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Teaching English through Drama: Dramatic Questions, Dramatic Answers!








Teaching English through Drama: Dramatic Questions, Dramatic Answers

This session will focus on the questions raised by participants. Soliciting issues from members, the issues will be discussed in "threads".  The syllabus then, will be constructed drawing from the participant-generated areas of interest, and the total group subdivided according to the interests determined through the introduction process of the first week. Each thread will be assigned a moderator, but other moderators may join in, and participants should feel free to join as many threads as they wish to or have time for.  A substantial amount of material is readily availalble through the TESOL-Drama/EVO_Drama archives and this material will be made available to all participants during the first week so that they may more easily select an area of interest for further discussion.


Typical interest areas might be:


Incorporating drama games and improvisation into classroom work


Adapting school/program curriculum and/or language texts to drama activities


Planning drama lessons based on a student-centered approach


Process drama and how to plan it for the classroom (What is it? How do you do it? What is invloved?)


Structuring a curriculum based upon the use of drama activites for language learning incorporating the four skils





To enable teachers to introduce drama activities in their classes


To develop an understanding of the power of drama to aid in teaching language skills


To facilitate teachers in determining what drama techniques will most accomplish their classroom linguistic goals


To empower participants to bring drama to their classrooms in an orderly and pedagogically supported manner


To clarify strategies that may facilitate any of the above stated goals.



Target audience


Teachers of English to speakers of other languages at all levels.



Interest Section


SPL-IS and Drama E-Group




Weekly content


Week 1 

Introductions of members and solicitation of member-suggested topics. Getting familiar with the interface. Getting to know each other and build a sense of familiarity and community. Participants will join the group, prepare Yahoo profiles, give a short introduction of themselves, and post  a photo. Participants will have an opportunity to brouse through the TESOL-Drama/EVO drama archives. Participants will then begin to discuss what topics they consider to be the most appropriate to pursue. Once determined, participants will be encouraged to read some of the material in the archives related to their thread's topic in preparation for discussion beginning week 2.


Week 2 

A different moderator will be responsible for guiding his/her thread. Each group will focus on one topic until the topic has been resolved or run its course. The members of that group may then join other groups or develop a new topic/thread. Each moderator will arrange a live chat session over SKYPE by the end of the second week.


Week 3 

At the beginning of week three, a general session will be held to "check the pulse of all groups" and to determine if new topics should be defined. From the input, we will develop fresh threads and determine new topics. Meeting time for a live chat session will be determined.


Week 4 

Through week 4, participants will develop ideas based upon the discussion occurring in their groups. At the end of week 4, participants will be encourage to review the discussion which occurred in all other groups durring weeks 2, 3, and 4. A live chat session will be arranged.


Week 5 

This week, we will form a single community made up of the various threads that have been discussed in the previous weeks. A general discussion of topics will ensue.


Week 6 

During week 6, participants will discuss plans for the ongoing TESOL-Drama discussions and plans for EVO_Drama 2010. Evaluations of the 2009 session will be called for and finally, participants will be asked to give an overview of their feelings about the 2009 session and suggestions for the format of the next EVO_Drama session.





  Gary Carkin

I teach TEFL Methods and Pronunciation Techniques in our graduate program and various courses in our IEP at the Institute for Language Education at Southern New Hampshire University. (My bio: http://www.carlislepublications.com/id4.html ) Trained as an actor, and co-founder (with Nigel Caplan) of TESOL-Drama, I have enjoyed learning with the Webheads and sharing ideas about the implementation of drama in teaching English since our first TESOL-Drama/EVO Drama Workshop in 2004. I’ve taught in England, Vietnam, and Thailand for extended periods of time and continue to give workshops in Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the USA on the subject of Teaching English through Drama. Recent events for TESOL-Drama include a chapter on Readers’ Theater in the upcoming TESOL edition, Authenticity in the Classroom and Beyond and a full day Pre-Convention Institute on Readers’ Theater at the International TESOL Convention in Denver in March, 2009. Institute leaders include, Alexis Finger (The Magic of Drama), Julie O’Sullivan (Stage by Stage: A Handbook for Using Drama in theLanguage Classroom, by Ann Burke and Julie O'Sullivan), Gary Carkin, Ten Plays forthe ESL/EFL Classroom and Ten MORE Plays for the ESL/EFL Classroom) Sarah Dodson-Knight and George Plautz.



  Judy Trupin has been involved with all aspects of theater from directing to writing to performing and stage managing. She has worked as an artist in schools, and taught dance, yoga and creative movement. In the ESOL world, she has worked with all levels of adult learners and is currently the Assistant Manager for the Adult Learner Program of the Queens Library in New York City. Judy has been a moderator for TESOL drama for the past five years.



Nigel Caplan is an ESL Specialist at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he runs the English Language & American Culture services at the Writing Center. He is a co-founder of TESOL-Drama and has presented at numerous regional and international TESOL conferences. This is his fifth year as an EVO moderator.



