The method Glottodrama allows the development of communicative abilities in which the synergy between acting and linguistic activities encourages using para- and extra-linguistic elements, non verbal and contextual; suprasegmental traits make mutual understanding between speaker and receiver spontaneous. Evident improving in the language use can be noticed also with L1 students, very far from Italian language (Chinese and Turkish).
The humanistic and affective oriented communicative approach encourages the active participation on the part of the students and helps a cultural and linguistic exchange both with each other and in the relationship class-teachers. Confronting and discussion situations which arise in the pedagogical path involve the student, who, in a really socializing situation, succeeds to naturally improve his communicative fluency, his morphological and syntactic structures and the specific vocabulary. The
writing of the script and the staging of the performance are practical examples of the achievement of the goals of the method. […] In the case of the experimentation at University of Tor Vergata, many of the teachers who participated in the course in a traditional way and then saw the performance,
set-up in only three intensive weeks, were amazed by the potential and most of all by the impact that such a method had on students, accelerating learning processes in an exponential way. At the end of the performance, as well as in subsequent occasions, they asked for information and hoped they could participate to training courses with a similar method, to prove themselves in Glottodrama learning classes.
Florinda Nardi, Italian language teacher, Faculty of Arts of the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy.
Glottodrama gives the teacher a new perspective regarding the learning objectives; the use of body and space allows students to take possession of the language and to use it quickly, it also stimulates their personal reflection. Glottodrama method has been a pleasant discovery for us, teachers, as
well; although we have classes on Saturday, we are always happy when dealing with Glottodrama students.Working in such a dynamic, exciting context makes teachers forget tiredness, even if the work is hard. I believe that this “little miracle” is due to the different context and the effectiveness of the methodology. Glottodrama is the only method able to develop completely the French idea of “apprendre à apprendre”.Through Glottodrama not only students learn how to use body and voice, how to express themselves in a correct way, but also teachers learn to listen and record the student’s production without censor it (…) they learn to observe the details of the oral exposition and, a very interesting aspect, to work in a team context or in pair with the other teacher. Obviously, a well-according relation between the drama teacher and the language teacher is fundamental, otherwise lessons would be difficult to undertake and experimentation would not be so exciting. I have to say
that all the colleagues who came to observe a Glottodrama class were enthusiastic and full of energy at the end.Therefore, why don’t we think about using Glottodrama also as a sort of therapy to refresh teachers’ motivation?
Tiziana Jacoponi, Italian language assistant, University of Paris “Sorbonne I”, Paris, France.
The humanistic-affective approach of teachers toward students creates a fluid learning environment, open to effective communication.
This context of “teaching-learning” facilitates the possibility for the student to encode his life, feelings and sensations by using directly the L2 and helps him to remove his affective filters. The drama teacher and I worked on elements that are usually ignored, such as the student’s linguistic modalities of communication, interaction, gestures and proxemics.
The co-presence of two teachers allowed us to concentrate more individual attention on the student who could quickly understand corrections and suggestions by the repetition of the performance.
Lucia Caioli, Italian language teacher, Local Center for Adults Learning, State School D.Manin, Rome,Italy.
In my opinion, Glottodrama course has been very useful for students in the pilot class. It helped them to acquire a higher confidence in the use of the Italian language, also in those cases where there was a certain shyness at the beginning. It allowed all the students to achieve a good control of those aspects of language which usually are neglected in a traditional course, like intonation, gestures and facial mimic. In particular, it gave them the ability to recognize these communication aspects in an Italian speaker.These results were all achieved in a profitable, positive and pleasant atmosphere, which is encouraging them to continue studying Italian, going deeper and without stopping at
the level of a pure grammar knowledge. Once again it’s been proved that when work starts from the body and from the individual body’s expression of the student, he feels he doesn’t have to conquer a new and far away knowledge, but feels like he’s finding it inside himself.
Tina Zogopoulou, Italian language teacher and director of the Language School “Perugia”, Athens
Glottodrama project has – apart from its specific aims – an other important merit: gathering young people and creating a studying environment which is very different from the traditional one. In a context like
our university where Italian has been taught from more than a century with excellent results insomuch as many representative persons of the Romanian culture were students of our department – the academic way of studying is still considered the more appropriate.The method is based on learning grammar (which is not to be ignored) through books and sometimes, in order to
“fare un viaggio e due servizi*, through literary books. That led to the funny result of listening to a 19 years old girl speaking the language of Giambattista Vico**. Differently, the Glottodrama method allows students to approach the studying process in a more confident way, sometimes they even
don’t realize that they are studying.A proverb says “Playing, you learn”. That’s true, if the game is serious and the rules very clear.
