There’s been a growing interest in Drama in teaching ESL. Rather than focusing on discrete grammar items (“Grammar McNuggets” as Scott Thornbury puts it) or vocabulary, plays for English learners let students put on a mask, enter an authentic situation, and experiment with natural language to solve problems and achieve objectives. They build confidence to communicate in the real-world. And they participate in an engaging and motivating group project. Drama is a powerful tool for language teaching. That is why we created the Integrated Skills through Drama series!
The plays in our Integrated Skills through Drama provide invaluable experience letting students practice difficult situations, ones where word choices really matter! As they do so, they learn a wide range of communication skills including using voice and gesture, making appropriate choices in register and word choice, and navigating rhetorical moves in a conversation. And of course, they’re doing in all in the safe and fun environment of the stage.
Integrated Skills through Drama Coursebooks
The three books in our ISTD series are more than just plays though! They are full textbooks with a curriculum built around an original one-act play written for ESL or EFL students! They make using drama in teaching ESL easy. Each book includes:
- background readings on the theme of the play
- pronunciation work
- lessons on pragmatics
- discussion and writing tasks
- grammar and vocabulary practice
Including Her Own Worst Enemy, Only the Best Intentions (the 2018 English Language Awards Runner-Up) and Rising Water. Click each play below to learn more.
Integrated Skills Through Drama Recordings
Plays are meant to be spoken out loud but are written down. This makes drama in teaching ESL a particularly powerful tool. Students can read along and analyze the script. But the script represents spoken language. Giving students a model is a great way to use plays in teaching English
Our audio recordings of the ITSD plays by professional actors and drama students provide one model of how to perform the roles. 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.
Purchase the Full Recordings
You can also find the plays in the series as individual scripts, if you prefer to put on the play by itself!
Resources for Drama in Teaching ESL
Check out our resource page for teaching plays and doing drama in the language teaching classroom, as well as links to all our drama books!