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Natalia Belousova: Dogme in the classroom doing drama devised by students

The workshop demonstrates ways of effective integration of theatrical performance elements created by teenage students into a General English language course.
The participants will have a chance to analyse how a theatrical performance generated by students can allow the teacher to devolve their responsibility for classroom procedures and help students break language barriers. The combination of the main tenets of the Dogme approach with the concept of theatre as ‘mirrored life’ enables a lot of language to emerge in the classroom, giving the teacher an opportunity to work on the students’ interlanguage and cover the grammatical and lexical material prescribed by most syllabuses. The presented way of teaching can also help students fight their phobias of answering too personal questions frequently found in coursebooks, let them share what matters to them and adapt learning to their own needs. Experiencing and discussing elements of the theatre-based syllabus designed by the presenter, those attending the workshop will take a look at an alternative way of practising Dogme in the classroom.
The goal is for participants to walk away with concrete ideas for their own classes.

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Natalia Belousova: Dogme in the classroom doing drama devised by students

  1. 1. Natalia Belousova “CLASS” Study and Training Centre 26th November 2016 Moscow Dogme in the classroom: doing drama devised by students
  2. 2. Questions to answer: • Why Dogme? • Why drama? • What do Dogme and drama have to do with each other? • How did it all start? • What happened in the classroom? • Conclusions
  3. 3. Why Dogme: Issues coursebook limitations
  4. 4. Why Dogme: Issues coursebook limitations GE as English ‘for student specific purposes’
  5. 5. Why Dogme: Issues coursebook limitations mixed abilities within a group GE as English ‘for student specific purposes’
  6. 6. Why Dogme: Issues coursebook limitations mixed abilities within a group GE as English ‘for student specific purposes’ personal questions found in coursebooks
  7. 7. Why Dogme: Issues coursebook limitations mixed abilities within a group GE as English ‘for student specific purposes’ personal questions found in coursebooks lack of confidence resulting in silence
  8. 8. Why Dogme: Issues coursebook limitations mixed abilities within a group GE as English ‘for student specific purposes’ personal questions found in coursebooks lack of confidence resulting in silence
  9. 9. Why Dogme: Solutions • Dogme is about teaching that is conversation-driven; • Dogme is about teaching that is materials- light; • Dogme is about teaching that focusses on emergent language. From L. Meddings and S. Thornbury “Teaching Unplugged”, – Delta Publishing, 2009.
  10. 10. How Did It All Start
  11. 11. How Did It All Start
  12. 12. Why Drama develops creativity
  13. 13. Why Drama develops creativity destroys psychological barriers
  14. 14. Why Drama develops creativity destroys psychological barriers real life is the source of information
  15. 15. What Happened In The Classroom
  16. 16. Me again
  17. 17. Me again Andrew, 13 years old
  18. 18. Me again
  19. 19. Me again
  20. 20. Me again: Route 1. Think about it: We sometimes think of imaginary scenarios as being remote from reality – but they are often closely linkedto the changes we want to make in our life (Meddings, Thornbury, ‘Teaching Unplugged’, p.46) 2. Get it ready: No preparation required 3. Set it up: Ask the class to imagine who or what they’d like to be if not themselves. Let Ss close their eyes and imagine their ‘new version’ in detail: appearance, personality, physicality, habits, etc. 4. Let it run: When the Ss open their eyes, give them some thinking time to write their new profiles. Monitor and help with the language if necessary with each S. When they finish, tell them they are going to be interviewed by the group . 5. Round it off: Sitting in a circle, Ss ask questions to their ‘new friends’. 6. Follow-up: Ss tell what they have found out about their ‘new friends’, which is followed by delayed reformulation. 7. Home-task: Ss keep working on their character profiles.
  21. 21. What Happened In The Classroom
  22. 22. Tell me what’s in your pocket: Route 1. Think about it: To really believe in their characters, Ss need get to know themselves better. 2. Get it ready: No preparation required 3. Set it up: Ask the class to work in pairs. S1 is the coach, S2 is the trainee. The coach keeps asking ‘What’s in your pocket?’. His/her task is not to let the trainee relax. The trainee takes out objects, people, animals, feelings and personal characteristics he/she needs in her life. 4. Let it run: Ss do the task, then exchange their roles. 5. Round it off: Give Ss some silent time to remember the things their trainees took out of the pocket, write them down and make up a story about their trainees life. 6. Follow-up: Ss read each other’s stories and say whether they are true, or something is different. 7. Home-task: Ss keep working on their character profiles. They start writing diaries about their experiences through their characters’ eyes.
  23. 23. What happened? ‘…developing and exercising autonomy also implies moving beyond these safe horizons in order to realise the potential to growth or change (Dam, 1995)’
  24. 24. What happened? • There was a friendly and comfortable atmosphere in the classroom; • Ss were the source of all the information used in class; • They talked about what mattered to them; • They felt more comfortable talking about their personal lives under the mask of their character; • The emerging language was unpredictable; • The interaction was meaning-driven, not pre-set; • The teacher acted as a facilitator, provider of opportunities for output, provider of feedback (NOT transmitter) • Any other ideas? ☺
  25. 25. 1. What did you like / didn‘t you like about the lesson? I liked that it wasn't a usual English lesson but a real theatre experience. 2. Was this the first time that you had a lesson like this? How different was it from usual lessons? Yes, it was. It was completely different from usual lessons, and that's why very interesting. 5. Did you learn anything new in this lesson? If so, what (grammar, vocabulary, anything else?) Yes, of course. I learnt vocab that was closely connected with the stories from our life. 6. Did you feel tense or relaxed? Why / Why not? I felt a little bit tense because sometimes I wanted to cry when I remembered my childhood. (anon)
  26. 26. Drama Resources • Drama and Improvisation, (2009), Wilson K. OUP • 101 drama games & activities, (2007). Farmer, D. Lulu. • Drama: Resource books for teachers, (2002). Wessels, C. OUP. • Teaching English with Drama, (2007). Almond, M. Keyways Ltd. • Theater games for the classroom, (1986). Spolin, V. Northwestern University Press. • Drama techniques in language learning, (2004). Maley &: Duff. CUP • Easy plays in English, (1993). Malkoc, A. M. Prentice Happ Regents. • Drama with children, (2004). Phillips, S. OUP. • On Stage: Theater Games and Activities for Kids, (1997), Lisa Bany-Winters, Chicago Review Press
  27. 27. From D. Farmer “101 Drama Games and Activities”, – David Farmer, 2007.
  28. 28. THANK YOU! • Natasha Belousova natalie.belousova@gmail.com

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