This is our landing page to learn more about our plays for students and other drama activities for ESL students! Looking for ways to do drama in the classroom? Keep reading!

The benefits of having students, particularly ESL students, read and perform scripts are numerous. They include practice with body language and gesture. Doing plays and drama activities in class leads to improved pronunciation and not just at the syllable level. Students start thinking about how to stress words, phrases, and whole sentences. They think about prosody features like intonation, rhythm, and volume instead of just “making the right sound”.

Plays and drama activities also increase ESL students’ awareness of pragmatics and how context changes how we communicate. They provide a safe space to practice as students are playing a role and give opportunities for improvisation and creativity. Finally plays develop, and the development of team work skills as students work together on a group project.

In short, by doing drama students gain tools to speak more effectively and clearly. They learn to express emotion and understand the emotions of others. They become better overall communicators in a variety of situations! That’s why we’ve developed three series of play scripts for students. Click on the series headers or titles to learn more about each one.

Integrated Skills Through Drama: More than just plays for students!

Our series of coursebooks designed to teach all four skills while using an original one-act play written for ESL students as input!

This teacher’s guide is designed for teachers who want to try drama in the classrooms but don’t know where to start. This book contains monologues, sketches, and scripts, as well as activities and teacher support—everything you need to go from drama games and pronunciation activities to a full production.

Monty Python meets Roald Dahl meets William Shakespeare in these fun and witty adaptations of Shakespeare!

Guides to Doing Plays

  • How to Do Readers’ Theatre 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!
  • Reflections on How to Do a Play in Class. Alice wrote a long blog post detailing how she handled a class built around Rising WaterLots of great information about logistics and the syllabus and more!
  • 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.

Drama Activities for the ESL Classroom

Presentations I’ve Done

  • Teaching Pragmatics with Theatre Handout A handout full of drama activities and ideas for structuring a lesson plan around a script. This presentation has been done at TESOL, IATEFL, and Vancouver!
  • Speaking Skills and Scripts Slides Slides from a presentation on how drama helps students become aware of pragmatics and nonverbal communication skills. Full of activity ideas!

Pragmatics, Prosody, and other things that start with pr-

You can also visit our feed of posts tagged “drama” to keep up with the very latest posts on drama activities in the ESL

Wearing Someone Down

Sign up to our mailing list for a free lesson plan that uses the scene from Her Own Worst Enemy that Alice is blogging about. Audio and the script of the scene are included. You also get updates, discounts, and more free resources!

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Here’s your free lesson plan on the pragmatics of wearing someone down.

Check it out and let us know how it goes.


The Alphabet Publishing Team


Wearing Someone Down!