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The Wonderful World of Teaching English Through Drama



Session Outline






TESOL-Drama is a nine-year old worldwide community of language drama practitioners, coordinated by Gary Carkin and moderated by Shin-Mei Kao, Susan Hillyard, Leslie Sapp, Fernanda Molla, Jessica Davis, Nigel Caplan, Judy Trupin, Holly Dilatush, George Plautz and others.


In the annual TESOL-Drama Workshops we explore, via collaborative online interaction, effective approaches to learning language through drama, discussion of drama-related issues, and encouragement of the use of drama -- in its many forms -- to support language learning.




The 2013 session will guide participants through a series of approaches that support language teaching and learning, beginning with an overview and explanation of applied drama techniques (with a rich sharing of resource files), moving on to improvisation, then through the multiple ‘windows’ of process drama. An overview of the more structured and perhaps more familiar forms of drama, including story/readers’ theatre, and the use of scripted drama will be included, sharing tips for how these can be best organized to promote the greatest amount of language learning for learners of any age and any language.


Participants will expand their reflective learning by answering these two questions throughout the workshop:

"How can I apply what I've learned to my teaching situation?" and

"What might I teach using these techniques, and how?"


Answers to these questions will be culled and collected into one document to be shared with all at the end of the five weeks.



Target Audience


All EFL/ESL teachers interested in expanding their knowledge of the use of drama in the language classroom.




For teachers of beginner through advanced level language learners




Having an e-mail account, basic familiarity with browsers, internet access, and navigation.  Having a headset for participation in voice chats is desirable.



Interest Section Sponsors

TESOL CALL ISTESOL-Drama e-groupSpeech, Pronunciation and Listening IS




Weekly Outline



Week 1  - Introductions and overview of applied drama techniques (Jan 14 - 20)



  • Moderators will share exercises and techniques found to be effective in language teaching and invite participants to share and discuss these ideas and to add their own.


  • Syllabus shared, workshop expectations outlined


  • First of four (or more) WiZiQ synchronous meetings



Week 2  - Improvisation (Jan 21-27) 


  • Moderators and participants will continue to share stories, tips, best practices, challenges experienced while incorporating drama techniques and elements into classroom activities and planning.


  • Suggested readings and review of the EVO_Drama_2013 Yahoo Group’s Files will provide additional opportunities for Q & A. “How can you apply what you’ve read to your teaching situation?” and “What would you teach using these techniques, and how?”


  • Elements of improvisation will be presented and discussed and participants will be especially encouraged to suggest details of improvisation activities of their own, particularly those that produced superior language results.



Week 3  - Process Drama (Jan 28 - Feb 3)


  • The principles and conventions of process drama will be introduced, with opportunities for Q & A regarding each one.


  • Successful process drama projects, from prior years’ EVO_Drama sessions archives will be illustrated. [Participants are always encouraged to join prior years’ Yahoo Groups for full access to the rich files of resources shared there.]


  • Participants requested to share any and all questions (process drama is not always an easy concept to embrace; questions help all of us learn). “How can you apply what you’ve read to your teaching situation?” and “What would you teach using these techniques, and how?”


  • Second of three (or more) WiZiQ synchronous meetings.



Week  4  - From Process Drama to Story and/or Readers’ Theatre (Feb 4 - 10)


  • Story theatre / Readers’ theatre! Moderators will share best practices.


  • Participants will be challenged to share specifics as they think and talk through the incorporation of process drama conventions in the development and planning of story/readers’ theatre for use within their classrooms, working with different age groups and classroom settings.


  • “How can you apply what you’ve read to your teaching situation?” and “What would you teach using these techniques, and how?”
  • Special WiZiQ webinar led by Susan Hillyard, with a focus on Readers' Theatre 





  • Moderators will share examples of how traditional drama has been and can be fine-tuned to meet the various objectives of all language learning. Participants will appreciate/marvel/celebrate how even beginning learners can be engaged through drama-based language learning. 


  • “How can you apply what you’ve read to your teaching situation?” and and “What would you teach using these techniques, and how?” 


  • Third of three (or more) WiZiQ synchronous meetings.



  • Evaluations of EVO_Drama_2013
  • Tentative plans for focus of EVO_Drama_2014
  •  Special guest presenter Patrice Baldwin, fourth of four (or more) WiZiQ sessions 


Join this session


>>>Sign up for the session starts on Jan 7th, 2013.


The action starts on Jan 14, 2013.


To join this group:


From January 7 to 13:


  1. Go to:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EVO_Drama_2013/ and click   
  2. "Join group."
  3. On the Yahoo Group page you should find a link to our syllabus and Week 1 activities.  







