Drama activities as a communicative tool in the teaching of english in the esl classroom

If even the greatest playwright that has of all time lived in this universe believes that all worlds are histrions, who are we to differ? I for one wholly do non. As a linguistic communication practician, I for one strongly believe that play has the potency of doing the learning experience merriment for the pupils and even memorable because it is “real” . Let me state you why.

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Students in schools today seem to hold really small exposure to the English linguistic communication. The lone contact with the linguistic communication comes from being taught utilizing the traditional ‘chalk and talk ‘ method in the English linguistic communication schoolroom. They have really small experience with ‘real-life ‘ state of affairss where the English linguistic communication is used as a communicating tool. It is non surprising so that the Communicative Approach has been introduced in the new ‘Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Menengah ‘ ( KBSM ) English Language plan. The communicative course of study will concentrate non merely on the lingual competency but besides on the development of the communicative ability of the scholar. Alternatively of being a inactive participant, the scholar is now encouraged to take a more active function in their ain linguistic communication larning procedure in the schoolroom.

In line with the National Education Philosophy, schoolroom schemes devised by the English instructor should provide non merely for efficient linguistic communication but besides provide chances for pupils ‘ personal development – to bring forth pupils who are competent and confident linguistic communication users ( Compedium, 1989 ) . Teachers who advocate the Communicative Approach are expected to develop schemes that would advance self-learning, group interactions in reliable state of affairss and peer- instruction, alternatively of the traditionally teacher-dominated and teacher-directed categories. The activities would besides necessitate the scholar to make things with the linguistic communication such as doing picks, measuring, and bridging the information spread. Examples of such activities are drama, role-play, simulation games, improvisation and miming. For the intent of this undertaking paper, we shall look at play activities as a communicative tool in the instruction and acquisition of English in the ESL schoolroom.

Drama has ever had a close relationship with the instruction of the English linguistic communication. With its nexus to literature, play is a powerful tool in developing the pupils ‘ communicative ability. By and large talking, play is student-centered because it puts the pupils in a place to make most of the communication and interacting alternatively of the instructor. Therefore, the burden is now on the pupils to take control of their ain acquisition. Psychologically, it is besides really actuating for there are no incorrect replies in play, leting success for each pupil. The flexibleness and openness of play besides provides the pupils a greater grade of freedom as compared to when they are required to happen a individual acceptable reply in the conventional English linguistic communication lesson. Students get eloquence accomplishments at a much faster rate as a consequence of advancing pupil – pupil talk and cut downing the instructor ‘s function to a necessary low degree or about non-existent in some instances.

Looking at it from the instructor ‘s position, prosecuting in group activities, as in play, allows pupils to experience more relaxed and in bend feel comfy to show their feelings better ; compared to when they are required to come up with single responses. Used decently, play allows both the instructor and scholar to estimate how far the scholar ‘s ability to pass on has developed and this in clip can develop assurance and better societal accomplishments in the scholar. Furthermore, it is emphasized that English should be taught to non merely develop the basic agencies of communicating, but to farther promote fluid and accurate look, both unwritten and written. Once the pupils begin to get the hang the linguistic communication they should be able to get the better of their uneasiness and develop their assurance to show positions openly and eloquently. These pupils would so do English meaningful and relevant in the sense that now they can take it out of the schoolroom and utilize it in their mundane lives. It is instead obvious to recognize the common land English and play portion. Drama should lend significantly to the realisation of all these purposes.

Statement of the Problem

Students in schools today seem to happen the acquisition of English irrelevant and to a certain extent, confounding. They do non necessitate to utilize the English they have learnt in the schoolroom in their day-to-day lives. English linguistic communication moreover, is frequently described as “a strong 2nd language” but is, in world merely treated as a foreign linguistic communication in all primary and secondary schools ( Compendium, 1989 ) . This alteration in the position of English in the system has brought with it a batch of jobs for both instructors and pupils.

Students who are hesitating to pass on in English may see the usage of the linguistic communication orally as fiddling and undistinguished to linguistic communication larning. To them, to be simply ‘competent ‘ in the linguistic communication is sufficient, instead than to ‘perform ‘ them ( Chomsky, 1965 ) . In existent fact, pupils particularly the shy and soundless 1s, are afraid of doing eccentric errors or mistakes. Therefore, many resort to the usage of their female parent linguas or their L1 in their day-to-day treatments or day-to-day convers ations.

