Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Drama in an EFL Classroom

Advantages

The advantages of using drama/theatre in an EFL classroom can be summarized as follows:

·         It increases students’ motivation, participation, confidence and fluency in the spoken English as well as communication through the body language.

·         It extends the emotional range of expressions.

·         It develops creativity and spontaneity.

·         It provides opportunities for group and self-expression.

·         It promotes confidence, trust, cooperation and group cohesion.

·         It provides opportunities for group and self-expression.

·         It develops the students’ performance skills.

·         It fosters verbal and non-verbal communication.

·         It feeds the speakers’ need to exchange ideas and make decisions.

·         It maximizes students’ use of English.

·         It ensures students’ involvement and decision-making.

·         It stimulates authentic conversations that aim at developing conversational competence among foreign language learners.

·         It serves as a fluency activity.

·         It creates sensitivity and a sense of awareness.

·         It prepares students for real life and unpredictability.

Disadvantages:

The use of drama in teaching learning situations might sometimes fail for the reasons below:

·         Activities are artificial. The situations are sometimes and irrelevant to the learner’s need.

·         Activities are difficult to monitor both physically and verbally.

·         There is a fear among teachers that drama use may cause sort of uncontrolled fun among learners.

·         It causes embarrassment and awkwardness, in some situations, especially among adult learners.

·         It encourages incorrect forms of language as long as the teacher is not encouraged to correct mistakes immediately so as not to discourage students.

·         Activities may not be suitable to all the class. The activities that succeeded with a group of students may fail with another.

However, these problems could be solved if careful thought and planning are used in the classroom. Teachers themselves must be convinced of the effective use of such activities if they want to encourage their students to have a positives attitude towards language learning in general and above all they must be willing to bring about some change in the way they are working.

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