Shinshu JALT would like to thank Dr. Sue Fraser for taking the time to present her experiences and activities in teaching English through drama on February the 19th at Matsumoto.
The presentation began with Dr. Fraser highlighting the importance of drama in developing a variety of skills and breaking the monotony of conentional learning techniques. Sue referred to several texts which were published in the 60s and 70s and are still being printed to this day – meaning the material is still relevant for the learners of today.
Moreso than just having fun and pretending to be trees, there are many direct learning benefits for Japanese students. Learning English through drama can help with speech and debate contests, pronunciation, presentation skills, teacher training and paralinguistics.
The majority of the presentation was spent going through numerous activities instructed by Sue. There was an activity where one person was blind folded and had to listen and slowly move towards a person saying a key word.
Another activity involved groups being given scenarios and having to mime the situation without any talking. Everyone was then asked to guess the situation and figure out the dialogue that was taking place.
Sue also distributed several hand outs of situations with missing dialogue, and participants were asked to fill in the conversations and guess what was taking place.
Throughout the presentation all the activities demonstrated a recurring theme of helping learners understand the minute details that go into communicating and expressing meaning while also engaging people to just have fun and enjoy themselves. Sue’s talent for theatrics was evident throughout the lively session and the laughs and enthusiasm from all the participants showed everyone had a great time.