Using drama in the English class
According to the late John Haycraft, English teaching Theater (ETT) “…makes students aware that English is not just words, structures and idioms but a lively, dramatic and versatile means of communication. It emphasizes too, that learning and teaching can and should be pleasurable” (Case and Wilson 2003, 4).
Drama offers an excellent opportunity for students to develop fluency in English and it is concerned with both the “performance” and the process of language learning. Using drama in the classroom gives children who are shy when speaking a foreign language a character to “hide behind.” Using it also means that the children would become actively involved in a script since they are engaged to perform characters, which in term imply personalization, making the use of the foreign language more meaningful and unforgettable than simply drilling or mechanical repetition.
Drama helps children to activate language and have fun since it encourages the children to speak and gives them the chance to communicate, even with limited language, using nonverbal communication, such as body movements and facial expressions. The use of drama can also reduce considerably the pressure that students feel when speaking the foreign language.All in all, we can say that using drama activities in an English class will lead students to:
– Acquire English by listening to instructions.
– Be active and enjoying doing things in English.
– Use nonverbal clues to interpret meaning.
– Get used to understanding general meaning.
– Be ready for spoken interaction.
– Absorb good pronunciation and intonation patterns.