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Certificate of the English Speaking Union English Language Awards, Runner up for Only the Best Intentions
Plays allow [ESL students] to experiment with language— to use intonation and word stress to change meaning, to use body language with dialogue to emphasize a point, etc. —Amazon Reviewer

What a pleasure it was to discover a series totally devoted to the EFL/ESL teacher who may already understand the value of teaching through Drama, or who would like to try this approach for the first time in the classroom —Charlyn Wessels Dyers, Author of Drama in the Oxford Resource Series for Teachers

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Description

Only the Best Intentions is an English language textbook that teaches spoken communication skills through the performance of a one-act play. Whether it’s reader’s theater, an in-class performance, or a full production, putting on a play is the ultimate group project. And drama is a powerful tool for learning spoken communication skills! Students take on acting skills like using body language, gesture, intonation, and other non-verbal cues to communicate better. They are exposed to natural language in a realistic setting. And they get super engaged!

A range of activities prepare students to perform, including:

  • Background readings on topics raised by the play: the history of competitive video games, the life of professional video game players, and managing modern life with screens.
  • An original one-act play written for ELLs about a young woman who breaks off her engagement when she finds out her fiancé wants to be a professional video game player. But what’s more important? Family, stability, keeping promises, or helping someone follow their dreams?
  • Pragmatics lesson on raising problems and resolving conflicts
  • Pronunciation activities, including sentence stress to show contrast and practice linking sounds.
  • Scaffolding to prepare students to produce a play including
    • Lessons on attentive listening
    • Guided questions to analyze the play
    • Ideas for auditioning, learning a part, and marking scripts for emotional content to improve line readings.
    • Tips for staging a play
  • Post-Performance Activities, including a talkback, a mini-debate, writing a new scene or even a sequel or mining the play for useful language
  • An optional assignment to interview families about screen time
  • Assessment rubrics and an answer key

Your students will look forward to class with this innovative resource that utilizes drama in language teaching!


Preview Only the Best Intentions

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Find more books in the Integrated Skills Through Drama series and browse all our resources for doing drama with students.

Additional information

Weight 8.5 oz
Dimensions 11 × 8.5 × .25 in
Format

,

ISBN

9781948492065

Series

Writer

Pages

82 pages

Publication Date

1 May 2018

Size

8.5 x 11 inches

Skills

,

Age Group

, ,

Resources

Here are some free downloadable resources you can use with the book. Have you come up with your own great idea for an activity that works with Only the Best IntentionsSend it to us. If we use it, we’ll send you a discount coupon good for any of our titles.

Take a look inside by downloading the Table of Contents and a preview of the content of the book.

Answer Key

Extension Ideas

  • How to Organize a Mini-Debate One of the suggestions for post-performance activities in the book is a mini-debate. It’s a great way to have students grapple with the theme of the play, work with language, and practice the pragmatics of persuasion. Suggested topics for Only the Best Intentions include:
    Is addiction to screens a serious problem or not?
    Children should learn to use technology because technology is the future.
    Agree or Disagree: Schools should ban phones, tablets, and other devices.
    Agree or Disagree: Esports are not real sports.
  • How to Do Readers Theater  Reader’s Theater is a great way to practice pronunciation and pragmatics with a minimum of preparation. Students can also being analyzing the script and rehearse for a full-production. Here’s some things to take into consideration as you do Reader’s Theater in class.

Pragmatics Lesson Plans

  • Wedding Party Simulation Role-play Oscar and Gigi’s wedding and help students practice beginning, and continuing small talk, as well as getting out of a conversation. These are valuable real-life skills.

Reactions and Reviews

A great addition to any ESL library and a pedagogically sound model for teaching English through drama. The book can be used in several ways, including using the play as-is or using various parts.

