Techniques to teach drama in a language classroom


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Teaching Drama:
Techniques to Teach Drama in a Language Classroom
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Techniques to teach drama in a language classroom

  1. 1. Language through Literature:Drama Teaching Drama:Techniques to Teach Drama in a Language Classroom By Rajeev Ranjan English Language Teacher B.ED(ENG)& PGDTE English and Foreign Languages University, HyderabadEmail. Id:- 1
  2. 2. IVANOVA monologue from the play by Anton Chekhov This translation by Marian Fell was first published in 1912 by Charles Scribners Sons, New York. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties. 2
  3. 3. IVANOV: I used to have a workman calledSimon, you remember him. Once, atthreshing time, to show the girls how stronghe was, he loaded himself with two sacks ofrye, and broke his back. He died soon after. Ithink I have broken my back also. First I wentto school, then to the university, then camethe cares of this estate, all my plans--I didnot believe what others did; did not marryas others did; I worked passionately, riskedeverything; no one else, as you know, threwtheir money away to right and left as I did. SoI heaped the burdens on my back, and itbroke. We are all heroes at twenty, ready toattack anything, to do everything, and atthirty are worn-out, useless men. Only aman equally miserable and suffering, as Paulis, could love or esteem me now. Good God!How I loathe myself! How bitterly I hate myvoice, my hands, my thoughts, these clothes,each step I take! How ridiculous it is, howdisgusting! Less than a year ago I was healthy 3
  4. 4. and strong, full of pride and energy andenthusiasm. I worked with these hands here,and my words could move the dullest man totears. I could weep with sorrow, and growindignant at the sight of wrong. I could feelthe glow of inspiration, and understand thebeauty and romance of the silent nights whichI used to watch through from evening untildawn, sitting at my work-table, and givingmy soul up to dreams. I believed in a brightfuture then, and looked into it as trustfully asa child looks into its mothers eyes. Andnow ... oh, I am tired and without hope; Ispend my days and nights in idleness; I haveno control over my feet and brain. My estateis ruined; my woods are falling under theblows of the axe. And what can I think of mytreatment of Sarah? I promised her love andhappiness forever; I opened her eyes to thepromise of a future such as she had neverdreamed of. She believed me, and though forfive years I have seen her sinking under the 4
  5. 5. weight of her sacrifices to me, and losing herstrength in her struggles with her conscience,God knows she has never given me one angrylook, or uttered one word of reproach. Whatis the result? That I dont love her! She issuffering; her days are numbered; yet I flylike a contemptible coward from her whiteface, her sunken chest, and her pleading eyes.What is the matter with me? I cantunderstand it. The easiest way out would be abullet through the head! 5
  6. 6. Drama is specific mode of fictionrepresented in performance. It is animportant genre. It consists of variousemotions. Drama is a potentialresource to create wonderful activitiesto maximize language learning in theclassroom with full of fun. Languagelearning should be a matter of fun. It istotally non-serious thing. Pupil shouldenjoy a drama class.Activity for Teaching Language throughDramaA teacher can use different strategies forteaching English through Drama in alanguage classroom. It depends on teachers’creativity, his/her innovative mind. These 6
  7. 7. activities will suit for Intermediate levelstudents in Indian context.A Warm-up GameTask OneObjective: To provoke interest in thelearners about a play.Teacher will divide the class into groups.S/he asks learners to come up on thestage .One learner will act like a hero of afamous movie and s/he enacts mime of aparticular scene and rest of the learners willguess the scene. If a group guesses the rightanswers within a stipulated time, let us say, 2minutes, they will be given one point.Task Two 7
  8. 8. Objective: To develop Listening andSpeaking skills.Teacher divides learners in pairs and askslearners to talk on mobile phone on anytopic. Teacher will instruct about time slotfor this activity. In this activity, learners arefree to say whatever they like, but the otherswill have to retain what is said by thespeaker and continue the conversationaccordingly.Task Three: Part oneSpeaking TasksObjective: To develop Speaking Skills. 8
  9. 9. Teacher will write this sentence “I did notbelieve what others did” on the black board.Now teacher asks learners to work in pairs,discuss on this sentence for five minutes,write your friend and your own points in yournotebook and then one of them will speakabout his/her view point in this topic. Teacherwill give some guiding questions which helpsthe learners to think on this topic like What do you think about this statement? Do we believe others?  In what sense has the speaker said this? Is the speaker happy or sad? Why do you think so?  Do we follow others?  Do we follow others blindly? 9
  10. 10.  Is the speaker a courageous and strong minded person?  In what context did the speaker give this statement?Task Three :Part TwoObjective: Develop Speaking Skillsthrough promoting group discussion in theclass.“We are all heroes at twenty, ready toattack anything, to do everything, and atthirty are worn-out, useless men”.Teacher divides learners into four groups andgives each group a distinct name fromscholars, players, famous leaders, and famous 10
  11. 11. leaders. Chair will be arranged as a roundtable. Each group will select a leader. Theywill discuss in their own group, later onleader of each group will speak to the wholeclass. Teacher gives ten minutes to discussand 4-5 minutes to speak. Teacher monitorsthe whole class, move around the group, andchecks whether everyone is participating inthis discussion or not. Teacher will guidestudents and try to make conscious them onsome points by giving guiding questions. • Is it true in real life situation? • Why does he think like this? • Is he pessimistic or optimistic? What do you think? Give reasons. You can say what do you really think and find in your life? There is nothing like wrong and right points. 11
  12. 12. • Is he a happy or sad person? How would you say so?Task FourWriting TasksTask Four: Part oneObjective: To develop Writing Skills.What kind of person was Ivanov? Discusswith your friend and write 100 wordsabout his character. 12