Gary Carkin


(http://garycarkin.tripod.com/garycarkinphdprofessoroftesolsouthernnewhampshireuniversitymanchesternh/) is professor of TESOL at the Institute for Language Education at Southern New Hampshire University where he teaches in the graduate TEFL program and specializes in teaching English through drama. He is co-founder with Nigel Caplan of TESOL-Drama and is Past Chair of TESOL’s Speech, Pronunciation, and Listening Interest Section. He has taught in Thailand and Vietnam and presently is a visiting professor at Vietnam National University as part of the SNHUVNU graduate TEFL program there. His books include Ten Plays for the ESL/EFL Classroom and Ten MORE Plays for the ESL/EFL Classroom (Carlisle Publications) as well as the culture studies books, How to Succeed in the USA (Discovery Publishers, Taiwan and Se-Ed Publishers - Thailand). He has written many articles related to teaching English through drama for international TESOL publications and continues to teach the uses of drama in language education through workshops in the U.S. and throughout the world.


Nigel Caplan


Nigel Caplan (http://nigelteacher.wordpress.com) is an assistant professor at the University of Delaware English Language Institute in the United States, where he teaches courses to international students, including Drama. Nigel is the co-founder with Gary Carkin of the TESOL-Drama e-group and serves on the steering committee of TESOL’s Second Language Writing Interest Section. He is the author most recently of Grammar Choices for Graduate and Professional Students (University of Michigan Press) and Q: Skills for Success, Reading/Writing 5 (Oxford University Press). Originally from the U.K., he now lives in Wilmington, Delaware.


 Susan Hillyard


Susan Hillyard (http://susanhillyard.blogspot.com.ar/),B.Ed.(Hons) Warwick University (U.K.) is Coordinator of English in Action, a programme designed to teach English through Drama in Special Education Schools in the Special Education Department at the Ministry of Education, City of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Susan has work experience in seventeen countries as a teacher, HOD, Director, speaker, workshop facilitator, consultant, researcher, on-line tutor. She was Prof. Language IV in Lenguas Vivas and UTN, national training colleges in Bs As. Argentina. She is a  NILE  Associate Trainer, in  Norwich, UK. She has co-authored  a Resource Book for Teachers Global Issues for OUP and TDI-TKT On-line Course for Pearson, New York. Her current research centres on SLA as Performative Activity.



Leslie Sapp

Leslie Sapp teaches ESOL to adult immigrants in Tucson, Arizona, USA. A veteran creator, performer, teacher, and director of movement-based story theatre, Leslie has a passionate interest in the integration of drama, movement, and storytelling activities into the teaching of ESOL. Leslie holds a BFA from the State University of New York (1983), a CELTA Certificate from Cambridge University (2007), and a Post Graduate Diploma in Drama in  Education from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. She is currently earning a masters degree in TESL at the University of Arizona. 


Fernanda Molla

Fernanda Molla is a graduate from INSP Lenguas Vivas, Argentina. She has 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 nine years she has devoted herself to the training of teachers to use drama techniques to activate their classes and has delivered several workshops on Educational DRAMA.



Holly Dilatush


 After stints as tutor, tutor-trainer, and board member for Literacy Volunteers of America, I realized that what I was doing as a volunteer on the side was what I should be doing full-time, and so I have worked in adult education, with ESOL/ELL* ever since. Adult learning center environments, workplace skills, refugee work, visiting professor in South Korea, online consultant and facilitator for EnglishCafe.com (site now closed), and most recently founder and community manager of LEWWWP / Learn English With a Worldwide Perspective, as well as ongoing private tutoring and consulting, highlight my journey.  Personal strong interests (in addition, of course, to drama) in ELL include hybrid/blended learning, online learning for all level learners, community-building, badges as valid/valued credentials. I've been involved with EVO_Drama workshops since 2005, as participant and then co-moderator for a few years now.  Contact info: Email: holly@dilatush.com    Skype ID: Smilin7   Twitter: HollyDilatush    Facebook:  Holly Dilatush    blog:  hollydilatush.wordpress.com   PhotoPeach   Smilin7        Flickr  blogblossoms      Diigo  blogblossoms   LinkedIn  Holly Dilatush     Scoop.It

*ESOL = English speakers of other languages / ELL = English language learners.



Shin-Mei Kao 


Shin-Mei Kao (http://ncku.academia.edu/ShinMeiKao), with Ph.D. from the Ohio State University of the US, is an associate professor at Foreign Languages and Literature Department, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. She has been teaching English to Chinese students of various age groups and proficiency levels since 1992. She is interested in the interactional patterns between the teachers and students when various drama techniques are used in the EFL setting. She co-authored with Cecily O'Neill, Words into worlds: Learning a second language through process drama (ISBN: 1567503691).



Communication Media Used


Primarily Yahoo Groups, with three (possibly more) WiZiQ synchronous meetings. Optional use of  MailVu.com (video greetings/posts encouraged), Audiopal.com (for quick voice sharing), Fotobabble.com (voice paired with a single photo) will be strongly encouraged.



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


TESOL, an international education association





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