The launching of the Language Policy in 1971 adds to this limitation. Bahasa Melayu was made the exclusive medium of direction in schools and other formal events. At the same clip, pupils of all races and background seemed to be more comfy communication in Bahasa Melayu, and so the importance of English linguistic communication has been bit by bit worsening.

One possible manner of get the better ofing this job is to supplement the conventional English instruction methods with suited learning techniques such as play, which offer the pupils the opportunity to really utilize the English they have learnt. Even though the pupils ‘ English may non be perfect, the activities would assist them to better verbal communicating.

Aim of the Study

The chief purpose of this survey is to give a wide debut to drama and to demo how such techniques can be utile in the instruction and acquisition of the English linguistic communication, peculiarly in Malayan schools. This exploratory survey programs to accomplish the undermentioned aims:

  1. To find the pupils ‘ extent of exposure to drama activities.
  2. To determine pupils ‘ motive towards larning English.
  3. To measure pupils ‘ attitudes towards larning English.

Research Questions

Specifically, this survey seeks replies for the undermentioned research inquiries:

  1. Have the pupils been exposed to drama activities in their linguistic communication schoolroom?
  2. What are the pupils ‘ motives in larning the English linguistic communication?
  3. What are the pupils ‘ attitudes towards English?

Significance of the Study

There is cardinal demand for scholars to convey what they have learned in the four walls of the schoolroom out into the unfastened and use it in ‘real-life ‘ state of affairss ; and drama activities run into this demand. This survey hence hopes to do instructors of English linguistic communication cognizant and to hold the strong belief that play activities can be an effectual tool in linguistic communication instruction.

It is hoped that this survey will be an ‘eye opener ‘ for instructors and pupils of ESL. It provides the necessary information for linguistic communication instructors to do pupils necessarily take part in the English lesson and thereby derive assurance in utilizing the linguistic communication. Therefore, the significance of this survey is to do ESL instructors aware that instead than moving in dramas or analyzing them, pupils are taught English utilizing a technique derived from play as a societal procedure of development. This will evidently advance the usage of play in the instruction and acquisition of ESL and in its widest sense, is best seen as an alternate methodological analysis to one based on the traditional ‘chalk and talk ‘ .

Equally far as pupils are concerned, they will shortly see the intent of play activities in their acquisition and how realistic and relevant they are when applied in their mundane lives. Since play activities frequently portray the society from which the pupils come from, it can give the pupils an chance to experience what life is all about. Drama activities encourage the pupils to do practical and rational judgements when confronted by complex state of affairss, which they may meet subsequently in life. This valuable experience would surely keep them in good position in their hereafter.

Therefore, the significance of the survey advocates the use of play activities in the ESL schoolroom. It is aspired that instructors would follow this technique and accommodate the activities to the relevancy and demands of their pupils.

Restrictions of the Study

On the footing of treatment on this undertaking paper, the play activities presented is targeted towards Form four pupils of intermediate proficiency degree. The play activities are some of the possibilities for societal interactions that lie within schoolroom state of affairss. However, some of its restrictions were recognized, in peculiar:

  1. In state of affairss outside the schoolroom, scholars will necessitate to fulfill a much wider assortment of communicative demands originating from the events of mundane life.
  2. They will necessitate to get by with greater assortment of forms of interactions. These may change from the formal interview, with its tightly controlled construction, to the informal assemblage where everybody competes on an equal footing for bends to talk.
  3. They will necessitate to go involved in different sorts of societal relationship, for which different signifiers of linguistic communication will be needed.

In order to fix scholars to get by with these wider functional and societal demands, we must look for ways widening the possibilities for communicative interactions in the schoolroom ( Littlewood, 1984 ) . It is hoped that by utilizing the play activities, the evident spreads can be bridged and in return the pupils ‘ linguistic communication competence and public presentation can be enhanced.

Definition of Footings


How do we, as instructors of English as a Second Language bring play into today ‘s schoolroom? Though some instructors have tried utilizing play in their schoolroom, they are still in a province of confusion. This is non because they do non cognize how to learn it, but merely because they are non certain of its intent in instruction. The usage of communicative activities is a technique to accomplish one of the purposes of the communicative attack, which is to obtain communicative competency. The of import facet of this attack is to pass on with another individual in the schoolroom and in the long term, the society ( Wan, 1990 ) .

