Combining drama pedagogy with digital technologies to support the language learning needs of newly arrived refugee children: A classroom case study
Although significant research has been completed that examines the effectiveness of process drama as a pedagogical approach for developing additional languages and further work has focused on the affordances of digital technologies within drama work, scant attention has been paid to the possibilities which a combination of these approaches might offer. Within this paper we identify these possibilities within a drama-based research project aimed at developing the resilience of newly arrived refugee children. In this series of lessons, the work focused specifically on the role of language as a key aspect of resilience. Based upon a playful, fantasy-based narrative involving a robot who arrives in an English-speaking community but is unable to communicate effectively, the drama and language work intentionally avoided the kinds of responses to resettlement and resilience that apply a deficit model or focus on the challenges of such experiences. Analysis of the data collected across the project reveals that the technology served seven key functions within the process drama. These functions related to language development, information provision, narrative development, identification and the creation of mood. The use of technology also generated opportunities for the children to have agency over their own learning and to create shared experiences with classmates and teachers.
Research in Drama Education
Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified