Language means communication, so it is very important to provide students both with activities that help them to improve speaking skill in Turkish and a flexible environment that is suitable for the application of these skills. Drama is suitable for both these purposes. Students do lessons interactively through dramatic activities such as role-play and storytelling where meaningful communication can take place in the lessons. Students see novel realities and face new challenges, and experience the language in a creative manner by joining drama activities.
Drama is an active approach to learning a foreign language and while students are identifying the roles and situations, they explore and understand the real world. This situation carries the students beyond simply learning the language, because social interaction involves communication on multiple levels that cross-cultural and language boundaries. By taking part in drama plays and participating in an unreal context, students experience a plot, which consists of movements, emotions, gestures, and facial expressions. Consequently, students can be removed from the difficulties of language learning which are more prevalent in a conventional language classroom.
As everybody knows, human beings are emotional, physical, psychological and mental creatures. Therefore, teachers should recognise and satisfy their students' needs and abilities to encourage them. In other words, teachers should target mental, emotional, physical and psychological needs beside linguistic ones. Drama helps students to develop their creative, emotional and imaginative skills in response to learning contexts.
Drama essentially gives an opportunity for students to escape from the limitations of conventional classroom structures by using their own experiences and imagination in creating the material on which part of the language class is based. Students can imitate, mimic and express themselves physically during these activities.
Drama helps teachers to bridge the gap between course-book dialogues and actual usage in a natural way. Furthermore, teachers can make the classroom atmosphere like real life by using drama. Students can also perform good listening and speaking practice by repeating scripts from plays. In this way, the students become more confident using Turkish by experiencing the language in drama. This is the most important advantage of drama in language teaching.
Drama is necessary in Turkish language lessons, because students have a chance to use their own personalities. This is related to the abilities of students to imitate and express themselves and it arouses interest and imagination. Furthermore, drama encourages fluency, adaptability and communicative competence. Students use the language in context, have experience of success in real life situations, and experience something different using the target language outside the classroom.
Written by Kadir Yilmaz Private Turkish/English Teacher providing Turkish online tutoring at edumi