Drama used in the schoolroom can be considered a communicative activity since it fosters communicating between scholars and provides chances to utilize the mark linguistic communication in assorted ‘make believe ‘ state of affairss. Therefore, play is any activity, which asks the participant to portray himself in an fanciful state of affairs ; or to portray another individual in an fanciful state of affairs. Drama is concerned with the universe of ‘pretense ‘ . It provides an chance for a individual to show himself through verbal looks and gestures utilizing his imaginativeness and memory. Harmonizing to Wan ( 1990 ) , play takes what it portions with English, an accent on developing the agency of communicating and extends this means to include all the paralinguistic AIDSs to intending which takes communicating beyond merely composing to gestures and physical interaction.

Drama activities draw on the natural ability of every individual to copy, mimic and show himself. The pupils are encouraged to pull on their natural capacity to populate parts of his past experience that might otherwise ne’er emerge. When pupils are brought together they bring along with them different life and different background into the schoolroom.

Harmonizing to the Oxford Dictionary ( 1995 ) , play is defined as a literary composing to be performed by histrions ; drama or the art of moving, composing or bring forthing dramas. But for the intent of this paper, play refers more to informal ( originative play ) as it is used in the linguistic communication schoolroom and non on phase. Drama is making. Drama is being. Drama is such a normal thing. It is something that we all engage in day-to-day when faced with hard state of affairs. This is clearly illustrated by Tricia ( 1984 ) when she quotes, “Getting on with our daily unrecorded requires a series of masks” .

By and large, play is considered as a type of activity in which the scholars are given reasonably controlled scenarios to construe. But the term play is frequently viewed with confusion because different people use it in different ways to accommodate different contexts. As such, it seems necessary to specify the footings from the position of instruction and larning English as a Second Language ( ESL ) .

Drama takes into history the socio-psychological facets of larning as it involves the whole individual and his entire response. For some pupils drama techniques can be an alternate agencies of larning the linguistic communication and may bring forth far more positive consequences than normal schoolroom instruction ( Mordecai, 1985 ) .

Chapter 2



Drama is used in ESL schoolrooms to advance communicating in its reliable signifier. The Communicative Approach advocates that scholars need to larn how to utilize the mark linguistic communication in ‘real life ‘ state of affairss and play activities meet this demand, for it allows natural acquisition. If examined carefully, we would happen that, English instructors define English as one that encourages and develops communicating accomplishments, self-expression, imaginativeness and creativeness. These are the cardinal footings, which would come up as purposes of learning in a linguistic communication schoolroom. When likewise confronted, instructors of plaies say the same thing. Therefore, play constantly and significantly contributes to the realisation of all the purposes in an ESL schoolroom.

The Communicative Approach

The term ‘approach ‘ refers to the theories about the nature of how linguistic communication is learnt ( Richards, 1986 ) . It takes into history the basic units of linguistic communication construction and the nature of linguistic communication proficiency. It besides considers the psycholinguistic and cognitive procedures involved in linguistic communication acquisition and the conditions that allow for effectual acquisition to take topographic point.

The Communicative Approach therefore refers to the belief that linguistic communication acquisition is communicative competency ( Richards, 1986 ) . Communicative competency here refers non merely to the cognition of the grammatical regulations of a linguistic communication and how to organize grammatical sentences but besides to cognize when, where and to whom to utilize these sentences in a address community ( Richards, 1985 and Hymes, 1972 ) .

Communicative ‘Methodology ‘ on the other manus, refers to the different ways of learning linguistic communication utilizing the communicative attack. Therefore, the term ‘techniques ‘ refers to different schoolroom activities ( Wan, 1990 ) . In this survey they will be called communicative activities.

In the Communicative Approach, linguistic communication instruction and larning emphasized the usage of linguistic communication for the communicating of intending than larning the linguistic communication structures, signifiers and vocabulary ( Wilkins, 1976 and Widdowson, 1978 ) . However, this does non connote that the grammatical and lexical facets are neglected. In fact, they do hold a topographic point in the Communicative Method of linguistic communication instruction. Therefore, the ‘how ‘ of linguistic communication instruction and larning refers to the particular techniques and processs used to unconsciously get and consciously larn a linguistic communication through communicating ( Brumfit, 1984 ) .

