Drama and Theater as a Method for Foreign Language

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To my sons Benny and Cameron,Acknowledgements, Without the help and understanding of many people this dissertation would not have. been finished First and foremost I want to thank my two sons Benny and Cameron for. their patience love and understanding throughout these difficult years This dissertation. is dedicated to you guys, Another important person I want to mention is my mother who has been a tremendous. help over the years Her emotional and financial support understanding and. unconditional love has made this project so much easier Danke I also want to thank my. father who taught me not to give up easily and fight important things through to the end. My husband Kevin Hill deserves much credit to have managed to live with me. throughout this intense time of my life I also thank him so much for taking care of the. kids on many weekends and evenings and for fixing numerous computer problems. Special thanks goes to three people Hildegard Savage a good friend an amazingly. generous intelligent and kind person who provided me with a room to work in. wonderful advice and editing and numerous delicious meals I cannot thank her enough. Philip Vogt a former student and friend and one of the most patient unselfish and. knowledge people I know for his computer expertise and moral support around the. clock Rebecca Wallach a friend for her very skillful and reliable editing thank you all. Heartfelt thanks also goes to Prof Cornelia Moore a gracious and intelligent friend and. former supervisor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa for her thorough proofreading. and format editing I also appreciate her encouragement and belief that I could see this. work to completion Thank you, I am also very grateful to Nina Slater for her help with word processing and for being. patient with me through the crunch times My friends Rosemarie D rner Ulrike. Tallowitz Antje Dohrn and Johannes Bruestle offered their constructive criticism. intelligent ideas and patient listening for which I thank them My gratitude also goes to. two other friends Sherry Elshaug and Cindy Sieger who provided their wonderful homes. for my numerous dissertation writing retreats In addition I thank Sherry for. proofreading and most of all for helping me with the kids whenever I needed it. Last but not least I would like to extend my appreciation to my doctoral committee. Dr Felicitas Tesch and Prof Dr Ulrich Steinm ller for accepting me as their doctoral. student despite their big workload and the great distance between the countries As my. main advisor I thank Prof Steinm ller for his knowledgeable comments and help to. focus my thoughts and for giving me the freedom and opportunity to write about an. interdisciplinary pedagogical theme, Finally I am grateful to all my students over the years who inspired me to keep on. Table of Contents,Chapter I Setting the Stage 1, Chapter II Learning German at Institutions of Higher Education in.
the United States 8, 1 Historical Overview and the Present Situation of German Language. Instruction in the United States 8,2 The Adult Learner 15. Chapter III Theoretical Framework for Drama and Theater. as a Method in Foreign Language Education 20,1 Definition of Terms 20. 2 From Drama in General Education to Drama in Foreign Language. Education Historical Overview 22,2 1 Drama in General Education 23. 2 2 From Drama in General Education to Drama in First Language Education 34. 2 3 From Drama in First Language Education to Second and Foreign Language. Education 36, 3 The Drama and Theater Method within Foreign Language Learning.
Theories and Teaching Methodologies 44, 3 1 Major Foreign Language Learning Theories in Relation to the Drama and. Theater Method 45, 3 2 Major Foreign Language Teaching Methodologies in Relation to the Drama. and Theater Method 51,3 2 1 The Direct Method 52,3 2 2 The Audio Lingual Method 55. 3 2 3 The Communicative Method 57,3 2 4 The Natural Approach 63. 3 2 5 Alternative Methods 65, 4 Neuro Psychological Findings on Foreign Language Learning and the.
Impact of the Drama and Theater Method 72, 5 Parallels between the Theater Arts and Foreign Language Teaching. and Learning 90, 6 Impact of the Drama and Theater Method on Dimensions of. Foreign Language Learning 99,6 1 Communicative and Linguistic Aspects 100. 6 1 1 Communicative Aspects Pertaining to the Drama and Theater. Method 101, 6 1 2 Linguistic Aspects Pronunciation and Intonation 110. 6 1 2 1 Intonation and Pronunciation Pertaining to the Drama. and Theater Method 117,6 2 Cultural Aspects 125, 6 2 1 Cultural Aspects Pertaining to the Drama and Theater Method 128.
