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Old 28.11.2012, 00:05
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teaching the english language through theatre?

Hello!

I'm just about to finish my CELTA qualifcation. I'm an actor by passion and am moving to Lausanne. I wanted to know if anyone had any ideas on english teaching through theatre..

I know it's a bit of a niche area, but i wanted to know if there are any companies out there specialising in this type of thing..

I want to teach english but somethings telling me that my style of working shouldn't be restricted to the classroom...

ANY info would be greatly appreciated as I've only just started researching the subject.
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Old 28.11.2012, 11:23
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Re: teaching the english language through theatre?

I think you need to have a very clear idea of what you want to achieve and it doesn't sound like you do yet.

Do you want to work with adults or children? Are you looking to teach students who are new to English? When you talk about using theatre do you mean to stage shows, drama workshops or to develop aspects of language like character and setting related to a novel study? There is a big difference between a drama group in English and actually teaching the grammar, spelling etc of the language. While there is certainly scope to use drama techniques while teaching I think it would be a huge challenge to only teach through theatre conventions.

There are several English drama groups for children and adults but as far as I know none of them claim to teach English as such.
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Old 28.11.2012, 14:18
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Re: teaching the english language through theatre?

Thanks for your reply pepper..

Well no I dont know much about teaching english through theatre.

I have much experience in theatre, Ive taken shows to edinburgh, writted directed..

But teaching english through drama is new to me.

I dont see how I can make a presentable show with people who cant speak english.. It would most likely be workshops.. point taken on the spelling and grammar pepper, i would imagine it would just be functional spoken language.. And the demography doesn't matter.. I work well with both adults and children.

Im not necassarily looking to open up a company.. just to see if there are any groups out there that i could train with.
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Old 28.11.2012, 18:14
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Re: teaching the english language through theatre?

I used to work in a setting that offered several English classes to primary school aged children. They offered the traditional reading and writing classes, but when I started they'd decided to offer "Theatre in English". So (being just a primary teacher) I spent time researching drama activities and thinking about how I could adapt them.

I had no pupils except for the children of the owners.

Now that is admittedly a very, very small, non-representative sample. But I think that if parents are going to fork out for private English lessons... they're going to want the kind of lesson where the child turns up, sits learning for an hour and then goes home with some kind of sheet or tangible result that the parents can look at and say 'Ah, yes, that's what they learnt today.' People here are very keen on getting value for money.

I don't know, on the other hand, if you might succeed more with older pupils or adults, advertising it as something to build confidence in speaking and fluency. Perhaps. But perhaps not.

I certainly wouldn't have it as your sole source of income.

I'd suggest you look at getting a 'regular' teaching job, and then keep the theatre idea on the side, perhaps test the waters.

In Lausanne there's an amateur dramatics group called The Village Players. I'm sure you'd be welcome as a performer. There's also someone who runs drama groups in school holidays for children in between Vevey and Lausanne, see here.

Hope that helps.
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Old 28.11.2012, 20:19
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Re: teaching the english language through theatre?

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Well no I dont know much about teaching english through theatre.


But teaching english through drama is new to me.

I dont see how I can make a presentable show with people who cant speak english.. It would most likely be workshops.. point taken on the spelling and grammar pepper, i would imagine it would just be functional spoken language.. And the demography doesn't matter.. I work well with both adults and children.

Im not necassarily looking to open up a company.. just to see if there are any groups out there that i could train with.
That was what wasn't clear in your initial post. The fact you were finishing your CELTA suggested you wanted to teach English to non-native speakers.

I have to agree with Vlh22, if you are offering English classes then people expect a 'traditional' lesson where you cover reading, writing, spelling and grammar and they can see evidence of learning.

If you want to run a drama group or stage a show then this is something different and though it may take a few years to build up there is certainly a market.
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Old 28.11.2012, 20:38
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Re: teaching the english language through theatre?

And language acquisition isn't just a passive skill, as you'll know doing your CELTA. I should imagine that any extensive use of drama in teaching English would need to have the students participating. And you'd probably need to do a lot of prep work on the materials.

I sometimes used lots of little dramas/sketches on video to teach*, but always prepped them before, during and then with activities for the students afterwards, always. Otherwise they may as well just watch subtitled dvds. More or less.



* My favourite dvds/sketches were made by the Oxford University Press and which featured Comedy Store actors Jim Sweeney and Steve Steen.

http://www.viney.uk.com/grapevinevideo/index.html
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Old 28.11.2012, 23:51
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Re: teaching the english language through theatre?

Please don't take this the wrong way (I'm worried this may sound catty), but may I suggest that, in the light of your career plans, you edit your posts and use correct spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalisation?

I appreciate people on here may be typing in a hurry, and normally I wouldn't pick up another poster on their written English. But you are posting about teaching English. Your user name is your real name. If I Google your user name plus 'teaching English' two of the first three hits are threads you have posted on here. Some of your future clients may stumble across your posts one day. Are you giving them a good impression?
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