The Nature of Communicative Activities

Communicative activities refer to the techniques, which are employed in the communicative method in linguistic communication instruction. Examples of such activities are games, simulation, mimicing, play and role-play, which make usage of the mark linguistic communication. The activities involve making things with linguistic communication and these linguistic communication activities for communicating is non restricted to conversation and may affect hearing, speech production, reading and composing or an integrating of two or more accomplishments.

Communicative activities have the undermentioned features ( Wan, 1990 ) :

  1. They are purposeful. They are beyond purely practising peculiar constructions.
  2. They are synergistic. The activities are frequently conducted with others and frequently affect some signifier of treatment.
  3. Authentic stuffs are used. The state of affairss in which the scholars have to utilize linguistic communication should be every bit realistic as possible. The linguistic communication theoretical accounts given should be reliable.
  4. They are based on the information spread rule.

Five steering rules have been vividly outlined behind the usage of communicative activities as linguistic communication instruction and larning techniques ( Morrow, 1981 ) . They are as follows:

1. Know what you are making.

This rule gives relevancy to the lesson, which the pupils would desire to utilize in order to execute in the mark linguistic communication. For illustration in learning speech production, the undertaking could be inquiring for waies to a certain place.. The pupils here communicate with each other and there is no control over the exact linguistic communication used but the state of affairs is controlled.

2. The whole is more of import than the amount of the parts.

In the communicative method, the natural linguistic communication is dealt in existent state of affairss where it is necessary to work in the context of the whole. Communication is non learnt inductively as it can non easy be analyzed into its assorted constituents without its nature being destroyed in the procedure. For illustration you may learn the constituent of assorted signifiers of recognizing but it is no warrant that the pupil will be able to take the appropriate signifier when required in a real-life state of affairs.

3. The procedures are every bit of import as the signifiers.

The procedures of communicating such as information spread, pick and feedback, should be every bit much as possible replicated in seeking to develop the ability of the pupils to pass on in the mark linguistic communication. The instructor must seek to invent exercisings where there is an information spread so that existent meaningful communicating can take topographic point. The participants in a conversation besides have a pick in what they say and how they say it. When undergoing these procedures, there should be ample feedback during interaction between two talkers in order to estimate if the message has been successfully sent across.

4. To larn it, make it.

Merely by practising communicative activities would pupils larn to pass on. Students must go responsible for their ain acquisition. This is what student-centeredness entails and therefore the function of the instructor accordingly alterations. He / she must larn to take a backseat and should no longer rule the learning state of affairs. The instructor is now a facilitator and should endeavor to supply all the aid the pupil needs to play an active function in his ain acquisition.

5. Mistakes are non ever errors.

As linguistic communication practicians we must able to do the differentiation between ‘mistakes ‘ and ‘errors ‘ . There is the demand for flexibleness in make up one’s minding to handle ‘mistakes ‘ at different phases of the acquisition procedure towards communicative competency. We must non be hasty in exerting the axe on the pupils as ‘mistakes ‘ are grounds of larning taking topographic point after all.

The usage of communicative activities is to accomplish one of the purposes of the communicative attack, which is communicative competency. The kernel of this attack is to pass on with another individual in the schoolroom and in long term the society. Hence, play can be used in the schoolroom since it fosters communicating between scholars and provides chances to utilize the mark linguistic communication in assorted ‘make believe ‘ state of affairss. Drama besides allows participants the chance to move out functions and to utilize all the media of communicating, the voice, gesture and motion. It therefore takes what it portions with English, an accent on developing the agency of communicating, and widening these agencies to include all the paralinguistic AIDSs to organize significance. This takes communicating beyond the two dimensions, composing and speaking, to affect the 3rd dimension of gesture and physical interaction, therefore promoting active and know aparting observation and hearing, which true communicating ever demands ( Tricia, 1984 ) .

Drama Versus Theater

Susan Holden ( 1981 ) defines play as any activity which asks the participant to portray himself in an fanciful state of affairs ; or to portray another individual in an fanciful state of affairs. Drama is therefore concerned with the universe of ‘let ‘s make-believe ‘ . It provides an chance for a individual to show himself through verbal looks and gestures utilizing his imaginativeness and memory. In this paper, play refers more to dramatic activities as the scene is the linguistic communication schoolroom instead than the phase. The participants in the play activities are therefore scholars and non histrions.

