In recent years the contribution of drama to second language learning has grown internationally as a field of interest to both teachers and researchers. The potential for drama to provide strong social contexts for learning, to provide opportunities for the learner to embody the target language and to motivate students’ desire to communicate have been increasingly recognized as fruitful areas of inquiry. This book provides a brief historical perspective on the development of this interest before presenting a range of examples drawn from recent research projects led by those who are themselves experienced as drama and second language teachers. Drawing on a variety of theoretical perspectives and deploying a range of methodological processes, the chapters present evidence as to how and why drama can impact on student learning in a range of classrooms, from the primary school through to undergraduate level. Focusing on issues such as questioning in role, the professional development of second language teachers interested in using drama, and the role of artistry when applying drama as pedagogy for second language learning, they provide an up to date picture of contemporary practices and an acute analysis of both the possibilities and the challenges facing researchers in the field.

This book was originally published as a special issue of Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance.

chapter |22 pages

Reflections on a primary school teacher professional development programme on learning English through Process Drama

ByLai-wa Dora To, Yuk-lan Phoebe Chan, Yin Krissy Lam, Shuk-kuen Yvonne Tsang

chapter |16 pages

Shakespeare as a second language: playfulness, power and pedagogy in the ESL classroom

ByAstrid Yi-Mei Cheng, Joe Winston