Using plays in the ESL classroom is a great way to motivate student creativity, decrease inhibitions, encourage natural language use and build students’ self- confidence while improving their reading and speaking skills. These drama techniques have been proven effective with low intermediate to advanced students in ESL and ELD classes.
1. Something to think about: agree / disagree: A pre-reading activity to help students focus on some of the themes of the play. It can also stimulate critical thinking and encourage lively debate.
2. Stage Directions: A TPR activity that will prepare students for the vocabulary encountered in the play's stage directions.
3.Back to Back: A physical exercise to awaken a childlike sense of fun and participation. This activity is a good way to promote teamwork and relieve inhibitions.
4. Simulcasts: It's showtime! A good way to get many of the benefits of rehearsal and performance without a major time commitment. Break up the play you are working with into short scenes, assigning each scene to a small group of students and have the students rehearse simultaneously. If you present the scenes in sequence, you will have a presentation of the entire play.