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THE ADVANTAGES OF USING DRAMA AS A METHOD OF LEARNING ENGLISH

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the-advantages-of-using-drama-as-a-method-of-learning-englishIrina Datsenko,
teacher of English,
Kaniv secondary school № 6
specializing in learning foreign languages
Kaniv Town Council Cherkasy region

“Difficulty is inevitable,
Drama is a choice.”
Anita Renfroe

 

 

Dear teachers,
In this article I want to draw your attention to such unusual but interesting and useful activity as drama. We’ll find out the importance and forms of drama, the advantages of using drama in school.

It’s a common knowledge that drama is an art form that explores human conflict and tension. It generally takes the form of a story presented to an audience through dialogue and action. The story is conveyed using the elements of the theatre: acting, costumes, props, scenery, lightning, music and sound.

Drama at the lesson uses the art form of drama as an educational pedagogy for children of all ages. It is the most significant model of learning and is a basic activity for learning. Drama is the way of helping children to think about their individual or social problems. Children can learn to explore issues, events and connections by means of drama. In drama, children draw on their knowledge and experience of the real world in order to create a make-believe world. Moreover, drama encourages children to learn how to influence others and how to put themselves in other people’s shoes. Drama has an important role to play in the personal development of our children. The skills and qualities developed by children in drama, such as teamwork, creativity, leadership and risk-taking are assets in all subjects and all areas of life. According to Gai Jones, “Theater addresses the skills which benefit children's education and development in five general areas: physical development / kinesthetic skills, artistic development / drama and theater skills, mental development / thinking skills, personal development / intra-personal skills, and social development / interpersonal skills.”

There are many forms of Drama. Here is a non-exhaustive list with a simple explanation of each:

Improvisation / Let's Pretend

A scene is set, either by the teacher or the children, and then with little or no time to prepare a script the children perform before the class.

Role Plays

Children are given a particular role in a scripted play. After rehearsal the play is performed for the class, school or parents.

Mime

Children use only facial expressions and body language to pass on a message script to the rest of the class.

Masked Drama

The main props are masks. Children then feel less inhibited to perform and overact while participating in this form of drama.

Puppet Plays

Children use puppets to say and do things that they may feel too inhibited to say or do themselves.

Performance Poetry

While reciting a poem the children are encourage to act out the story from the poem.

To this end, the advantages of using drama are as follows:

  • to help children discover that they know more than they thought they knew;
  • to lead children to see the real world more clearly in light of what is revealed by the imagined one;
  • to help children capture more and more of what is implicit in any experience;
  • to develop a tolerance for a variety of personalities and ideas.

As a final remark, from my own experience, is “The better the drama the greater the quality of the learning”.

P.S. You can spend countless hours searching the Internet for drama activities for children and teens, only to find broken links or sites that feature a handful of drama games. You can spend hundreds on books. But if you are looking for a vast amount of drama activities that are easy to use right away, you’ve found it! Just look at the end of Students’ / Pupils’ Book or Teacher’s Book of any edition produced by such brilliant publishers as Pearson, Macmillan, Cambridge University Press or Oxford University Press. All of the drama games are here, but more importantly, thanks to the workers of the company “Orfey-Ukraine” it’s not a problem to find a course which is suitable for your children.

Surely, your children and you will find drama interesting, useful, relaxing and exciting. Enjoy your teaching job!

Best regards,
Irina Datsenko

Даценко, пьеса Save the Lofty Tree

Фотогалерея
Постановка п’єси «Save the Lofty Trees»


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