To hold a farther apprehension between Drama and Theater, a clear differentiation has to be made between the two constructs. One manner of carry throughing this is to look at Drama as procedure oriented and Theater as being merchandise oriented. Through the scrutiny of the cardinal characteristics that lay behind both these constructs, O’Neill ( 1995 ) came up with the undermentioned features for each of them:

1. Drama as a Procedure

  1. The accent is placed on participants sing personal growing through an geographic expedition of their apprehension of the issues within dramatic experience.
  2. Student and instructor portion equal topographic points in the development, analysis and the transporting out of the play activities.
  3. The play is usually non performed for an audience.

2. Theater as a Merchandise

  1. The pupil ‘s personal growing is measured through the acquisition of accomplishments.
  2. The survey is facilitated through a written work non of the pupil ‘s devising.
  3. The instructor transfers her or his reading and analysis of the play.
  4. The primary aim is formal drama production.

For the intent of this paper, we will concentrate on Drama as a Procedure instead than Theater as a Product. As opposed to the traditional thought of theatre, which consequences in an terminal public presentation, play as a procedure is performed for the interest of the act of making it, non for an audience, non for a production, and it does n’t necessitate to be rehearsed. The audience can merely be the performing artists themselves.

Drama as a procedure refers to a instruction method that involves kids in fanciful, unscripted, and self-generated scenes, in which the significance is made from the battle and minutess between the instructor and pupils ( Schneider & A ; Jackson, 2000 ) . The pupils and instructors work together to make an fanciful dramatic universe within which issues are considered and jobs can be solved. In this universe they work together to research jobs and issues such as treachery, truth and other ethical and moral issues. O’Neill ( 1995 ) references that sometimes the work may get down as blithe, but the instructor ever layers more dramatic tenseness and complexness into the work because the instructor may take for a pedagogical result.

In Drama as a Procedure, pupils learn to believe beyond their ain points of position and see multiple positions on a subject through playing different functions. Playing a scope of places encourages them to be able to sympathize with others and to see life from their point of view. It allows them to walk on other people ‘s places, to walk the waies they tread and to see how the universe looks from their eyes. Since the terminal merchandise is non the focal point, pupils work at every minute to bring forth to the best of their ability. In this manner, play can be seen as more meaningful, productive, and all-around. Drama therefore, non merely teaches pupils to be better communicators in a assortment of reliable state of affairss, but besides compels them to utilize English in ways that differ from mundane schoolroom interactions, miming more reliable linguistic communication usage.

Drama in the ESL Classroom

By and large, play involves being an fanciful individual normally in an fanciful state of affairs and sometimes a existent one ( Venugopal, 1986 ) . The scholars are given reasonably controlled scenarios to construe. Drama is defined by the range of the undertaking of problem-solving in order to accomplish their ends. Students need to cognize of their ability to larn from each other every bit good as to larn independently. They should be cognizant that they are working towards a end within a given clip bound. This will sharpen their concentration and at the terminal of the lesson they should hold satisfaction of holding achieved that end ( Venugopal, 1986 ) .

Play in instruction is a manner of acquisition. Through the students ‘ active designation with the imagined function and state of affairss in play, they can larn to research issues, events and relationships ( O’Neil, 1994 ) . In play, pupils draw on their cognition and experience of the existent universe in order to make their ain experience they have every bit good as their cognition, which they have gained from books, movies or telecasting. Although, these fanciful state of affairss may at first seem superficial and lone action oriented, through the instructor ‘s counsel and careful intercession it should be possible for the work to turn in deepness. In making a brand believe universe pupils can come to understand themselves and their existent universe in which they live.

In order to prosecute in play activities pupils do non necessitate sophisticated theater accomplishments. However, they must be willing to ( O’Neil, 1997 ) :

  1. Make believe with respect to objects, for illustration,
    1. a table-top can go a waggon or raft ;
    2. a circle of chairs may stand for a spaceship ;
    3. cupped custodies may incorporate a cherished object.
  2. Make believe with respects to actions and state of affairss, for illustration,
    1. crawling across the school hall may be agencies of get awaying from the gaol ;
    2. a group sitting huddled on the floor may be riders on an emigrant ship ;
    3. stealing a clump of keys may stand for a trial of stealing and craft for the warriors.
  3. Adopt a function, for illustration,
    1. colonists who seek a new life in a foreign state ;
    2. hapless kids populating on the streets ;
    3. adolescents who have left place.
  4. Maintain the brand believe verbally, for illustration,
    1. depicting the room access in which they spent the dark ;
    2. showing the facts about child labor to the commission for reform ;
    3. discoursing the jobs to be faced on a ocean trip.
  5. Interact with the remainder of the group, for illustration,
    1. holding to fall in the crew of the spaceship ;
    2. taking a leader for the community ;
    3. learning a accomplishment to a friend ;

