Saturday, January 10, 2015

2015 January 10 | Dawn Kobayashi | Focus on Drama | Sponsored by CUE SIG!

Dawn Kobayashi
Sponsored by CUE SIG

This presentation will both introduce to attendees how the presenter is using drama as the main teaching methodology in university English lessons and give attendees a chance to try out some of the drama techniques for themselves. Finally attendees will be encouraged to reflect on how they might employ similar techniques in their teaching environments.

Although influential practitioners such as Spolin, Heathcote and O’Neill have pioneered the role of Drama in English Language Teaching (DELT); it is still often side-lined to the use of warm-ups, time fillers and extensions to textbook based lessons. This presentation will demonstrate how drama deserves to be given a central role in language teaching.

The presenter will introduce conflict dramas, a technique that was used for university general English classes, but could be successfully adapted to other teaching contexts. Conflict dramas are open-ended, high-tension role-plays that stop at the moment of dramatic climax. Students are tasked with formulating and performing a satisfactorily resolution to the role-play. Through the writing, performance, and assessment of drama skits, students become fully engaged in the language learning process and also develop their creative thinking skills.

This presentation will be of interest to those wishing to use drama in the classroom, and also to those seeking to move away from textbook teaching and offer students more autonomy.

Speaker: Dawn Kobayashi (sponsored by CUE SIG)
Date and Time: Saturday, 10 January 2015 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: Dejima Koryu Kaikan, 2-11 Dejimamachi, Nagasaki
Fee for JALT members: Free
Fee for one-day members: 1,000 yen, free for students
Contact or Queries: Email contact form

Notes and images from the meeting:

Dawn Kobayashi presents!

The attendees listen to Dawn lecturing on using Drama

Notes: (J.P. Dorgan credited)
Warm-up activity - Tom the imaginary hamster students jump over the hamster as it runs around the circle
  • shows students that the class will not be normal
  • shows students that they should just do without thinking
  • instructor can identify problem students and students who will be very active
About Dawn
  • teaches at a small school
  • general English class
  • usually teaches 50% text & 50% drama
  • now has changed to all drama
  • students only ever talk about drama on surveys
Drama connection to Humanist Theories
  • Humanist
    • Personal Involvement
    • Self Initiated
      • Student centered but not completely student initiated
      • give them the starting impetus and behavior
    • Changes behaviour
      • Anecdote about students whose behaviour change from very quiet & shy to active and fun
  • Self Evaluation
    • Student keep a journal
    • No testing

  • Essence is Meaning
    • The whole of activities creates the meaning

  • Head, Hands & Heart
    • students must be able to see the relevance to their future social environment
    • we must make explicit the relevance to the students
    • For Example:
      • conflict drama - What will happen next?
      • improvisation - thinking differently / creative thinking
      • must explain to student and provide techniques
  • Hands
    • practical skills we must give students - strategies they can use
    • voice - projection & enunciation
      • activity - voice is a ball 
        • make a sound that matches the way that you voice will travel as you throw it to another student in the circle
        • pass the voice around the room and react to it as if it were a physical object
    • Power Poses - Amy Cudy (TED Talks)
      • standing like wonder woman makes you feel confident
    • Physicality - how to physically prepare to speak
      • activity - poses
        • low power pose - students try to make themselves as small as possible - how does that feel?
        • high power pose - wonder woman - make yourself feel big - increase confidence and relaxation
  • Heart 
    • Getting students emotionally involved in what we are studying
    • Understanding socio-cultural issues
      • emotional response: in someone else’s shoes
        • easier to cope and display emotions
      • anecdote - students in class were in a love quadrangle (at least one bisexual male student) - didn’t take it to a silly or childish place - engaged with the situation emotionally
    • Sharing Time
      • audience shared whether they have the freedom to use drama in their classroom - most said they had at least some freedom to do so
    • Improve interest in textbook
      • textbooks usually only have student A & student B
        • no details
      • Activity -  Hot Seating
        • discover what a character is like
        • Student playing one of the parts sits in the seat
          • ask student many questions about character (can’t just attack with questions - shut down)
          • first ask questions (4) and give real answers
            • name, nationality, hometown, occupation, appearance 
          • ask same questions - lie
            • students can add some extra questions
          • change person in hot seat
            • same procedure
      • Activity - Tableaux
        • student understand concepts and stories
        • understand position
        • characters frozen in mid-action
          • create a scene that demonstrates and emotion or concept
    • Creativity
      • bottle-top - students must make a quick list of alternative uses for a bottle top
      • Who / Where / What
        • use for students to generate ideas
  • Drama as Main Focus of Class
    • process drama - no final drama
      • carries on throughout the class as a way to explore topics or themes
  • Questions 
    • Format for Reflection Journals (Brendan)
      • Guide students with specific (positive) questions
    • Number of Students (Tomoko)
      • upwards of 50 - still use drama in large class
Part 2
  • Short Drama Project
    • Conflict Drama - What will happen next? 
      • Final Project in Dawn’s Class
        • 8 Different Scenarios
        • 5 Weeks to prepare
        • 5 min drama
        • groups of 4 or 5 (Tomoko - How handle absences? - No test so students suffer if they are absent - groups will suffer too)
      • You are travelling with your friends. Your car has broken down at night on a lonely road. Another cars stops. Someone gets out. They have a gun...
        • First - assign characters - no predefined roles other than those stated in premise
        • Second - hot seat the characters - determine the traits of all the characters
        • Third - decide what will happen during the beginning, middle & end
          • make a tableaux for each point
        • Fourth - Perform actual skit
        • in Real class 
          • write out script and get it peer-evaluated
          • lots of practice
        • Evaluation
          • 3 performances - Three 5 week blocks
          • teacher & student evaluation of performance - 15 pts
            • content
            • body language & gestures
            • fluency
          • journal entry about what they learned in individual classes - 15 pts

Attendees: 9
Members: 6
Students: 2
Guests 1


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