Using Drama to Practice Reading in ESL Classes
Drama is about dialogue, language, and interacting with others. It is a valuable teaching tool that gets students engaged and can be used successfully with different learning styles. Language practice becomes more meaningful as it is taught in context rather than isolation.
Acting out the Dialogue
I have found that one of the easiest ways to incorporate drama, when teaching reading to my ESL students, is to have them act out the dialogue from the big book during shared reading. I just simply pair them up, assign the roles of narrator and actors, then guide them on how to act out the dialogue.
This activity not only gets them engaged and allows them to practice read with expression, but it is an effective method of incorporating drama, as well.
Children don’t only have fun but also learn a variety of components from acting the story, like how to make or imitate voices and intonations. It is also a perfect opportunity to teach certain parts of grammar, such as when to use open and close quotations, the role of the narrator in a story, and how to change intonation when using exclamation marks.
The following videos gives an example of how I achieve my objective using all the above tips. What fun we had.