Ken Wilson is a full-time author of ELT materials. He wrote Drama and Improvisation for the Resource Books for Teachers series (OUP). For many years, he was artistic director of the English Teaching Theatre, a company which toured the world doing shows for learners of English.
I’ve been involved with ELT long enough for people to describe me as an ‘expert’. Of course, the word has to be modified by a reference to one’s area of expertise, so I’m a ‘drama expert’.
Despite the fact that my presentations at conferences etc are labelled ‘drama workshops‘, I’m not really sure about the use of the word ‘drama’ in an ELT context. It might add a level of complexity to the kind of things that I and other like-minded educators do, which is to suggest simple classroom ideas that can make learning more interesting and engaging.
I usually tell teachers that I’d prefer not to use the word and that the activities I’m going to talk about in my ‘drama’ workshop are simply designed to animate the language their students know. I actually prefer the word ‘animation’ to describe the activities, but of course in most people’s minds, that would sound as if I was talking about using cartoons.
Anyway, I promised to write about how I got involved in ‘drama in ELT’. So how did it happen?