AAS Annual Meeting

Japan Session 232

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Session 232: Workshop: Beyond Words: Dramatic/Theatrical Approaches to Japanese Language Education

Organizer: Hiroko Noro, University of Victoria, Canada

Discussants: Yoshiko Fukushima, University of Hawaii, Hilo, USA; Masako Beecken, Colorado State University, USA; Yoshiko Fukushima, University of Hawaii, Hilo, USA

The proposed workshop will shed light on drama/theater as an effective method for teaching Japanese, particularly communication skills. As eloquently summarized by FitzGibbons (1993), benefits of drama in the language classroom are numerous: 1) acquisition of meaningful and fluent interaction in the target language; 2) assimilation of phonetic and prosodic features in a contextualized and interactive manner; 3) fully contextualized acquisition of new lexical and idiomatic expressions; and 4) development of self-confidence in learning the target language. The workshop will explore potentiality and pedagogical benefits of active use of drama and theatre in Japanese language learning. The workshop will be led by four Japanese language and literature instructors who have been using drama/theater techniques for their Japanese language classes in and outside Japan. We will share with the workshop participants our experiences and techniques in using drama/theater from diverse perspectives: from theater productions to use of theatrical plays and situated roleplays in classroom. It is our hope and intention that this workshop will serve as a catalyst for creative approaches to Japanese language teaching by coupling “dramatic art” and “language”. Reference FitzGibbon, Emelie. 1993. Language at Play: Drama and Theatre in Education as Stimuli in Language Learning. In Schewe, Manfred. and Shaw, Peter. (eds.), Towards drama as a method in the foreign language classroom. Frankfurt: Verlag Peter Lang, 269-281.