—C. Reese, an Amazon buyer

I’m so thrilled to have another play by Savage to use with my ESL students! Plays allow them to experiment with language— to use intonation and word stress to change meaning, to use body language with dialogue to emphasize a point, etc. ….Most of all, the students have fun performing the play!
—A.L., an Amazon buyer

It’s great to see authors creating materials to get students really using their language skills. The students can also relate with the characters very current problems, especially Oscar’s addiction to video games. makes for great discussion.
—John, an Amazon buyer

In the play, Only the Best Intentions, we meet a dilemma that is faced by families all around the world. What do you do when someone you love is a dedicated gamer? Gigi loves Oscar, but Oscar loves gaming. She decided to break off the engagement as a way to send a message, but it doesn’t work the way she hopes ….And while much of the plot revolves around a gamer, it is mainly a family drama, so it could work with people who are not into computer games. In fact, I think it’s brave of the author to venture into this territory!… I plan to use the book with an intermediate conversation class to see how it goes, and if I like it, I’ll report back. There are very few high-quality short plays that work for ESOL or EFL students, and I’m hoping that this series continues to grow.
—Amazon Customer

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5 Replies to “Only the Best Intentions: A modern romance between a guy, a girl, and a game”

  1. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    A great ESL resource!

    I’m so thrilled to have another play by Savage to use with my ESL students! Plays allow them to experiment with language— to use intonation and word stress to change meaning, to use body language with dialogue to emphasize a point, etc. The natural conversation in the play uses high frequency vocabulary which makes it appropriate for even lower levels of English learners. Most of all, the students have fun performing the play! I can’t wait to use this one in class and hope Savage keeps writing plays.

  2. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Great tool for ESOL teachers!
    In the play, Only the Best Intentions, we meet a dilemma that is faced by families all around the world. What do you do when someone you love is a dedicated gamer? Gigi loves Oscar, but Oscar loves gaming. She decided to break off the engagement as a way to send a message, but it doesn’t work the way she hopes. Interestingly, the script explores the growing business of esports and contrasts Gigi and her family’s attitudes towards computer games with unwavering support for the son, Jaime, who plays soccer.
    This is the second book in this series, which includes plays with activities, readings, and support for lesson planning. I enjoyed the first play and am looking forward to trying out this one. I like that Only the Best Intentions is not too didactic. It may bother some people that the conclusion is a little open-ended, but the gaming/soccer dynamic could foster great discussions in which computer gamers in the classroom could potentially share their experience, expertise and even feelings about esports (gaming leagues modeled after traditional sports leagues). And while much of the plot revolves around a gamer, it is mainly a family drama, so it could work with people who are not into computer games. In fact, I think it’s brave of the author to venture into this territory!
    In addition to the seven-character play, which has seven scenes and should run about 20 – 30 minutes, the book provides abundant lesson plan support. There are three articles about screen time, gaming, and esports to read and discuss as well as pronunciation exercises and a whole section that supports a reader’s theatre or full production.
    I plan to use the book with an intermediate conversation class to see how it goes, and if I like it, I’ll report back. There are very few high-quality short plays that work for ESOL or EFL students, and I’m hoping that this series continues to grow.

  3. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    An easy-to-use product for drama in the classroom
    A great addition to any ESL library and a pedagogically sound model for teaching English through drama. The book can be used in several ways, including using the play as-is or using various parts. A range of activities, in addition to the play, focus on multiple skills and sub-skills including fluency speaking, vocabulary and idiomatic phrases, attentive listening, expressing emotion through gesture and intonation, pragmatics, connected speech, contrastive stress in sentences, brainstorming and writing.
    For use of the play, a detailed rubric, self-reflection and peer evaluations have been provided at the back of the book, which could be used with any play or similarly rehearsed speaking activity. A sample daily plan at the back makes the book easy to use for those of us with little or no experience using drama in the classroom.

  4. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Great Practice
    It’s great to see authors creating materials to get students really using their language skills. The students can also relate with the characters very current problems, especially Oscar’s addiction to video games. makes for great discussion.

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