The benefits of having students read and perform scripts are numerous. They include practice with body language and gesture, improved pronunciation and intonation, awareness of pragmatics and how context changes how we communicate, a safe space to practice as students are playing a role, opportunities for improvisation and creativity, and the development of team work skills as students work together on a group project.
In short students gain tools to speak more effectively. Or with more emotional impact. Or more persuasively. Or more clearly….
That’s why we’ve developed three series of scripts for students. Click on the series headers or titles to learn more.
ESL/EFL coursebooks designed to teach all four skills while using an original one-act play as input!
This teacher’s guide is designed for teachers who want to try drama in their English 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!
Original short plays written for language learners. Each play highlights a key pragmatics point such as complaining or responding to a false accusation. The plays are highly engaging, but also feature realistic social contexts so students can practice language in authentic situations.
Resources for Putting on a Play
Guides to Producing Plays
- 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!
Activities and Lesson Plans
- Drama Blog Posts All our blog posts tagged “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 fromHer 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.
Presentations and Workshops
- 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!