The Mirror Up to Nature: Identity Exploration through Drama for English Language Learners

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Hudkins, Grace
arts integration, language acquisition, ESOL, drama, identity development
artifact description
It is widely accepted that language acquisition through content, arts integration, and identity development in concert with foreign or second language development are all important and valid approaches to ESOL education. However, there is a lack of literature addressing these three elements in concert. This project attempts to bridge this gap through the creation of an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) unit that addresses language acquisition, drama integration, and personal and cultural identity development. The unit also promotes intercultural understanding, as students share their personal and cultural identity backgrounds with one another throughout the course of the unit as they write and deliver identity-based speeches. The project is underpinned with Stephen Krashen’s theories of language acquisition (1982) and Bonny Norton’s theories of identity and language development (2013). The unit is designed for use in middle school drama, English, or ESOL classes, and will develop the confidence of educators who may feel daunted by teaching second language students, implementing the arts into their teaching practice, guiding students through identity exploration, or promoting intercultural understanding.

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