One of our less strenuous activities that our English language students participate in is drama. Of course, drama can be strenuous, but not in the same way as paintballing or coasteering. We find that it is an excellent way for the students to gain confidence while also helping them to learn to speak better English.
The course is conducted by a fully trained drama instructor (trained in London) on a real stage that normally hosts typical plays and other types of drama. This is convenient because if there is a play currently running at the theatre, our students are allowed to use the props and the costumes.
Some of our students take part in a two week long theatre course which involves planning and preparing to present a one and a half hour long play. They are also encouraged to go out and promote this play to local people. It’s quite an event and sometimes the Mayor of the town turns up to watch the show! As always, our bi-lingual leaders are always on hand and often participate in the play themselves, but mainly they are around in order to make sure that everyone is comfortable and happy with their role in the performance.
Not surprisingly we find that this experience is very rewarding for the participants and is a memorable part of their visit to England. It’s a team activity so of course it develops team-building skills within the group. The students also find that it develops their ability to concentrate. One of the ways in which the instructor instills confidence in the actors is to explain to them that because they are playing a role, it is not really them who is delivering the lines, but the character who they are portraying. I’m not an actor myself, so I can’t comment on the effectiveness of this technique, but according to the students it works!
The students are also taught about ‘voice projection’, which as you can imagine is a very useful skill for someone who is learning to speak in a foreign language. The course also helps them to display emotions, which again, is of benefit to someone learning a language – although it’s not the kind of area you would expect to find covered in a typical ‘run-of-the-mill’ English language course.
We include these type of activities in our English language courses in England not only because they are great fun, but because they also develop a type of confidence in the student which we feel is not only particularly helpful in their ability to speak fluent English but also for the inevitable challenges that life will provide for them. We believe that this sets our Interactive Travel courses apart from the rest and we hope that you feel the same way about them too.