Sunday, March 10, 2013

Acting is Communication: Tips for Foreign Language/ESL Classes

Hello All,
This post is for Foreign Language and English as Second Language teachers.  These classes can be pretty difficult to teach, especially without using some form of theater, because communicating ideas to students in an effective manner is a challenge.

Students who are just learning a language, whether it is English speaking students learning a foreign language or ESL students who may speak a variety of their own native languages, can feel lost and overwhelmed by new vocabulary.

Lets use acting!  

By acting out new vocabulary for your students you will greatly improve their understanding by simply completing an action for them and repeating the vocabulary word at the same time.

Many of you probably already incorporate this into your classroom, but there are always new ways to use this tactic and perhaps you want to use it more frequently.

Acting vocabulary out works best when introducing new words to your students.


I have a wonderful video of a Spanish teacher who uses acting to show her class what the words, dormir (to sleep), cantar (to sing), and bailar (to dance) to an introductory class.  This video is 17 minutes long, but the part where this happens is at 4:26.

Here's the link:

 I do recommend watching more of it, if not all of it because it does offer great tips for pacing as well.  The teacher switches between activities often, making it seem like there is constantly something happen, thus she does not lose the attention of her students nearly as often if she did not use this technique.

This video along with using acting includes many other hands-on activities that can wonderful to get students energized and moving.  These activities do not require a lot of text-based work, so this video is especially helpful for classrooms in which there are not enough funds for a complete class set of books.  Great lesson plans on a limited budget!

As for ESL students, you can use this same strategy and even make your students feel comfortable by asking what the words for sleeping, singing, and dancing in their languages are?

That's all for now.
Aliana ~Theater Lover~
Future Teacher

No comments:

Post a Comment