In play activities, pupils are given the chances to pull together all the spots of linguistic communication they have learnt and pattern it in state of affairss they are likely to meet outside the schoolroom. In any play activity, scholars must make the interactions themselves on the footing of their functions instead than execute in ways that have been predetermined by the instructor ( Littlewood, 1981 ) .

This freedom of pick offers the pupils the opportunity to utilize their English learnt to develop the character, hence advancing spontaneousness in activities similar to “real-communication” . Drama in a manner helps pupils to better unwritten and verbal communicating despite spreads in their cognition. However, the usage of image cards and other ocular cues will contract these spreads.

Drama activities are basically societal activities and affect contact, communicating and the dialogue of significance. The nature of the work will enforce certain force per unit areas on the pupils but will besides convey considerable wagess. Co-operative activities are really rare in the Malayan schools. Too frequently pupils are trained to work as persons and to be both competitory and genitive about their accomplishments. Drama on the other manus, works from the strength of the groups.

Drama is an person ‘s self-generated behaviour responding to others in a conjectural state of affairs. The indispensable nucleus of the activity is understanding the state of affairs of another individual, and to make this well the ‘player ‘ demands to come to grip with the other participants ‘ functions, non merely his ain. In pattern, this works when a ‘player ‘ is given the basic information about who he is, what he is like, and what he wants to make. He must interact with others and associate his state of affairs to theirs and derive a greater apprehension of the functions, the relationship and the linguistic communication involved ( Revell, 1979 ) .

Motions and Mime

Mime involves the expressive usage of the organic structure. It is a non-verbal representation of an thought or narrative through gestures, bodily motions and looks. It may look unusual that mummer should be encouraged in linguistic communication instruction, as it does non affect linguistic communication. It must be borne in head that though no linguistic communication is used during the mummer, it will move as a accelerator to bring forth linguistic communication during the treatments before the mummer is presented and besides elicit linguistic communication when there is demand for accounts ( Edwin, 1992 ) . Mime is therefore used to enrich verbal characteristics instead than replace them. After a mummer session, parallel exercisings are carried out where appropriate words are added to the mummer activities. In the English linguistic communication schoolroom, unlike in theaters mime activities are non demanding and this makes mime activities suited for hapless and diffident pupils who lack the necessary degree of linguistic communication proficiency. Mime activities can be incorporated into scenes from texts or improvisation of scenes from texts.

Role Play

Simulation and function drama provide the chance to travel off from the traditional function of instructors and besides the schoolroom puting agreements where the category is rearranged to reflect the state of affairs that is being dramatized ( Edwin, 1992 ) .

Role drama can be used for pupils of different proficiency degrees. However, the instructor will hold to make up one’s mind the grade of control over the scenario for the function drama. For the really diffident and low proficiency pupils, instructors could inquire pupils to dramatise conversations and duologues straight from the texts. For pupils with some English proficiency, instructors could supply a state of affairs, which is comparatively structured so that these pupils would experience confident and be more willing to take part. The more adept pupils could be given less structured scenario and they should be encouraged to try to improvize the same text.

In function drama, a pupil is required to conceive of that he is either himself or another individual in a peculiar state of affairs. He would be asked to act precisely as he feels the individual would. His portraiture of the character will assist him understand the character and besides provide an intimate experience with the literary text. There are many types of function drama, for illustration, dramatic dramas, narrative dramatisation and socio-drama, seminar manner presentation, arguments and interviews.


Simulations are drama activities that frequently mirror existent life. They can nevertheless be fanciful. They are frequently job work outing activities and pupils bring their personality, cognition and experience into these activities. Among the common signifiers of simulation is the mock test. It is popular with pupils and tribunal instances are rather easy to be developed from literary texts, frequently based on the struggles faced by the characters in the narrative. Other signifiers of simulation can besides be encouraged. For illustration, group work in the signifier of psychiatric therapy Sessionss can be carried out.

