TEACHING ENGLISH THROUGH THEATRE AND WORKSHOP FOR TEATCHERS
We believe that the world can be a better place thanks to education. This is especially visible in Africa. More and more people, who never finished school wants an education for their children. They know that the education given by the system is not sufficient enough, and doesn’t provide for a better future. Ela and Jurek’s authorial program has been a foundation for the development of a program for the countries of the global south with local teachers. As you read this the first version is currently being revised and perfected (written by Ella) - a program for teachers for teaching English through theatre and workshops.
In African countries, the most important skill which should be practiced in English language teaching is communication, the ability to speak the language. Particular emphasis should be placed on mastering vocabulary, language structures and the ability to use them in various situations as well as understanding English speakers. Grammatical correctness or the ability to read and write are of lesser significance.
The lack of textbooks and workbooks is a common problem in schools, not to mention being able to show multimedia presentations. In fact, the teacher has to rely on himself/herself. In such circumstances, the use of theatre techniques in teaching has tremendous advantages. Children learn much faster through games connected with songs, rhymes, dramatic scenes, and, on top of that, learning is much more pleasant for them and has a positive impact on their general development. It requires little material resources, only the ability to use those techniques on the part of the teachers.
TEACHING THROUGH THEATRE GAMES
1. Songs and counting rhymes - used together with picture cards make it possible to teach vocabulary and language structures
2. Manipulation of puppets (hand puppets) can be used in different ways:
- Teacher gives instructions to the puppet and the puppet follows them (enables communication in the case when the teacher and students do not know a common language in which they could communicate)
- the puppet talks to the children (talking to the puppet becomes a game, it eases stress and gives the children confidence);
- the teacher enacts scenes using puppets
- children enact scenes using puppets.
3. Drama games - improvised dialogues and enacting scenes make it possible to use the acquired vocabulary in specific places and situations. In addition, the advantage of the games is that they involve the child holistically, its emotions, intellect, body and imagination. They develop the child’s motor and language skills. They can also be used with success as motivational techniques in teaching other subjects.
PROGRAMME OF MY ACTIVITIES
1.Classes with children
- participation in my classes with children
- showing the effects of working with children (projects, mini-performances)
- workshops for teachers on the use of theatre techniques in teaching English
- developing a set of materials for teachers
Minimum: 2 puppets, picture cards, songs and counting rhymes from various CDs, a possibility to play CDs.
Other possibilities: preparing a script with songs and counting rhymes with a short description of how to use them, recording a CD (songs and counting rhymes + background music), preparing sets of picture cards
The method improve communications skills not only in English but helps children to be stronger, more open to other people and teaches the creativity and cooperation. The training for the teachers is very important part of the method. Programme is prepared and owned by Ela Drygas Poland The Wayair Foundation