Drama I think is one of the most successful strategies any teacher can use to enhance interactivity in his/her class. Most students find drama activities interesting and fun. I agree that shy students would not show encouraging signs of interaction right from the beginning. However, as the activities flow and the teacher manages to set up an atmosphere of trust and confidence, attitudes would change to the better. Apart from using language, human communication has always depended on other parameters like using body language, tone, pitch of voice and of course, context. Hence comes the importance of drama as a natural as well as important tool to experiment with the language.
The activities that went well and I would use in class:
1. The drama warmer ‘greetings’ is engaging. The students would have fun greeting someone in an unusual way (angrily, like a king, happily, secretly, etc.), and in the same time, they learn a lot about tone of voice.
2. The second activity I liked is the ‘dramatic dialogue’. It is one of the high-thinking order activities that challenges the students’ imagination. It is a three-fold activity: students start by reading dialogues in pairs and guess the way characters could feel. Then they are challenged to guess who the characters might be. Finally, they are asked to decide about changing words from the dialogue to match the correct situation and register.
3. The third activity that everyone found enjoyable and motivating is the ‘what is this?’. Our trainer held a pen in her hand and asked, ‘what is this?’. Everyone answered in a very natural way, ‘it is a pen’! ‘No’, she replied, ‘it is a dart’, of course she was miming the answer. Such an activity could be used at any stage of a lesson, and most importantly, it can serve as a tool to get the students’ attention whenever we feel that they strayed.
4. The last interesting activity revolved around a video clip, ‘Fawlty Towers: handling complaints ‘
We have been shown the muted video at first. In groups, we had to guess who the people were, where the scene took place and how everyone felt. After that, we formed new groups and we had to focus on one of the characters in order to guess what he/she was saying. Each group had to perform the scene. The final step was to watch the video again, with sound this time, and see if our dialogue was close or far away from the real scene.