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LCN604 - Second Language Curriculum Design - English Assignment Help

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The literature indicates positive outcomes for language learners when drama pedagogies are employed in the classroom, supporting a number of Nation and Macalister’s (2009) principles, particularly motivation, fluency, output and depth of processing. Visiting artists (Dunn et al., 2018; Ewing 2018), may provide the most effective way of incorporating drama into the classroom, with documented benefits for students, a shared burden of planning and reduced expectations for teachers to have dramatic skills. However, to maximise learning outcomes, productive relationships between teacher and artist are needed, as are financial resources and the support of school administration. Also, in my experience, the specifics of language development were not a focus for the visiting artists, which brings the teacher’s role back into focus. Wan Yee Sam (1990) suggests that careful planning of particular conventions or process dramas into the curriculum is important, and such preparation may assist teachers without a drama background to feel confident in their implementation. They assert that drama “should not be used in isolation but should be used in an integrated approach for language teaching”, which echoes Gibbons’ (2015) call for language to be integrated into content instruction, and the meaningful use of language in context. As such, Process Drama would be an ideal candidate for this type of seamless incorporation, but requires flexibility and a possibly large investment of time, planning and implementation. Through this focus, my traditional backward mapping approach would be more of a Central Design Process (Richards, 2013). Short episodes of drama are recommended by Dodson (2002) and popular conventions such as conscience alley, hot seat and teacher-in-role (Clipson-Boyles, 2012) are easily adopted. In the context of a planned curriculum, in which language goals and connection to content is clearly articulated, improvisation or language targeted activities (Almond, 2014; Clipson-Boyles, 2012; Maley & Duff, 1982) may provide students with rich opportunities to use a range of target language. These learner-centred approaches put teachers in a supporting role where students, their needs considered (Hedge, 2000), are in charge of the action (Andersen, 2004; Boudreault, 2010), which requires courage on the part of the teacher, but allows for development of student autonomy which is needed to support refugee students from low-literacy backgrounds (Windle & Miller, 2012, p. 328). Becoming comfortable with being the teacher-in-role provides opportunities for students to “step into the shoes” of another person in a parallel world (Marschke, 2005), enacting the reality of an English-speaking participant in an “imagined community” (Graves, 2008) and catching a glimpse of other “possible selves” (Markus & Nurius, 1986). Through an examination of literature on drama for language teaching and the needs of low-literacy background refugee students, I can see valuable benefits in continuing to use drama activities in my classroom. Process drama, although the most daunting in terms of planning and enacting, would seem to provide learners with the greatest opportunity for autonomy, authenticity and spontaneous language use and lends itself to an upcoming EAL/D English unit entitled Ned Kelly: Hero or Villain? Further investigation into specific activities will be examined in a Curriculum Design Project.



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