The effect of drama method and drama-based activities on Iranian pre-intermediate EFL learners’ speaking skill

Hosnie Nezami, Behzad Barekat, Abdorreza Tahriri

Abstract


Although Iranian language learners spend many years in language classes, many of them have problems when communicating in a foreign language and their abilities to communicate and speak in the target language is lower than their capabilities in paper and pencil tests. Apart from lack of fluency, they suffer from self-confidence and anxiety. This study was conducted to examine the benefits of drama method and drama-based activities to enhance verbal communicative skill. The question whether students’ attitudes employing drama method will change about English instruction was also investigated. The experiment was conducted with 20 Iranian students whose major was not English and their proficiency levels in English language were pre-intermediate. Experimental group was instructed through drama method for 18 sessions (two 1.5 hour sessions in a week). Role-play for pre/post tests and questionnaire for learners’ attitude were used through this method. The findings revealed that mean score of students in the experimental group was higher than that of the control group. Drama method and drama based activities provided the students with more occasions to speak the second language in classroom, and use language in activities which are like a real life situation and make declarative knowledge turned to procedural knowledge. Drama method enhanced students’ self–confidence and decreased their anxiety. Being related to real life situations, drama based activities are more purposeful for learners, hence they motivate them more than usual. Generally speaking, it can be concluded that drama method enhances speaking ability of the foreign language learners, and learners’ attitude toward drama-based teaching is positive.

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