.

-can reduce the pressure that students feel, so they become ready to talk sooner.

-motivates children as dramatizing a text is motivating and it’s fun, thus English language skills will be developed successfully if learners are motivated.

-is familiar to children as dramatizing is part of children’s lives from an early age. They play at being adults in situations that are part of their lives. Children try out different roles in make believe play. They rehearse the language and the “script” of the situation and experience the emotions involved, knowing that they can switch back to reality whenever they want to. Such pretend play prepares children for the real-life situations they will meet later on: it is a rehearsal of the real thing. Make-believe encourages their creativity and develops their imagination and at the same time gives them the opportunity to use language that is outside their daily needs.

-helps children build confidence. By talking on a role, children can escape from their everyday identity and lose their inhibitions. 

-helps children build skills in group dynamics. Children often work in groups or pairs when dramatizing.

-allows language personalisation as dramatizing allows children to add an emotion or personality to a text that they have read or listened to. 

-helps learners learn the language in context.

-provides cross-curricular content. For instance, when using drama, your aims can be more than linguistic.

-can change the pace or mood in the classroom. It is especially appropriate for young learners’ short attention.

Gürsoy, E., Arıkan,2012, Ankara,A. Teaching English to Young Learners: An Activity-Based Guide For Prospective Teachers, Norrsken Ltd. Şti.

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