Drama in Language Teaching is a broad area that includes performative techniques to improve teaching style, theater-style games and activities in the classroom, and using scripts or plays to teach communicative strategies and other skills. Our series, Integrated Skills through Drama, encompasses all of those areas.
Integrated Skills through Drama is a collection of plays written specifically for English learners. Each course book contains a complete curriculum built around an original one-act play. Students will work with readings on the theme of the play, writing and discussion activities, pre-production skills practice, and post production lesson plan options, and assessments so teachers can adapt the material to fit any class size or schedule.
Throughout this process, they will practice many practical and useful skills, such as:
- Pronunciation Practice
- Pragmatics Practice
- Production Skills: Learning a part and staging plays for students
- Attentive Listening
- Creative Writing
- Reading and Analysis
- Debate and Discussion
Modules in the Integrated Skills through Drama Series
- Her Own Worst Enemy
A serious comedy about choosing a career
Aida is in her last year of high school. She has good grades and she is planning to go to college. She wants to pursue a career in science and is thinking about a medical field. However, there is a catch. Aida is also good at acting. Her performance in a school play has caught the attention of the theatre director at a famous performing arts college. When he invites her to audition for a spot at the school, Aida’s friends and relatives are excited about the opportunity. Everyone has advice for her, but Aida must make her own decision about her future.
- Only the Best Intentions
A modern romance between a guy, a girl, and a game
Life’s ups and downs do not slow down the busy Curry family whose members are juggling jobs, family, school, sports, and wedding plans. But when 20-year-old Gigi announces that she has broken off her engagement to a lonely computer gamer, everything comes to a stop. Eve wants to help Gigi and Oscar, but in a modern romance, the rules the game are always changing.
- Rising Water
A Stormy Drama about Being Out of Control
Ajax has a hard time fitting into a world of school and books. He wants to do the right thing, but his inability to sit still and pay attention keeps getting him in trouble. After a trip downtown for a job interview turns into a battle against the forces of nature, Ajax has an opportunity to discover who he really is in society.
Integrated Skills Through Drama Podcast
Performances of the plays by professional actors and drama students. These recordings provide one model of how to perform the roles which students can use to shape their own acting choices, whether they chose to imitate or deviate from the actors in the audio. Teachers can play the audio so students can hear the whole play or ask students to record their own performances and compare to this.
There are two ways to listen:
- Free as a podcast scene-by-scene on Soundcloud, Spotify, iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. Updates weekly.
- Full audio recordings, uninterrupted for sale:
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Resources for Teacher
- How to Organize a Mini-Debate Debates are a great way to extend a play or any text, help students analyze the theme and main topics, and practice using persuasive language. Download this free guide to doing quick debates in class.
- How to Do Readers Theater Reader’s Theater is a great way to practice pronunciation and pragmatics with a minimum of preparation. It’s also a fun way to rehearse a play or get students thinking about communication skills. Here’s a free introduction to reader’s theater and some things to take into consideration as you do it in class!
- Reflecting on Doing Rising Water in Class. Alice wrote a long blog post detailing how she handled a class built around Rising Water. There’s lots of great information about logistics and the syllabus and more!
- ITSD Blog Posts All our blog posts tagged “Integrated Skills Through Drama” so you can keep up with the latest resources, free activities, and updates. Or subscribe to our feed or mailing list.
- Teaching Students the Pragmatics of Honesty An activity that asks students to analyze ways to communicate being direct and honest with other people using a script.
- Ten Ways to Teach English with a Play 10 teaching ideas from Alice about exploiting plays in the classroom. Click on the link for a series of graphics that make nice classroom posters.
- Wearing Someone Down A lesson plan to teach the pragmatics of wearing someone down to persuade them to your point of view, using a scene from Her Own Worst Enemy.
- How to Praise Someone (and how not to). A fun short script from Alice that focuses on strategies for connecting with people through praise. Students learn how to use language to compliment another person, and some models of failure, as well.
- Wedding Party Simulation Students practice starting, continuing, and ending conversations in the context of a wedding reception. Can be done as a standalone activity or a follow-up to Only the Best Intentions as students imagine themselves at Gigi and Oscar’s wedding.