* In English, “to kill two birds with one stone”.
** Ironic reference to the literary and old fashion Italian used by the philosopher
G.B.Vico in XXVIII century.
Roxana Utale, Italian Language Professor, University of Bucharest, Romania.
Glottodrama is my favourite method of teaching languages. Being a part of already two GLottpodrama related projects and having passed teacher training in Glottodrama methodology, I can say now that this method gives wonderful results when we mean real acquisition language skills for the main purpose of the language, i.e. communication. It’s a unique approach which giver perfect results without exposing students to excessive tension and swotting. Students just tap into the language and acquire language skills through their involvement in acting. However, the language acquisition is not chaotic at all. Everything is carefully though over. Every step leads to improvement of linguistic competences and better choice of adequate means of non-verbal communication. Through Glottodrama you get to know how to approach a person to make your communication needs come true. I feel that Glottodrama is the most natural approach to attain language learning targets and, at the same time, it’s far beyond just language teaching. Glottodrama is about, first of all, an effective communication and real understanding between people.
Diana Tsotova, Language Projects Manager, Euroinform,Bulgaria.
The Glottodrama method is an excellent new teaching methodology that enhances foreign languages learning in an engaging and original way by integrating theatre techniques. Students gain tremendous insight into the use of the foreign language by participating in short sketches that slowly develop into a full theatre production. By viewing these recorded sketches the learners become aware of their language production and make additional efforts to improve both their interpretation and language skills, especially in terms of speaking. The so-called “grammar corner”, which is part of the methodology, allows learners to reinforce language structures and vocabulary whilst systematic improvisation activities and rehearsals allow them to exponentially improve their spoken language. Learners also become acquainted with playwrights and their plays in the foreign language which opens up a new world to them. Additionally, learners become so integrated that they also contribute toward the production phase and participate in costume, sound, light and set design. This methodology combines language teaching and learning with an important second language acquisition ingredient, i.e. having fun!
Ana Gimeno, Universidad Poiltécnica de Valencia, Spain.
The Glottodrama method has stimulated our students (foreign students studying medicine in Iasi) to learn a foreign language (Romanian) by turning the common classroom into a theatre company. The originality and the element of surprise of the method worked from the beginning: we haven’t had any problems with students’ attendance. We have even noticed a higher degree of participation and involvement in the activities on behalf of the students; they also contributed more to the lessons; they became more spontaneous and no longer inhibited by their mistakes as long as they got their message across. The focus on communication with its verbal and non-verbal solutions has raised students’ interest and highly enhanced their motivation. The dramatic texts suggested are related to the interests of the target group. Therefore the dramatic text in our context is based on the doctor –patient communication given the relevance of the professional dialogue to the target group.
The Glottodrama method has made students use and practice the language from the very beginning of the course. By getting involved body and mind in their learning the language and thus overcoming common psychological barriers the students learned how to use their body and voice in order to express themselves in a correct way.
Teachers have also learned to use the films as useful tools of reflection and error correction, which was not an easy task. A certain inhibition on the part of the students was noticed at first, which soon disappeared once they became aware of its role, that is, an opportunity for self-evaluation of the performance since it allowed them to see and hear themselves.
Elza Gheorghiu, Fundatia EuroEd, Iasi, Romania.
The Glottodrama approach is a constant source of reference for both teachers and students.
Experienced language and drama teachers are led to reconsider the founding principles of their teaching. To work in tandem implies to share the teaching space, to understand and adopt the way of working of the other. The language teacher has to release his or her focus on the question of linguistic competences to go towards the communicative competences. On the other side, the Drama teacher has to accept to go along with the linguistic objectives, even if it means sometimes reorganizing the theatrical aspects of the workshop. They learn from each other, offering the students a unique opportunity to learn both the target language and theatre further and deeper than in any other training.
Trainees enjoy very much the class. All the activities develop their skills (memorization, reflection, etc.) and make them travel in the target language. Nothing seems to be an exercise, repeating words becomes part of the rehearsal. The physical universality of emotions (sadness, happiness, fear…) makes it easier to memorize the expression that comes along with it. The word in the target language becomes like a natural continuation of the feeling.
We were very surprised to observe in a few months the change in the trainees’ behavior. Some of them, very shy at the beginning became resources for the group. After the final performance, a Chinese student told us that every Monday (the day of class) she felt “the flower of happiness and well-being growing inside her”. A flower blooming in France and in French !
Anna CATTAN, Director of Studies , Maëlle MONVOISIN, Director, Langues Plurielles, Paris, France.