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Teaching English through drama

Posted by Mrs Sawsen Abid on December 16 2017, 20:16pm

Categories: #Spotlight on English Tunisia

      Hello everyone, I am a Senior English teacher in a  pioneer prep school in Tunisia.  In this article I intend to consider the acquisition and teaching language skills  through the techniques of drama , and to show how such techniques can enhance the effect and quality of teaching English as a foreign language.
It’s quite obvious today that we –educators must innovate new ideas to motivate students and engage them more in learning and developing the new 21st century skills, including innovation, creativity, computing, critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving, presentation, communication, and  leadership. When we innovate now, we are equipping our thinkers of tomorrow by mastering such life skills with which they may reach out and succeed.
However, we live in a quite busy stressful world with frequent distractions and many things to think about : Computers, internet, smart phones, video games, and  social websites  making our world  in constant motion. Besides students have burdens from their homes, too . In fact, students entering the classroom  are thinking about a thousand things: did I get my homework done? What will I have for lunch?  Why did I fail to download that application? Will I manage to be on time for my favourite  TV programme? And many more questions. All this makes learning  a compulsory task, they can never escape.
But  when they come into classroom, we _ teachers expect them to be ready to receive and retain information easily. But how can students do this with so many things in their minds. What’s even worse, some teachers are totally  indifferent : “I’m more stressed, I’m busier”, I’m simply overwhelmed, they’ve got duties to do whatever happens:They got no other choice”. Which  I think  is absolutely wrong. Indeed , we’re here today for that other choice : Where both students and teachers connect and enjoy  interacting in a funny atmosphere. It’s  through teaching while using drama.  So what are the implications and benefits of  using theatre in class  and how can it be  a powerful tool to teach English effectively?
The potential and benefits of the use of drama in learning a foreign language can be summed up as follows:
Drama can inspire students’ imagination, creation, motivation, collaboration and English learning skills all in meaningful situations.
Drama activity combines action and entertainment for students while achieving the teaching goals spontaneously.
Drama encourages different learning styles and intelligences- visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile.
Students acquire skills in authentic,  fully contextualized and interactional manner
They develop or improve a sense of confidence in their abilities to learn the target language.”
Since “All the world’s a stage,
 And all the men and women merely players;
 They have their exits and their entrances;
 And one man in his time plays many parts.”
                   Shakespeare (
As You Like It, Act II. Scene VII.)
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