Sunday, March 10, 2013

Acting =Understanding: Additional Tips for Using Theater in Foreign Language/ESL classrooms

Hello All,
I have some more great ways to use acting in Foreign Language/ESL classrooms.

  1. Have your students act out a conversation in front of the class
  2. Have a presenter come to your class and discuss material your students are learning about in class or if you want have a performer come do a traditional dance, song, etc. to give your students a closer look at the culture of the language they are learning.

*Please note I am using Spanish examples and pictures, merely because that is the foreign language I am the most familiar with.  I am not biased.  Any ESL or Foreign Language class can use these tips.

1. Students Act Out a Conversation

This can be done in two ways:

  •   Either you give them the scripted conversation by writing one yourself and printing it out for your students or by having them use a conversion from the book (these are especially good options for introducing new vocabulary/ beginning courses)
  • Or you can have them write their own script (this is more advanced and therefore should only be given at the end of the term or in an advanced class)
Students will become more comfortable speaking the language and pronouncing it the way it should be pronounced within a natural conversation.  This can be very fun!  Get into in and maybe have your students use props.

2. Presenter/Performer Come to Your Class

Exposing your students to a person who regularly speaks this language, they can understand what it would be like to travel to a different country and speak the language to other natives.  Also, I think it would be fantastic if the presenter could demonstrate some kind of talent regarding their culture, other than tell interesting stories and answer questions students may have.  

For instance, if they were Spanish they could dance a traditional Spanish dance, with the long flowing dresses or male costume, depending on their gender.  Or any other talent that may be prominent in any other culture and language that they may be representing.

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

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