When be aftering a lesson on function drama or simulation, the instructor should see the scholars ‘ degree of linguistic communication proficiency, their involvements, demands, attitudes, motives experiences and abilities. The instructor should besides be cognizant of the aims of the lesson, the instructor ‘s function, the choice of materials/aids, the readying for the play activities, the organisation of the lesson, the existent execution of the lesson and the importance of follow-up Sessionss. ( Edwin, 1992 )

Specific Qualities of Drama Activities

Drama activities require imaginativeness and ingeniousness. For illustration, how will they show themselves in the function of a rat that refuses to be changed into a Equus caballus for Cinderella ‘s passenger car? What regulations will they set up for their freshly founded society on a distant island? These are non the usual workbook exercisings associated with traditional schoolroom acquisition. They require higher-order thought procedures that are at the bosom of every originative venture ( Ruth, 1993 ) .

It is frequently said that play is a dry run for life. Through play, kids can feign to be people or things they find interesting and important. They can live over the experiences of others and their mundane life and fantasy universe. They can experiment with societal functions and in the procedure identify and sympathize with others, larning their concerns, facing their jobs and sing their successes and failures ( Ruth, 1993 ) .

Empathy is the ability to see life from another ‘s position and to experience with that individual. Students begin to develop empathy as their thought matures and they move off from egocentricity. Through play pupils have the chance to see the universe from another point of position and to react as that individual would react. If pupils can see ‘walking in another individual ‘s places ‘ , more apprehension of others and more effectual communicating will ensue ( Ruth, 1993 ) .

However, it must be understood that play activities can non be substituted for conventional instruction methods. It simply serves as a complement to the conventional methods. They are activities that give the pupils an chance to utilize their ain personality in making the stuff on which portion of the linguistic communication category is to be based. These activities draw on the natural ability of every pupil to copy, mimic and show him or herself through gestures. They draw, excessively, on the pupil ‘s imaginativeness and memory, and natural capacity to convey to life parts of his or her past experience that might ne’er otherwise emerge. They are dramatic because they arouse our involvement, which they do by pulling on the unpredictable power generated when one individual is brought together with others. Each pupil brings a different life, a different background into the category. We would wish pupils to be able to utilize this when working with others ( Maley and Duff, 1978 ) .

Another beginning of motive is drama activities have close resemblance to adult society. Many claim that schooling prepares pupils for life in society, yet excessively many pupils feel no personal engagement in school and are merely geared towards the strictly academic chases it represents. Since, play activities frequently portray the grownup society to which the pupils will shortly belong, they can give the pupils a existent feeling of fixing for society. The activities normally encourage the pupils to do responsible responses in complex state of affairs, which they may meet subsequently in life. This is a valuable experience for the pupils. However, the activities should be within the range and capablenesss of the pupils, otherwise the activities will be deadening, meaningless, and even annoying ( Hymes, 1972 ) .

The most important sort of larning which is attributed to see in play is a growing in the pupils ‘ understanding about human behaviour, themselves and the universe they live in. This understanding which will be different from the usual manner of thought and feeling should be the primary purpose of play activities. The instructor, at the same clip must bear in head the increasing competency of the pupils in play activities and the satisfaction they get from working within these activities.

Rationale for Using Drama Activities in ESL Teaching and Learning

Literary text and play activities complement each other for incorporate activities in the English linguistic communication schoolroom. Drama activities comprise motion and mummer, function drama, group improvisation and simulations. The incorporation of the two constituents in the English linguistic communication schoolroom can do larning a stimulating and actuating experience. But many instructors are being disbelieving, if non horrified at the thought of utilizing play activities in their linguistic communication schoolrooms ( Edwin, 1992 ) .

Drama activities can be used to learn linguistic communication accomplishments and besides develop the cognitive, affectional and cultural demands of the pupils. The use of play activities will assist convey back some of the of import emotional content into the linguistic communication larning experience which is frequently missing in communicative linguistic communication schoolrooms. Drama activities should non be misconstrued as acting dramas but instead they should be considered as instruction tools, which facilitate and deepen the acquisition procedure.