6 3 Psychological Social and Physical Aspects 135,6 3 1 Psychological Aspects 136. 6 3 1 1 Psychological Aspects Pertaining to the Drama and Theater. Method 146,6 3 2 Social Aspects 152, 6 3 2 1 Social Aspects Pertaining to the Drama and Theater Method 155. 6 3 3 Physical Aspects 157, 6 3 3 1 Physical Aspects Pertaining to the Drama and Theater Method 165. Chapter IV Practical Application of Drama and Theater as a Method. for Teaching Foreign Languages 169, 1 Theatrical Techniques and Drama Oriented Exercises 170. 1 1 Theatrical Techniques for Foreign Language Learning 170. 1 1 1 Nonverbal Theatrical Techniques 170,1 1 1 1 Statues and Body Sculptures 171.
1 1 1 2 Pantomimes 175,1 1 2 Verbal Theatrical Techniques 182. 1 1 2 1 Role Play 182,1 1 2 2 Improvisation 201, 1 2 Selection of Drama Oriented Exercises for the Foreign Language. Classroom 211, 1 2 1 Drama Oriented Exercises for the Warm up Phase 216. 1 2 1 1 Primarily Nonverbal Exercises 219,1 2 1 2 Nonverbal Verbal Exercises 221. 1 2 1 3 Primarily Verbal Exercises 223, 1 2 2 Drama Oriented Exercises for the Language Application.
Independent Practice Phase 232, 2 Incorporating Larger Theater Projects within the Foreign. Language Curriculum 242, 2 1 Theater as a Tool for Foreign Language Teaching A National Survey 244. 2 2 Data Collection Procedures 245,2 2 1 Technique 245. 2 2 2 Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods 247. 2 3 Survey Results and Discussion 247, 2 3 1 Number of Respondents with Theater Project Experience 248. 2 3 2 Integration of Theater Projects into the German Language. Curriculum 250,2 3 3 Preparation of a Theater Project 251.
2 3 3 1 Type of Production and Text Material 251, 2 3 3 2 Collaboration with Other University Departments and. Local Theaters 257,2 3 3 3 Budget and Financial Support 258. 2 3 4 Execution of a Theater Project within a German Language. University Course 259,2 3 4 1 Course Objectives 259. 2 3 4 2 Course Structure 260,2 3 4 3 Grading 269,2 3 5 Student Evaluations of Theater Projects 271. 2 3 6 Fulfillment of Course Objectives and Educational Benefits for. the Students 272,2 3 7 Potential Problems in Theater Projects 275.
2 4 Summary 277,Chapter V Conclusion 280,Appendices 290. Appendix A,1 Lists of Tables and Figures 291,Appendix B. 1 Letter to the German Program Chairs at American and Canadian Universities. and Colleges 292,2 Questionnaire for the Survey 294. Appendix C, 1 Selected Results from the National Survey Theater as a Method for Foreign. Language Teaching 302, 1 1 Ranking of Most Frequently Produced German Language Plays and.
Authors from 1996 2001 302, 1 2 Ranking of Most Frequently Suggested German Language Plays and. Authors from 1996 2001 304,Bibliography 309,Chapter I Setting the Stage 1. Chapter I Setting the Stage,Education is not the filling of a pail. but the lighting of a fire,Sir Butler Yeats, Teaching should be such that it sparks students interest and inspires them to keep on. learning independently It should also help them take pride in their accomplishments For. foreign language teachers this means motivating and retaining students by presenting. dynamic creative meaningful and enjoyable language classes When language. instruction takes place outside the target country teachers need to immerse the students. in the foreign language and culture as much as possible by assigning them tasks that. encourage language production in real and meaningful contexts In order to achieve these. goals on a consistent basis teachers need to frequently test their teaching practices with. regard to effectiveness and student appeal At the same time they should strive to. develop and implement new techniques that will make student learning even more. successful and their own teaching more rewarding, Since the 1970 s language teachers in the United States have been encouraged to use a.
