chapter  2
14 Pages

Drama and the curriculum

The references to drama have fluctuated in different revisions of the National Curriculum. The 2014/15 version reduced drama, even in the speaking and listening component of the English curriculum. To see drama only as 'dramatic playing' is to underestimate the importance of structure and form. Real communication, particularly in public contexts with strangers, may be full of subtexts, innuendo and self-consciousness which can become under more conscious control in drama. Drama is able to provide contexts which both extend pupils' use of language and, because of the fictitious situation, protect them from feelings of linguistic inadequacy. Language is so much part of one's social and cultural identity that direct criticism of the way one speaks can feel like an attack on one's very being. Language teaching has come a long way since it relied almost exclusively on de-contextualized routine exercises. Drama can provide the sort of motivation and engagement that is necessary for language development to occur at deep level.