We just finished our readers’ theater competition today. It is not a surprise to me that the groups who enjoyed the most were rewarded the best. There are some deciding factors that facilitate their performance in my opinion.
First, an appropriate script that the students can relate plays an important role. Amongst the better performing classes, most of them are able to understand the story being read to them, they are able to create their own imagination from the pictures shown to them, they are able to find interesting points in the story that make them laugh, mad or sad.
Second, albeit different aptitudes and personalities of the students, the better performing classes are more able to play with the rhythm and intonations of English. There was a lot of valuable discussion when we went through the scripts and tried different ways to express the scripts. To me, it felt like practicing choir, trying to come up with a better combination to make parts of the story vivid, fun and enchanting. As the class went through different combinations, I could feel that the students were able to experience the impact resulted from different combinations. They enjoyed the experiments and making their own decisions.
In the EFL environment, there are very few opportunities for learners to express themselves in English. We have struggled with elementary learners working on their textbook sentence structures and dialogues for years. To be honest, it feels fake because there is hardly real recipient to initiate a communication. And the readers’ theater makes it real because the learners are truly express their feelings towards a written piece to someone, the audience listening to the story. Whether it is a dialogue, monologue, or narrative, the learners have to exercise everything they have accumulated through years of learning.
Readers' Theater Story
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An enthusiastic ELT/CLIL teacher, passionate educator, researcher, teacher trainer, Apple Teacher. Seesaw ambassador and curriculum developer.