Topics: English language, Teaching English as a foreign language, United Kingdom Pages: 23 (6097 words) Published: April 20, 2014

Using Drama in the English Classrooom




Using Drama in the English Classroom

Nikelle Ebert
Nikelle Ebert is an Australian and has worked as a
NET at Christian Alliance Cheng Wing Gee College in
Tai Wai since August 2002. She has been developing
drama within the Oral English curriculum of the school
for four years.

On Drama
Nikelle believes that being creative and confident with
using English are very important. She uses a wide
variety of drama techniques to develop these areas in
the students that she teaches in both the lower and
upper forms.

Featured Strategies:

Classroom Management Strategies
Rubric for Assessment of Student



Using Drama in the English Classrooom

Why did you want to introduce drama in your school?
Drama is a useful teaching tool as it offers ways of practising reading, writing, speaking and listening in authentic contexts and provides students with the need to communicate. Since I had used drama effectively when teaching in Australia, I felt sure that drama would also be an effective teaching tool in my school in Hong Kong.

How did you go about introducing drama to the school?
The support of the Principal and the English Panel was very important. We all agreed that drama would benefit the students. We looked at where drama would fit into the curriculum and found that it complemented the Oral English programme. To begin, I tried to use drama in regular English lessons, but the teachers quickly realised that this was almost impossible due to space constraints. The

students now have their drama
sessions in a spacious dance and
drama room, which makes it much
easier to organise drama activities.
How do you maintain discipline in
drama classes?
By keeping the students busy. There
must be many fast-paced, constantly changing activities in each lesson to keep students engaged.
It is also important to create an environment
with as few distractions as possible. For
example, the students take off their shoes
before entering the Drama Room so that they
can move about quietly. They bring only a pen
and notebook with them to the lesson to take
notes and to do the writing tasks.
Consequently, the students are not burdened
with a lot of pieces of paper or materials which
would distract them from the lesson.
With classes typically consisting of 40 to 42
students, it is important to be well-prepared for
the lesson. Since there is no textbook to follow,
I need to have the lesson plan well fixed in my
mind. I know exactly what is going to happen



Using Drama in the English Classroom

next. It is so important to be clear about the sequence of the lesson plan, especially when you have to move the students around the room which I often do in drama classes. Maintaining good classroom discipline is crucial to the success of a drama lesson. You have to be clear about what you want the students to do, and you have to be clear when giving instructions.

Also, drama lessons can become noisy at
times. This is good as you want the
students to communicate, but the teacher
has to be able to control the class. I take
a whistle to class with me. When I need to
call the students to order, I blow the
whistle sharply to let the students know
they need to stop what they are doing and
pay attention. It is a zero noise signal that
is useful in a noisy drama classroom.
Finally, I re-arrange the groups that
students work in during the term so
students don’t see the class as an
opportunity to socialise with their friends.
What about assessment?
Drama activities must be assessed in order for students to take them seriously. In Form 2, students are asked to present a short scene of my choice in a group of three as part of their oral examination. Before the assessment, the students will be trained in body language, voice projection and...
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