Navigating the Labyrinth: A Study of Engagement and Artistry in Process Drama for Additional Language Teaching and Learning
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In this reflective practitioner research I investigate process drama for additional language teaching and learning (AL/process drama). In particular, I examine two constructs relevant to AL/process drama aesthetics: ‘learner engagement’ and ‘teacher artistry’. To explore these constructs I draw on three case studies, developed within two adult schools of Italian (AL) and a university, in Milan, Italy. As teacher/researcher, I designed and facilitated a series of process drama workshops for each context, resulting in 45 hours of video-recorded material. I kept a reflective journal (written in English) and a logbook (written in Italian) where I recorded my reflection-in-action and reflection-on-action. As a translingual researcher, I deliberately switched between languages, in an attempt to capture different nuances and better understand my attitudes and beliefs towards AL/process drama teaching. Within each case, I worked with a group of up to 16 international students of Italian (AL) at an intermediate level of proficiency (student-participants) and up to seven teachers (teacher-participants) who observed the workshops and took notes on the learners’ engagement. Both students and teacher-participants took part in individual and focus group interviews. At the end of each workshop, student-participants were invited to choose a specific moment from the drama and self-evaluate their engagement. These moments informed the selection of video extracts that were later used within video-stimulated recall interviews. The ‘learner engagement’ construct was explored through the Vygotskyan lens of ‘felt-experience’ (perezhivanie) in which individuals perceive, feel, interpret, internalise, and re-create meaning through a cognitive, affective and social investment. I analysed the nature of engagement from a sociocultural perspective, across three domains: Second Language Acquisition (SLA), Intercultural Education and Aesthetic Learning. The analysis revealed that the nature of learner engagement in the SLA domain seems to appear and manifest as a cycle of ‘perception-in-action’.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Education and Professional Studies
Item Access Status
Additional language process drama