  13. 13. This activity will enable the learners todevelop writing skill. It will increase peerinteractions and peer correction in the class.Teacher asks learners to work in pairs andwrite 100 words about Ivanov’s character. Itis a 10-minute activity. Teacher will asklearners to exchange their note book withother classmates’ note and make necessarychange like write correct words, grammar etc.Teacher helps the learners with some guidingquestions.Teacher presents another piece of welldeveloped model of characterization. It willhelp learners, what should be the gradation ofthe characterization. They will be able to putright information about a character.Task four :Part Two 13
  14. 14. Ivanov talks so much about his wife. Whatkind of wife she is? Is she devoted to herhusband or is she a cheater? Talk to yourpartner about Ivanov’s wife and write herwife’s characteristic features in about 5owords.Task Four: Part ThreeDo you believe in love or arranged marriage?Suppose you are going to marry very soon.You are looking for a number of qualities inyour wife/husband. Write an article in about150 words on your Ideal husband/ Wife. 14
  15. 15. You can discuss with your friend. You shouldinclude all these points like: • Physical beauty: fair, black , long , short ,lean and thin , fatty • Behavioral quality: talkative, friendly, caring, devoted, faithful, introvert, extrovert etc. • Educational qualifications • Family background • Any other qualities you would like to mention.Task FiveTask Five :Part one 15
  16. 16. Grammar: Past TenseTeacher reads a biography of famous personin which many past incidents have beenincluded like his habits, his interest, and hislikes and dislikes etc. Teacher asks thelearners to listen carefully. The text will beshort so the interest of the learners issustained. Now teacher asks learners to list allhis habits, likes, dislikes and his activitywhich were mentioned in the text. Thenteacher explains rule of past tense by usingelicitation technique in the class. Further theteacher will ask students to collect all theseinformation about Ivanov from the text. Itwill directly connect the learners to presentknowledge e.g. I worked passionately, so Iheaped the burdens on my back. 16
  17. 17. Teacher gives clear instruction to thestudents, about time and what are they goingto do.Task Five Part TwoVocabularyObjective: To enable the learners to identifydifferent types of feelings like happiness andsadness used in the text. Many words have been used in this text,which have negative meaning or whichdenote negative quality of a person, like‘miserable and suffering, hate, bitterly etc.Can you list them into your notebook? 17
  18. 18. Many words have been used in the textwhich has positive meaning. Some of thesewords show positive aspects of human beingslike happiness, confidence. Can you listthem?Task Five :Part twoAfter above mentioned tasks, the studentswill have sound knowledge of the meaning ofthe words in the text. Now teacher gives somewords and asks learners to give antonyms.  Give antonyms of these words. One has been done for you. Strong-weakback, passionately, believe, love, bitterly,ridiculous, healthy, control, bright future,hope, forever, strength, coward, conscience. 18
  19. 19.  A word can have similar meanings like, believe- faith. Can you give some synonym for these words? You can consult dictionary or you can ask your friend. You can work in pairs.Remember, strong, passionately, miserable,esteem, enthusiasm, bitterly, angry, coward.  One word can be used as a noun, verb, adverb, adjectives etc. It depends on the context.Passion1. [n] - a feeling of strong sexual desire2. [n] - strong feeling or emotion ,Synonym: Feeling, Emotion. 19
  20. 20. StruggleStruggle Strug"gle, n. Great labor; forcibleeffort to obtain an object, or to avert an evilSynonym: Endeavor; effort; contest; labor;difficultyThese are some words from the text. Chooseten words of your choice from the lists ofwords. Consult a dictionary and write theirdifferent types of use in different functionslike noun, adjectives, adverb etc. You can talkto your friend.Objective: To develop word power. 20
  21. 21. Back, believe, passionately, miserable andsuffering, love or esteem bitterly, ridiculous,disgusting! healthy , strong, energy,enthusiasm, sorrow, beauty , romance,silent bright future , trustfully , hope,idleness, control ruined, promised, forever,believed , sacrifices, strength struggles,conscience, angry., Suffering, contemptible,coward, pleading.Reading ComprehensionComprehension Questions Who was his work man? What he did to show a girl that he is strong? Why did not he believe in others? 21
  22. 22. What was his profession? (i) Carpenter (ii) soldier (iii) doctor (iv) teacher. Give your reason to support your answer. He said "I believed in a bright future." What does it mean? If he is an optimistic, why did he use so many words like unhappy, disgusting etc? What did he promise his wife? Is he able to keep his promise? Is his wife an angry woman? How can you say? Support your answer. In the second last line, he uttered this sentence. "What is the matter with me? I cant understand it." Do you understand his problems? Discuss with your friend and write your answer.Select ten important words from this paragraph and write a summary in fifty words. “The easiest way out would be a bullet through the head” this is the last statement of Ivanov. Did he suicide himself? 22
  23. 23.  There are two types of emotion expressed in this text. Can you identify them? Do we have only two types of emotions happy and sad? Do you know any different kind of emotion? Discuss with your friend and write the answer in fifty words.Conclusion: In fact many activities can be created on thistext. But I have created very few on based ofmy experience, we can implement these tasksat Intermediate Level in ESL context. EnglishLanguage Teacher should design activitiesaccording to the age, social background,understanding level of learners. It can 23
  24. 24. maximize learning English Language in theclassroom.References: • Dougill, John (1987). Drama Activities for Language Learning. London: Macmillan • Johnson, K. & Morrow K. [Ed] (1981). Communication in the Classroom. London: Longman • Blatchford, Roy [Ed] (1986). The English Teachers Handbook. London: Hutchinson • Maley, A. & Duff A (1982). Drama Teaching in Language Learning. London: CUP • The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. X, No. 10, October 2004 24
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