I keep having amazing opportunities to meet great educators online. There are so many of them who inspire me and their experiences and sharing add to my own teaching that it would be difficult to mention them all in this post.
So, I would love to say…
BIG THANKS TO YOU ALL!!!
This project has been inspired by Sirja’s Post and experience wth Mixed-ability groups, a chapter in Big Questions in ELT: Is language learning all in the mind? by Scott Thornbury that I was surprisingly rereading last Saturday and a great presentation I had the chance to attend on Sunday by Paul Driver on the topic of “Embodiment, Technology and Locative Play” ( We can watch other great presentations from the 6th VRT here).
Quite a coincidence that the word embodiment had just catch my attention the day before Paul Driver webinar. And it brought up again my desire of applying the principles of drama as introduced by the wonderful team of EVO Drama in which I still feel not skilled enough to apply in the classroom due to the fact that I couldn’t follow the 5 weeks learning experience. But why not allow the students to develop themselves through the experience of trying it out?! As I reflected on the stages I had set for the Virtual Exchange project with Gemma Lunn’s students and how it worked out quite nicely as I gave them instructions, autonomy to make decisions, offered support and feefback on language use, allowed them to move around, trusted them to carry out the tasks without me as I moved around myself helping one group here and there, they used their creativity and digital tools they were comfortable with (tablets, smartphones, bluetooth, etc.), my fear of not knowing enough to guide them to write the script disappeared.
Although Paul Driver’s projects are much more elaborated and complex, I thought that what he shared in the presentation nudged me to keep in mind the importance of the body and movement and it would be enough to get the same reactions and commitment from my 14 year-old learners as I had seen in the Virtual Exchange project. But there was still a problem! During the Virtual Exchange Project lower level learners, especially those who had just started the course, couldn’t participate a lot in the English interactions as they couldn’t understand what higher levels said or interact with them other than in L1. That was when Sirja’s post came to mind and separating the group in two groups made totally sense. So here is what I came up with for this project:
Divide the group in two groups – giving higher level ( A2 with some of them moving to B1) learners the authorship role of the project (through script writing in two stages), the management role of the play as directors as well as the acting role. And the lower level learners (zero to A1) working on verb tenses & aspects at first, then using material produced by higher levels as input as they need to understand the play through reading the script and rehearsal their lines and act. The final stage involves everyone working together to bring the script to life in or out the classroom. At this point I can’t say much of what is going to happen as it will depend how much they will engage in this stage to say if they will choose natural settings (if possible) or have to use prompts and recreate the scenario in order to shoot the scenes.
The Website for the students: https://sites.google.com/site/celebritykilled/
More posts to come...