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PLAYS AND DRAMA

Question 1

I have carried out childrens play The Pied Piper of Hamelin for Year 3 ESL
pupils. First and foremost, I noticed that play helped in the cognitive development
especially in the aspect of thinking skills among my pupils.
After done with process of selecting the play, I had divided the roles equally
among pupils in small groups. There were situation in which each of them will play more
than one role. Therefore, I had plan and determine the characters carefully for each of
them based on their capability. I made sure that characters played by each of them did
not clash with one another. This could be one of my strengths too as pupils understand
the roles played by each of them even though each of them played more than one
characters.
Besides, at first we did not give much emphasis after the props. But later on as I
progress with the scripts, then I realized the importance of props in a play. Therefore, I
and my pupils managed to come up with our props built even though it was a last
minute job. Therefore, during the last two days of memorizing the scripts and be busy
with the arrangement of stage, most time were spent on building the props mainly.
Therefore, it teaches me a lesson not to ignore the importance of props in a play.
Besides, another useful experience is in the aspect of the organization which the
sound effect. I have utilized lots of sound effects in pupils play to add more spices to it.
But unfortunately, the sound effect didnt work well on that day. During the practice, it

was all right but when on the day, it didnt turn well and on that time I couldnt do
anything than just carry on with our drama. Therefore, it teaches me to be more alert
next time besides always keep a backup plan for everything. For example; we can
utilize our body percussion to produce sounds. It can be more interesting.
As for myself, at the end of the play, I realized that pupils have from the aspect
of personal and as well as the professional growth. Personally, I can notice some
changes in my pupils after done with this play. They are more confident now to talk in
front of people. Besides, they are also able to project their voice more as especially
those played the role of narrator and angry villager which required them to project their
voice clearly so that pupils can hear them better. In addition, pupils pronunciation and
enunciation of words also improved thus enhanced quality of play indirectly. As a future
English teacher, I really give extra attention to this aspect. Therefore, I had refereed the
dictionary and also my peers to get the right way of pronouncing some words in this
story. These really helped me a lot during the play as I helped my pupils to pronounce
those words confidently and without any major complications.
As English teacher, this play had prepared me to share and contribute all the
inputs that I have gained with my pupils. It really helped me out on how to guide my
pupils as well act in a play. For instance, in the aspect of choosing a story, skills of
adapting a script, the choice of props, suitability of sound effect and such.

Question 2

Drama puts the teacher in the role of supporter in the learning


process and the students can take more responsibility for their own
learning. Drama for second language learners can provide an
opportunity to develop the imagination of the students . If the script is
not quite perfect for the situation, adaptations can often be made. First aspect of
adaptation is Lexical items. It is where individual words or whole phrases can be
substituted to better suit the theme of the vocabulary that is being learnt, or to be more
culturally appropriate, for example Instead of Hamelin we had changed it to Green
Village which is nearby Perlis. This is more contextual to them.
The second aspect would be Context and Cultural Considerations. Dramas
always have a cultural context. Many English language scripts are strongly British, and
are full of seasonal or weather issues, festivals or national days, and patriotic or
religious matters. This may be an opportunity for young children to learn about other
cultures and situations, or it may be offensive and inappropriate, or even just too difficult
for the teacher to explain the differences. In these cases the text may need to be
abandoned, or adapted. Sometimes the teacher may want to adapt the text to the local
context, simply because it is fun to do so and the children can be motivated by singing /
talking about their own context. In this drama, there is a scene where the young man
will be serving pork to his wife in the igloo and this is inappropriate to our culture.
Therefore, the script is adapted to serving chicken and the setting is changed to a
village house where we can found easily in our country.

Besides, most young pupils also will respond to anything that the teacher is
excited about, especially if they like the teacher. For example, they like additional
sounds effects that can make the script livelier. For instance, the script is dull without
any sound effect. Therefore, adaptation is done. For the part where the animal character
cow talks, it is assisted with the sound of mooo..moo and this made the young pupils to
really love to participate in the drama

Question 3

Most teachers are afraid of using drama activity and they dont feel confident using
the techniques in the class. It is difficult to persuade them to reverse the traditional style.
If the teachers can better understand the effectiveness of drama activities, it may
become easier for them to accept this methodology.
Drama is an efficient way to make students communicative and sociable (Royka,
2002). As for me, drama techniques aim to stimulate learners imaginations and practice
their abilities of communication and listening in an enjoyable process. Thus, learners
should be the leader of activities. I would be just like a guide who directs my pupils
action and helped them not to deviate from the authors intents. As soon as teachers
have a command of drama techniques, they will find it easy to prepare the actual
lesson. Class materials which are often tedious will become alive with drama activities.
Besides, I make it as a policy that I would not control my pupils thoughts and their
behaviors. Teacher should be clear about his or her role and what the relationship is
between the teachers and the students. Good relationships can make the whole class
vigorous. Minimum instructions are necessary for teachers in the class, as the teachers
are just directors. Therefore, I give my pupils freedom to make their choices concerning
character, situation, and body language. I also followed examples of techniques
proposed Guida (1995) which gave me some insights on how teachers use drama
activities in English as a Second Language classes. They make a model of
pronunciation, stress, rhythm, and oral expression in order to help students to
understand vocabulary, idioms and cultural aspects. Besides, I also did not neglect the
significance of the assessment. Drama activities are not only for fun but also for
learning. Giving evaluations about language accuracy and fluency becomes necessary

