Journal of English Teaching through Movies and Media 2015;16(4):179-195.
Published online November 30, 2015.
Finding Your Voice: Introducing the Drama Method in the Classroom
William Figoni, Makoto Imura
In the foreign language classroom, students need to learn the words and grammar of the target language. But, as Hymes remarked, students must also be able to meet the challenge of producing contextually appropriate speech (Troike, 1996). They must interpret what is said not just by what the words mean, but also take into account information such as tone of voice, facial expression and body movements. This paper explores the role context plays in the understanding of language and meaning by examining how actors create context. Specifically, how actors use techniques found in Lee Strasberg's The Method to access affective memory in order to stimulate their imaginations and emotions to make their performances believable. These techniques are relevant to the EFL/ESL classroom, if we consider that our conversations are alive with dramatic purpose and that the body-language context plays a vital role in the language socialization process. Finally, descriptions are provided of how techniques and exercises used in The Method can be adapted to the classroom to help students and teachers access their affective memory so their words become more meaningful and colorful. These exercises are fun and engaging and can be used at any level.
Key Words: The Method;contextual clues;mental memory;physical memory;affective memory
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