Why all the drama? perceptions and experiences of foreign language student teachers on training in improvisational drama pedagogy

Kristina Goodnight, Catherine van Beuningen, Rick de Graaff

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Abstract

Improvisational drama techniques (IDTs) can benefit foreign language (FL) learners by offering them an engaging way to practise speaking while hiding behind the safety of a character mask. This study aimed to glean perceptions toward and experiences with IDTs among FL student teachers, as well as training needs related to integrating IDTs as a pedagogical tool. Foreign language student teachers at a Dutch university who had not received IDT-training took part in a questionnaire (n = 197). Former student teachers who had taken such a course in drama were interviewed in depth (n = 9). Almost all student teachers - both those who had and had not received IDT-training-shared the belief that IDTs have added pedagogical value. The majority of student teachers who had not had drama training indicated that they did not often implement IDTs in their classes. Former student teachers who had IDT-training continued to integrate IDTs with some regularity. Both groups provided valuable input on the components that should be included in a future IDTtraining module for both student teachers and in-service teachers. Our findings give rise to the hypothesis that training can play a key role in galvanizing teachers to implement IDTs, and allow us to formulate design criteria for an innovative training module.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Language and Cultural Education
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

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