How do you criticize your boss without being fired?
You employ very specific rhetorical strategies, including couching criticism in praise, emphasizing your relatively low-rank, providing opportunities for your boss to end the conversation, and giving concrete, objective reasons for your criticisms. At the same time, you will be controlling your body language and intonation.
The plays in our Integrated Skills through Drama and Short Plays for English Learners provide invaluable experience letting students practice these difficult situations like criticizing a boss or discussing problems with your relationship. 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.
Rather than focusing on discrete grammar items (“Grammar McNuggets”, as Scott Thornbury puts it) or vocabulary, our plays 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.
Integrated Skills through Drama Coursebooks
Including Only the Best Intentions, 2018 English Language Awards Runner-Up, ESU and Rising Water
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: