Theme 2: The Use of Drama Techniques and Culture for Second Language Aqcuisition
The educational system in the United States has had the challenge of meeting the educational needs of students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. This challenge continues as the number of students who are not native English speakers increases. Teachers need to use a variety of approaches to help the students learn how to communicate in the second language and adapt to the new language culture. Some of these approaches can be drama techniques and cultural aspects. Professional actors get trained with different techniques for body awareness, relaxation and posture, breathing exercises, non-verbal communication, vocal warm-ups, pitch exercises, and articulation to secure clear speech, among many others. Many of these techniques are excellent to teach students a second language. Gollnick & Chinn (1994) point out that a person learns how to become a functioning adult within a specific society through culture. Two similar processes interact as one learns how to act in society: enculturation and socialization. (Aborcrombie, Hill & Turner, 1984) The first one, enculturation, is the processes of acquiring the characteristics of a given culture and generally becoming competent in the language. The second one, socialization, is the general processes of learning the social norms of a culture. This can be accomplished dramatizing culltural aspects.
Keywords: Interdisciplinary Social Science Practice
Dr. Graciela P. Rosenberg
Professor Bilingual/ESL Education, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Texas at Brownsville