Drama, the art of making learning alive

Some people are scared of making mistakes when speaking a foreign language, others don’t feel confident because they feel clumsy and awkward. Why is it difficult to speak in a fluent way even though we know grammar by heart?

Could there be a place where you can express yourself like in real life, but without worrying about the way you speak or the mistakes you make?  Well, that place is theatre.

The word drama comes from a Greek word meaning “action”, “to do”.  What child doesn’t like doing, moving, speaking, dancing or singing?  Drama helps us to explore life and by doing so we also explore language, our great system of communication.  By playing we overcome our rational and emotional barriers and we feel safe when we speak. That is why drama boosts the learning process.

Since I was in first grade of elementary school, we had compulsory Drama Club, once you got to high school you had freedom of choice though most of us chose to take part in it and let magic go on.

Until the age of fifteen we used to play the great musicals, from The Sound of Music to Peter Pan, and whatever there might be in between. Musicals helped us to improve pronunciation by repeating its catchy songs for the percentage of lines is always less compared to the songs to be learnt. We can’t also forget that kids just love to dress up and learn moves and choreographies. By the time we got to high school the classics showed up: from Molière to Tennessee Williams the art of playing becomes a feast of words and expressions that enriches you for life.

I owe a great part of my English knowledge to our school’s Drama Club, and I wish today’s educators realized the importance of arts as a powerful interdisciplinary tool and a critical thinking and problem solving booster.

No matter the art (visual, drama, dancing, music) let learning come to life with it!

 

Alejandra Giménez Cragnolino, English and Spanish Teacher at Centro Studi Ad Maiora.