after the activities. If students easily tend to be distracted, then an effective assessment
makes students not only concentrate on others performances but also improves their
abilities of self-learning. Therefore, it becomes easy for me to manage the class.
Through the drama activity, some teachers intend to ignore the students grammatical
mistakes, because students often feel frustrated when they make errors. But as for me,
the purpose of the drama activity is to help pupils to use the language accurately and
appropriately. Davies and Pearse (2002) strengthened opinion that evaluation is an
essential process of the drama activity. Evaluation builds up students confidence to use
language effectively rather than to critique the students confidence.
Moreover, I used Video drama is widely used in the English class, which helps, my
pupils comprehend new language and its cultural experience. Students can directly
experience target language speech through video drama (Hwang, 2005). Group work or
task-based learning is encouraged in drama activity. It increases the individual practice
and

develops

students autonomy Students

communication and interaction through group work.

will

become

more

engaged

in

Question 4

Sun (2003) found the nature of drama is flexible, plastic, and continuous,
so there are no fixed and constant models for drama activities. Drama gives them
chances to create a new plot and characters for the story. It is an enjoyable experience
for them (Bas, 2008). In English as a Second Language classes, role play is very
common with teachers .It also encouraged teachers like me to explore the different
types of role play, such as dramatic plays, storytelling and interviews. As what I
experienced, I feel it is worthwhile to apply different types of role play according to
different levels and demands for students (Gaudart, 1990). Role play and simulation are
my favourite activities in the class. A realistic setting is the key concept in simulation
while role-play is defined as an activity which requires a person to take on a role that is
real or imaginary (Sam, 1990). It gives them a good chance to express their own
opinions and practice how to use languages. Miming also been effective enough
appropriate for warming-up. Its strength lies in that although no language is used
during the mime, the mime itself can act as a catalyst to generate and elicit language
before, during, and after the activity (Gaudart, 1990, p. 235). For example, pupils like
charade games in English as a Second Language classes. Miming makes charade
games more effective. It is where I divide my pupils into teams; one member of the team
shows the picture of the word or expressions, and the volunteer of the team has to
mime without saying any words for his own team members made the atmosphere of my
class to become more relaxed and also facilitate learning activities with dramatic
techniques (Chauhan, 2004).
In English as a Second Language classes for elder pupils, I asked them to create a skit
to deeply comprehend the vocabulary term or encourage them to make a story by using

a list of new vocabulary items. It is where I helped my pupils to extend and reinforce the
new vocabulary through the relevant literature pieces .I have also tried Improvisational
drama in English as a Second Language classes. It required pupils to produce
appropriate words emotionally by using gestures and facial expressions. Pupils are to
be free to act and create the character that they want to be (Wagner, 2002).

Question 5

The responses given by my pupils were overwhelming. They were very satisfied
with their performances and asked me when we can have the next drama.
At the end of this drama, pupils admit that this drama helped them in problem
solving skills. There are about 24 characters in this play and it is considered a lot.
Therefore, somehow there were situations where pupils will want to play the same role.
For example, two pupils wanted to play the role of piper as they both can play flute. So,
to sort out this problem, pupil sat and discussed about the characters as a whole to
make a final decision about the characters.
Moreover, most pupils also agreed that they could generate their built in
vocabularies. In this play, pupil said that they could new words that can aid in the
development of their cognitive level. For example, the words mayour, pied piper, barns,
warehouses may sound new to some pupil .So, by getting familiar to these words,
pupils can trace them and use them confidently in the play.
I personally agrees that a good play can allow pupil to go through the story
without any difficulties and very comprehensible to them. In addition, the story must also
be at their finger tips. So, for that, I really find this play very suitable. Pupils could read
and comprehend the script without any obstruction. This is because the plot line is very
clear and very direct. Therefore, it provides many opportunities for pupils to modify the
story. Modifying a story is not easy unless we have a good understanding of the story
because there are many chances it can be diverted from the main input of the story. So,

as pupil modified the story, it enhanced their intellectual skills indirectly and this made
them to be confident to participate in the further literary texts.