communicative approach to foreign language teaching which posits that language is a. form of social behavior and sees the aim of language teaching as teaching learners to. communicate fluently appropriately and spontaneously Brumfit and Roberts 1983 182. paraphrasing Shier 1993 It has been the teacher s task to help language learners go. beyond merely learning a linguistic system while engaging them in genuine. communicative interaction in the target language, In practice however what takes place in the classroom often looks quite different from. what the communicative method advocates in theory Many textbooks still do not provide. enough material that involves students not only intellectually but also emotionally and. physically in their learning process and that is personally relevant to them I agree with. Chapter I Setting the Stage 2, Schewe who pin points the problem Die meisten Konversationsstunden kranken daran. dass die Studenten sich pers nlich nicht betroffen f hlen Es mangelt an bedeutungsvoller. Interaktion im entsinnlichten Unterrichtsraum Schewe 1988 430 Often. communicative exercises end up being more like communicative drills In a great. number of institutions the main objective of language classes still seems to be to prepare. students for upcoming written tests which can be evaluated easily quickly and. objectively It is not uncommon for students to graduate from their university or college. German program with the ability to write an essay about Goethe but without the self. confidence to communicate verbally in the language. In order to fulfill the objectives of communicative competence teachers must from the. outset equip students to express themselves spontaneously and appropriately in. meaningful interactive encounters and thus involve them with head heart hand and. foot Fitzgibbon 1993 7 my translation in their learning process Because it is difficult. to create the same total immersion environment that exists in the target country it is. imperative for teachers to try out new approaches that will nonetheless ensure genuine. language acquisition and rewarding learning experiences. In this dissertation I intend to explore one such alternative approach namely the use of. drama and theater as a method for foreign language learning in particular German at the. university level in the USA I will argue that drama and theater based learning and. teaching provides an excellent setting for foreign language acquisition and application. Furthermore it can serve as a means of generating genuine conversation as well as a. positive environment for social learning and the promotion of the German language and. culture in the United States, In an educational context drama and theater are not primarily seen as an art form rather. the drama and theater approach takes principles from the field of theater and uses them to. initiate educational processes Drama is concerned with the different dimensions of the. Chapter I Setting the Stage 3, learning process in dramatic classroom activities while theater also has a product. oriented component it involves a performance in front of an audience outside the. Personal background and motivation, In choosing the topic for this dissertation I was strongly influenced by my own positive.
experiences with drama oriented exercises and theater projects while teaching German to. university and college students in the US for many years When I first experimented with. a few drama oriented exercises in my language classes years ago I did so on the basis of. my own intuition aus dem Bauch heraus without reflecting much upon the rationale. behind it Afterwards I realized that it actually worked. A few years later while I was teaching a literature class at the University of Hawaii I. decided to modify the traditional teaching approach Instead of assigning a long reading. list and then discussing each work for a short time filling the pail I reduced the. reading requirement to just a few books giving the students a chance to really involve. themselves with one literary work in a theatrical way Bringing the text to life by acting. out the characters and imbuing them with feelings and physical movement seemed to be a. worthwhile approach The class culminated in a performance of a classic German literary. play Two years later the students and I produced a German cabaret which became part. of the curriculum These projects proved to be a huge success with the students and were. very well received by the audience and the foreign language department They had a. highly positive impact on many dimensions of learning but most importantly on. students oral proficiency and on their level of self confidence and motivation in using. the German language, Although I was now able to attest to the benefits and popularity of such projects with. Drama and Theater as a Method for Foreign Language Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in the United States vorgelegt von Astrid Ronke Von der Fakult t I Geisteswissenschaften der Technischen Universit t Berlin zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades Doktorin der Philosophie Dr Phil genehmigte Dissertation Promotionsausschuss Vorsitzender Prof Hanns Fred Rathenow Berichter

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