We walked around imitating birds, fish, old people, happy teachers, tired teachers, and 3-year-old children. Then we stood in two lines in pairs and started making weird faces to each other and responded accordingly. Next, we adopted strange postures and responded to the postures of our fellow teachers. All that was the contextualization stage for a session on how drama could be used in language classrooms.
For the real part, everyone wrote on two sheets of paper a prepositional phrase and a verb + ing. The activity that followed was fantastic as two fellow teachers volunteered and began to make a spontaneous telephone conversation using what everyone had written as prompts. There is no doubt that we all had great time and there was a lot of laughter.
To add more flavor to the session, Chia arranged three chairs as we liked. One was on its side, another was in the corner of the classroom and the third one was against the wall. She told us to create a scenario considering the way the chairs were placed, and we came up with many. One of the scenarios was voted the most and three friends acted that almost like professionals. The same procedure was repeated for another scenario and I was involved in the act as well.
The final activity was about creating profiles. For this, we were divided into groups of three and assigned a different type of bag. The aim was to imagine a kind of person to carry the bag and to write a profile from name to hobbies for the character. When it was done, one person in each group played the character answering the questions from the rest of the class. What was Chia doing when we were acting? She was recording us and I am sure she will post them on her YouTube account as an invaluable source for how drama works with even teachers.
At the end of the day, the points shared about what we had learned were really good and they are as follows:
1. Teachers need to be themselves and, also, learn how to be someone else when necessary.
2. Teachers need to be aware of what they have at hand and use any prop around in the classroom successfully.
3. Teachers need to try everything and be experimental to set effective contexts because
4. Drama activities can be very interesting even if they may look simple.
5. Drama bonds people and is a perfect tool for ice-breaking.
6. Drama encourages competition and competition breeds motivation.
6. Drama adds variety to class and prevents monotony.
So should we really use drama in language classrooms?