  Sarah Dodson-Knight coordinates a reading enrichment program for children and teens at Lafayette Public Library in Colorado, USA and writes about raising children with more than one language at http://babybilingual.blogspot.com.  She has directed plays with French and English language learners at Colorado State University and is a longtime member of the TESOL-Drama team.



  Susan Hillyard holds a B.Ed. from Warwick University (U.K.) in Dramatic Arts and Sociology and has worked as a classroom teacher, a Head, or a teacher trainer in eleven countries, using drama for education and language learning. She taught Language IV at two major teacher training colleges in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she is currently based. She is Educational Advisor for The Performers Theatre and an Educational Consultant. Her major roles as an amateur actress include Rita in “Educating Rita” and Shirley in “Shirley Valentine”. She has co-authored a Resource Book for Teachers “Global Issues” for OUP, and teaches a course on Creativity on-line for Net-learning.




   Ma. Fernanda Mollá

Fernanda is a graduate from INSP Lenguas Vivas. While she was teaching English for ten years, she trained as an actress, specialized in the use of drama techniques for the teaching of English and studied a post graduate course on Pedagogía Teatral (Educational Drama) at UDD university (CHILE) She has worked as a drama teacher for more than 15 years in Argentina, Chile and Mexico.  During the last five years she has devoted herself to the training of teachers to use drama techniques to activate their classes at different schools in Argentina.  This is her second year as moderator for the EVO drama.



  Yordana Hristozova

My name is Yordana Hristozova, from Bulgaria. I have been teaching English and working with many different groups—from young learners to adults with different background and nationalities as Peace corps volunteers (USA), Military elite, Iraqi troops in Bulgaria, high school and university students. My academic education is: Phd in Theory of Education, MA in English linguistics from “St. Kl. Ohridsky” University of Sofia. I feel inspired when have the opportunity to experiment with different aspects of drama (applied drama, psychodrama) in my lessons as well as to face some new challenges. 



  George Plautz has been teaching ESL for the last 22 years and has been involved in theatre for 30.  He has taught at Kuwait University, Georgetown and George Washington universities and is currently the Associate Director of the English Language Institute at the University of Utah where he created his Dramatically Speaking class – an integrated skills ESL Drama class. His specialties are spoken English, academic writing and college preparation.  He has written, acted and directed for the theatre and is currently on the Board of Directors of Wasatch Theatre Company and is a writer/performer with the Starry-Eyed Puppets. Last May, he gave a keynote address at the Third International Conference on English Teaching and Drama in Taiwan.



Julie O’Sullivan

Julie O'Sullivan has worked in international education for more than 15 years. She has worked both as an ESL teacher worldwide and an international program administrator on US campuses. In her current position as International Student Advisor at SUNY New Paltz, she is the contact person for all international students on campus. In addition, she teaches an orientation course for the new ESL students each semester. Her main teaching interests are developing writing, cross cultural integration and using drama to teach ESL. She co-wrote a book with Ann Burke on teaching drama, “Stage By Stage: A Handbook for Using Drama in the Second Language Classroom” published by Heinemann. She has presented at TESOL on integrating drama into the ESL classroom and has been a discussion leader in past TESOL EVO workshops.



  Kao, Shin-Mei

I am from Taiwan and have been teaching English to Chinese speakers of different age groups for more than 15 years. I received my MA in English Studies from Nottingham University, UK.  There I studied with Prof. Ronald Carter, an internationally known scholar in stylistics, discourse analysis, and lexical studies.  I received my PhD from the Department of Foreign Language Education of the Ohio State University, USA.  Though I my major was second language acquisition, I was very interested in drama.  Thus, I chose theater education as my minor and met Prof. Cecily O’Neill, an international authority in process drama, at OSU.  I was interested in the interaction patterns and discourse nature of teacher and students when innovative approaches were applied in a foreign language classroom.  This area was rather new to researchers, language teachers, and theater people at that time.  This was my motivation to work with Cecily, and later wrote a book with her, entitled, “Words into Worlds: Learning a Second Language through Process Drama.” (ISBN 1567503691), based on my dissertation and several other studies about how language learners and teachers interacted in drama-oriented language classroom.  I am teaching at the Department of Foreign Languages & Literature, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. 


Communication tools to be used


Yahoo Group for email list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EVO_Drama_2009/

Skype and/or Yahoo Messenger



Join this session



To join this group:


From January 1 to 12:


  1. Go to:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EVO_Drama_2009/
  2. Click on the blue button:  (This is just an image). The real button is on the Yahoo Group. If you don´t have a Yahoo ID, you will be prompted to create one (it is free).
  3. Follow the instructions




Note: When you register for the group, you will have to be approved by the moderator. In order to reduce the possibility of "unwanted" members (such as spammers), please be sure to explain who you are and why you want to enroll in the session. This message will only be seen by the session moderator


Back to Call for Participation


 The Electronic Village Online is a project of TESOL's CALL Interest Section.


 Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc.


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