TEFL Methodology: Drama in the Classroom




Drama Activities:


  • role-play
  • simulation
  • reading out dialogues
  • miming
  • dramatizing dialogues
  • improvised dialogues (inspired by a hint, such as picture, key phrase, first phrase, topic, etc.)
  • acting out ready-made scenes, sketches, plays
  • writing a play, scene, sketch and acting it out






Language Acquisition - benefits from using drama techniques:


  1. intensive reading, full comprehension necessary
  2. speaking in a non-threatening situation (or less stressful than usual) -
    • Ss feel they’re just acting
    • they have time to rehearse
  3. enhanced learning:

·        rehearsal provides repetition

·        new vocabulary appears in context (collocations, fixed phrases)

·        emotional context (fun, involvement, group work)

·        appeal to all learning styles


      4. relevance of focus on language:

·        pronunciation

·        chunking

·        sentence stress

·        intonation


Personal Development:


Focus on emotions, interpreting feelings and emotions (empathy)

Focus on expression

    • getting full attention
    • body language
    • proper timing
    • pauses, intonation, volume
    • proper language (vocabulary, grammar, sentence stress)








Tips on using drama techniques:


start small (e.g. with miming)

keep all the plays for future use

look for short sketches, one-act plays

longer plays can be edited

different groups can work on different scenes of the same play at the same time

make Ss responsible for the quality and offer support

goal orientation through well-defined tasks and clear instructions

right conditions depend on:

·        good group dynamics (maintained through negotiations, warm-ups, personal relationships)

·        space

·        friendly physical environment



Bartram, M. and Walton, R. 1991. Correction. Mistake Management. Language Teaching Publications: 1991.

Brumfit, C. 1994. Communicative Methodology in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Byrne, D. 1990. Teaching Oral Skills. Harlow: Longman.

Byrne, D. 1990b. Teaching Writing  Skills. Harlow: Longman.

Harmer, J. 2001. The Practice of English Language Teaching.  Harlow:  Longman.

Ur, P. 1996. A Course in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



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