Journal of English Teaching through Movies and Media 2017;18(1):115-134.
Published online February 28, 2017.
Psychodrama and Role-Play : Authenticating Experience in the Foreign Language Classroom
William Figoni, Makoto Imura
Two major problems for both foreign language teachers and students are: 1) typical teaching materials are off-the-shelf, and thus they are rarely meaningful in terms of real world experiences or the lives of learners; 2) many learners, particularly Japanese students, have difficulties in overcoming shyness when asked to speak out or express their feelings. These concerns are psychological or cultural and are highly relevant to foreign language acquisition. In order to address these issues, this paper proposes the use of psychodrama methods developed by Moreno (1889-1974). Moreno s contribution to psychology is profound, particularly his ideas for dealing with social and psychological issues through action methods such as dialogue, encounter and roleplay. Today, psychodrama and role-play are common techniques used by psychologists in clinical settings. Actors and directors also use these techniques to convey emotional content to an audience. Similarly, teachers can show how to make language learning more meaningful by showing clips from films, TV, and the theater which portray some of Moreno’s psychodrama techniques. This paper introduces Moreno’s psychodrama methods and establishes a rationale for using his techniques in classroom settings by focusing on role playing as a means to authenticate communication.
Key Words: J. D. Moreno;psychodrama;role play;authentication;relaxation
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