Using Drama Activities and
Techniques for Teaching English
MISS. UNYARUT RORNSUK
What is Drama ?
Drama is a unique tool to explore and express human
Drama is an essential form of behavior in all cultures, it is
a fundamental human activity.
Drama is a discrete skill in itself (acting,theatre, refined
There are many points of using drama
activities and techniques
Entertaining and fun.
It can provide motivation to learn.
It can provide varied opportunities for
different uses of language.
It can provide rich experience of language
for the participants.
Drama is a highly valued teaching method
In dramatic activities, students use and examine
their present knowledge in order to induce new
knowledge. Bolton (1985)
James Hoetker (1969) contends that drama
increases creativity, originality, sensitivity, fluency,
flexibility, emotional stability, cooperation, and
examination of moral attitudes, while developing
communication skills and appreciation of
Drama assists in the development of :
The use of imagination
Powers of creative self expression
Decision making and problem solving skills
Understanding of self and the world
Self confidence, a sense of worth and respect and
consideration for others.
Why using drama in EFL classroom?
To make language learning an active, motivating
To help learners gain the confidence and self
esteem needed to use the language spontaneously.
To bring the real world into the classroom (problem
solving, research, consulting dictionaries, real time
and space, cross-curricular content).
Helps learners acquire language by focusing on the
message they are conveying, not the form of their utterance.
To stimulate learners' intellect and imagination.
To develop students' ability to empathize with
thus become better communicators.
How can drama or dramatic activities be used
in ELT ?
There are several type of Drama. Here is a list with a simple
explanation are as follows :
Improvisation / Let's Pretend
A scene is set, either by the teacher or the
students, and then with little or no time to prepare a
script the students perform before the class.
It helps actors learn :
to listen to the other characters.
to think on their feet.
to use props and move on stage.
to use an “outside voice” with enough
volume to be heard.
to stay in character, to concentrate on the
to discover the meaning of the scene they
2. Role Plays
Students are given a particular role in a scripted
play. After rehearsal the play is performed for
the class, school or parents.
Students use only facial expressions and body language
to pass on a message script to the rest of the class.
4. Masked Drama
The main props are masks. Students then feel less
inhibited to perform and overact while participating in
this form of drama.
Students are given specific parts to play with a formal
script. Using only their voices they must create the full
picture for the rest of the class.
5. Puppet Plays
Students use puppets to say and do things
that they may feel too inhibited to say or do
6. Performance Poetry
While reciting a poem the students are encourage to act
out the story from the poem.
7. Radio Drama
Similar to script reading with the addition of other
sound affects, The painting of the mental picture is
A simulation as case study where students become
participants in an event and shape the course of the event.
The students have roles, functions, duties , and
responsibilities within a structured situation involving
Drama is an appealing teaching strategy which promotes
cooperation, collaboration, as well as emotional
Drama connect the gap between course-book dialogues
and natural usage.
Drama can also help to connect a similar gap between
the classroom and real life.