Drama in English

Josep Pizà, subject teacher
Elena González, Language 2 class teacher (English)

IES Baltasar Porcel
Andratx, Majorca (Balearic Islands), Spain.
18.00 minutes
Download film on Vimeo

This CLIL – Drama lesson is part of a theatre performance prepared throughout the academic year by 2nd grade students of secondary education. Two teachers cooperate in this project, each one being responsible for his/her specific role.

The language teacher supports the drama teacher adapting the script to the students’ level. Her collaboration to the lessons is essential for the students’ understanding of the script and its correct pronunciation and intonation.

The drama teacher is responsible for chosing the script and to suit it to the specific group of students, matching the number of characters with the number of students. He is also in charge of the technical acting strategies, the rehearsal of the different scenes and the stage design.

Students have two lessons a week during the second and third term. One of the lessons is taught by the two teachers and the other by the drama teacher. The play is finally performed in May. Both teachers use L2 as the vehicle language during the lessons.
The play “La Rue Street” is based on different sketches which tell the story of the people living in that neighborhood.

The film shows how the students work with the preparation of one specific scene: “The painters’ scene”. The development of this drama lesson is carried out according to the following stages:

  1. Warm-up
  2. Working with the script
  3. Working with “The painters’ scene”

1 Warm-up
At the beginning of the lesson the pupils practise some of the most useful drama techniques such as repetition, pausing and memorizing

 

2 Working with the script
In this sequence the focus is on reading comprehension, pronunciation and memorizing. The teachers use scaffolding techniques such as realia, props, mimics and a word wall with basic drama vocabulary to facilitate understanding of the script.

Memorizing is an essential part in drama so each student is assigned a role according to the difficulty of the text (longer sentences are given to stronger students and shorter sentences to weaker ones). One of the principles of scaffolding is adapting the activity to the learners’ level so that each learner
can make progress and accomplish the task no matter what their level is.

 

3 Working with “The painters’ scene”
At this stage the teachers focuses on different activities and therefore split the class in two groups. While the drama teacher rehearses “The painter’s scene” with the two main characters, the language teacher is responsible for reviewing the script with the rest of the group, checking pronunciation and understanding. In this group activity, students can choose the language they feel most comfortable with.

 

Questions to discuss

  1. Try to identify the different scaffolding strategies used in each of the three stages described above.
  2. Why might Drama be especially suitable for CLIL lessons?
  3. What would you do differently in a similar CLIL-Drama lesson?

 

Resources
CLIL at the Balearic Islands
http://aibcle.caib.es/

CLIL Cascade Network Platform:
http://www.ccn-clil.eu/index.php?name=Content&nodeIDX=3488

Principles of CLIL approch, activities, materials, projects:
http://www.isabelperez.com/clil.htm