From the educational point of position, play activities are non new. Merely their usage in the English Language schoolroom is a recent development. Nevertheless, play is a utile technique of learning and larning particularly in encouraging interactions, practising the linguistic communication used and in geting eloquence. From the position of instruction and larning English as a Second Language, the principle for utilizing play remainders on the premiss that reliable linguistic communication usage develops when the participants have a intent for pass oning ( Brumfit and Johnson, 1979 ) .

More frequently than non instructors are faced with jobs of how to acquire their pupils motivated to their acquisition undertakings. It is non an hyperbole to state that the reply could be drawn from the usage of play activities. This is one of the of import strengths play has to offer which is to excite the involvement of scholars. If the pupils are immature kids there will be no job as they are natural histrions and buffoons who like nil better than a game. But, if the pupils are striplings, the instructors have to get by with the inevitable tenseness they suffer because of their development gender and physical alterations. If they are grownups, they will be given to tie in instruction and larning with being serious and working difficult ( Ladousse, 1991 ) .

Some diffident pupils do non wish to look foolish in forepart of their schoolmates. They merely do non desire to be embarrassed because of the errors and mistakes that they could do. Drama helps many diffident pupils by supplying them with a ‘mask ‘ ( Ladousse, 1991 ) . The scholar has the support and protection of a ‘mask ‘ to conceal behind but will talk as the character in the state of affairs and non as himself ( Morrow, 1981 ) . Here, inhibited or diffident scholars can go more antiphonal, therefore showcasing how drama enhances engagement amongst scholars.

Merits of Drama Activities

Drama activities provide legion avenues for group work and surveies on 2nd linguistic communication scholars show that utilizing play activities in the linguistic communication schoolroom has increased pupils ‘ motive, self-esteem and spontaneousness ( Edwin, 1992 ) .

The followers are specific virtues of the usage of play in the ESL schoolroom ( Wan, 1990 ) .

1. Stimulates reliable conversation

Drama activities stimulate reliable learner-to-learner colloquial interaction. The activities besides develop colloquial competency among 2nd linguistic communication scholars ( Richards, 1985 ) .

2. Eloquence activity

Brumfit ( 1984 ) refers to drama as a eloquence activity where chances arise for the scholars to utilize linguistic communication freely and creatively. Drama focuses on utilizing linguistic communication as a colloquial resource.

3. Increases motive

Drama prompts mental and bodily activities. The activities require active engagement. Concentration is besides frequently required and it is non easy for a pupil to remain inactive for long. Situations are created for the pupils to utilize the linguistic communication meaningfully and this would actuate pupils towards engagement. The less motivated pupils will bit by bit be drawn into the activity when they see the remainder of the group holding a good clip ( Wan, 1990 ) .

4. A interruption from everyday

The usage of play activities is a interruption from the usual text edition instruction and the “chalk talk” method of the instructor. The pupil has chances to blend about and to move out different functions. The ambiance in the schoolroom is less formal and this can assist to convey down the Affectional Filter therefore, cut downing tenseness ( Wan, 1990 ) .

5. Fix pupils for existent life and capriciousness

Real life state of affairss and communications are unpredictable. A pupil may larn all the right signifiers of communicating but may non cognize when to utilize them suitably. Drama provides chances to respond to these state of affairss and gives the pupils a gustatory sensation of existent life ( Wan, 1990 ) .

6. Creates sensitiveness and a sense of consciousness

Drama brings the outside universe into the schoolroom. This will hold positive effects in footings of societal interaction and cultural consciousness ( Wan, 1990 ) .

Demerits of Drama Activities

Some pupils have fixed thoughts as to what a good category instructor is. They normally expect a stiff, fixed process in their instruction. Students are used to being inactive and expect instruction to be teacher-centered. Attitudes like these have to be changed. Before this can be done, the instructor ‘s attitude needs to be changed excessively. She must accept her new function where she does non rule the category any longer and let the pupils to take over without holding the fright of losing control ( Lee, 1991 ) .

Drama takes a batch of clip and therefore it depends on the ability of the category to execute the undertakings. The instructor therefore has to cognize the category good so as to delegate the pupils ‘ activities to accommodate their abilities.

The deficiency of infinite and the big figure of pupils can do the organisation of the activities hard. Noise degrees will besides be high. Monitoring of the different groups may besides be a job. The instructor therefore has to accommodate and improvize consequently, for case, looking for an alternate topographic point or even transporting out the activity out-of-doorss ( Lee, 1991 ) .


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