Drama in teaching ESL(English as a second language): Creating a New Utopia through Necessity
Kung-Man-Matthew Cheung, PHD Candidate at Monash University, Hong Kong
2,5 hour workshop
Part of the 2018 ATHENS GREECE INTERNATIONAL THEATRE/DRAMA & EDUCATION CONFERENCE
organised by the Hellenic Theatre/Drama & Education Network (TENet-Gr)
While many drama, theatre and performing arts advocates continue to fight for space in an overcrowded curriculum in mainstream schools, there is one field where drama has been able to find an ally and open up whole new fields of practice. In Drama and Curriculum (2009) John O’Toole and Madonna Stinson identified different “pass-keys” through which drama is accessed. “Pass-keys” represent economic, ideological and social forces which allow drama classes to take place. These ways into curriculum may be driven by international trends, research or drama advocates. O’Toole and Stinson recognised four distinct “pass-keys” for drama: a) in the formal curriculum as a subject, b) as an extra-curricular activity, c) as a recognised private qualification and d) as a part of language learning. They also identify a hybrid fifth “pass-keys” whereby drama is attached to a broader discipline such as “the arts”. This workshop will focus on drama and language learning, the fourth “pass-key”.The pedagogical practice of classroom drama seems to lend itself to the function and purpose of the language class, especially where communicative language teaching (CLT) is accepted. An English as a second language teacher (ESL) may not be comfortable with students moving around the classroom. They may not have the tools to manage a student-centred classroom. These kinds of pedagogical practices are ones which drama teachers are familiar and comfortable with and provide the greatest opportunity for CLT to occur. This workshop will explore how these two pedagogical approaches merge, conflict and resolve in a movement towards a new pedagogical craft which straddles both Drama and Language Acquisition.
Kung-Man-Matthew Cheung is a PHD Candidate at Monash University, Hong Kong. His field of research is drama pedagogy and language acquisition. In 2003, he abandoned the utopian Sunshine Coast in Australia, where he worked as a formal secondary drama teacher, for the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. He is the director of “Dramatic English” and producer for DEER theatre. He writes curriculum and produces theatre and drama workshops for students to improve their command of English language. He consults with secondary, primary and kindergartens and provides teacher training workshops onhow to use Drama to enhance language acquisition. He has participated in conferences and published papers and books in this field.