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Process Drama for intercultural language learning

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Process Drama for intercultural language learning at an advanced level of proficiency Presentation given by Erika Piazzoli at AFMLTA conference Sydney 2009

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Process Drama for intercultural language learning

  1. 1. PROCESS DRAMA for intercultural language learning at an advanced level of proficiency Erika C. Piazzoli Honours in Applied Theatre In collaboration with the School of Languages & Linguistics Griffith University, Brisbane
  2. 2. OVERVIEW OF PRESENTATION  Introduce process drama pedagogy and theoretical framework of the study  Discuss research design  Findings: 1. Intercultural awareness 2. Spontaneous communication 3. Process drama for FL teachers  Present conclusions from research  Q&A
  3. 3. WHAT IS PROCESS DRAMA?  An improvised dramatic form based on the ‘ongoing negotiation of meaning’ (O’Toole, 1992)  Students and teacher co-create a story, developed through a sequence of scenarios, interwoven in ‘a web of meaning’ (Kao & O’Neill, 1998)  Intercultural language learning: interpretation and meaning-making (Byram, 1999); teachers of meaning (Kramsch, 2008)
  4. 4. PROCESS DRAMA AS A PEDAGOGY  1960: drama as a tool for self-development and creativity (Slade, 1954; Way, 1959)  1970: drama in education pedagogy (Bolton, 1979; Heathcote, 1984) embraced to teach other disciplines. Cecily O’Neill coins the term ‘process drama’ (1995)  1998: process drama is applied to FLT (Kao & O’Neill) Empirical study ESL Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. Other studies (Araki-Metcalfe 2001, 2007; Marschke 2004; Stinson, 2006, 2007) PROCESS DRAMA → COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE
  5. 5. INTERCULTURAL AWARENESS MODEL “Awareness of experiencing otherness... Fleming: process drama as tool for intercultural awareness (1998, 2003) ... to de-centre from one’s cultural codes, resulting in a transformation of consciousness” (Alred, Byram & Fleming, 2003)
  6. 6. STRUCTURE OF PROCESS DRAMA IMPROVISED CONTENT vs STRUCTURED FRAMEWORK picture, a story, scene from a movie, discussion poem... linguistic reflection build on pre- text to get in role within context PD conventions to explore the reality of the context ... TO ACHIEVE AN EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVE
  7. 7. OVERVIEW OF THE COURSE Objective: reflect on some socio-cultural issues of contemporary Italy Theme (chosen by students ) Pretext Protesting as collective action in Opening paragraph of “Sotto Italy paga” play (Fo & Rame, 2008) Italian sense of humour embedded A catalogue from an Italian in sarcasm supermarket Issues of integration of Roma Photo of a Roma child people in Italy Temporary worker as collective Card with a poem of St Precarious identity for Italian youth Cycles of politics and corruption: A scene from the film: “Il Caimano” Italian collective pessimism by N. Moretti (2006) The stereotype of bigotry A current affair article
  8. 8. OVERVIEW of MY RESEARCH (PIAZZOLI 2008)  Objective: identify strategies to enhance intercultural awareness in a FL classroom using process drama  Course: 3rd year Italian FL Griffith University / Aim: reflect on socio-cultural issues of contemporary Italy. Reading: “Sotto paga! Non si paga” (Fo & Rame, 2008)  Participants: 12 students /18 to 65 years old  Structure: 2hr weekly process drama on a socio-cultural theme emerging from the play. After the workshop: communicative forum to choose next theme  Action research tools: video recordings, teacher/researcher reflective journal, transcripts of communicative forums, 10 individual interviews, concept mapping diagrams, focus group
  9. 9. MANIPULATION OF DISTANCE AS A STRATEGY  Distance: the perception between student and character  Distance as a continuum (Eriksson, 2007)  Manipulating distance: increasing to de-centre and decreasing to empathise with a character / situation EMPATHY DETACHMENT - +
  10. 10. 1. DECREASING DISTANCE: EMPATHISING  Teacher In Role: the child  Relaxation & narration  Freeze Frame of life in camp  ... “That just broke my heart... [emotional] you were so tiny and so like... the way that I could... really feel what this people have to go through...” (Sarah)
  11. 11. 2. INCREASING DISTANCE: DE-CENTRING Distancing strategy: introducing an EXTERNAL CULTURAL MODEL, not related to students’ culture, nor to the target culture (Heathcote & Bolton, 1998) Example: Japanese journalists In Italy
  12. 12. INCREASING DISTANCE: WORKSHOP EXAMPLE ROLE CARDS  Pretext: ‘Sotto paga’ opening NAME: Eiko Arai passage: the protest AGE: 41  Establishing context: Japanese PERSONALITY: gossip-prone journalists. Cultural value system EXPERIENCE: 23 years as janitor in an Italo-Japanese school in  Hand out cards / hot-seat Tokyo; 3 months as assistant  Teacher In Role: magazine director writer for an Italian magazine addressing employees NAME: Norichika Aoki  Prepare the interview in groups AGE: 68 PERSONALITY: shy, quiet  ... EXPERIENCE: 30 years as plastic surgeon for Japanese VIP in Rome; 1 year as writer for ‘Italia qui’.
  13. 13. PARTICIPANTS’ COMMENTS “I guess, as an Italian student I’m… biased... because I really like Italy so I don’t see the faults so much, maybe... but when you’re kind of forced to look at it from an outsider’s perspective...” (Emi) “I think I’ve glamorized Italian culture and [this course] has taken a little bit of the glamour out of Italy for me... but... I feel like I’m better equipped...” (Sarah) “This subject helped me to have that broader understanding of Italy as a culture, as a nation… as a… group of people! (Tina)
  14. 14. FINDING I: INTERCULTURAL AWARENESS Through strategies of manipulation of distance some of the participants experienced:
  15. 15. FINDING II: PROCESS DRAMA & FLUENCY
  16. 16. FINDING III: TEACHING PROCESS DRAMA DRAMA-TEACHING vs. FL TEACHING: UNDERSTANDING and OPERATING through the AESTHETIC DIMENSION
  17. 17. CONCLUSIONS  PD pedagogy generates high MOTIVATION TO COMMUNICATE in the target language  Combination of distancing strategies can be an effective approach for INTERCULTURAL LANGUAGE LEARNING (advanced proficiency)  MORE RESEARCH needed to enable FL teachers to understand and intuitively operate within the AESTHETIC DIMENSION of drama teaching
  18. 18. THANK YOU

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