Issue 1: Drama in English Language Classrooms

By KaLok Ng (LED Year 4, 2007-2008)

On 14 July, 2007, I attended a 3-hour workshop conducted by Miss Noorlinah Mohamed, President of Singapore Drama Educators’ Association. The workshop was well-received as all the participants found the workshop very enjoyable.

Noorlinah inspired me with her philosophy of drama education. She demonstrated some innovative strategies and conventions which are effective in developing literacy and oracy in English Language classrooms. She started by first asking the participants to brainstorm and discuss in groups so as to familiarize themselves with the context and the content of a poem titled “The Crooked Man”. Then, she linked the poem to an imaginary situation in which she acted as a new town planner. She asked the participants to act in roles of town folks and gave her suggestions about re-development of the home of the crooked man. The drama part came in when she asked the participants to express the most important scenario and lines of the decision by using the drama conventions “still images” and “tap and speak”. Finally, the participants were asked to draw a picture to show how the crooked man could be ten years later.

Through these activities, Miss Mohamed demonstrated how a simple piece of poem could be fully explored, and how a lesson can be carefully scaffolded to enhance students’ motivation in learning.

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