Most alternative English learning techniques are generally non group related. Creative and fun approaches like learning while listening to music or increasing your vocabulary while watching movies or TV shows are great but don’t involve a collective of students that are working together towards bettering their English. To get all the benefits of the above stated methods, while having fun and actually doing something with friends or colleagues why not try a play or joining small theater company.
The benefits of theater or drama classes are immense and can range from increased vocabulary, better understanding of slang terms and idioms, increased cultural awareness, improved grammar and even a better accent if guided correctly.
The practical benefits are worth it alone and we’ll come back to them but this experiment also has a very important social component to it as well. It can lead to great friendships, a new hobby or even a new, never before expected career choice. The hours put into reading and rehearsing can spark a series of long lasting friendships as well as a motivating, competitive environment where each student will push the others to excel.
The whole experience will also be rewarding due to the public appreciation plays usually get. Regardless if it is a small high-school play or an after work experiment among friends that few people will actually see it can be an unforgettable experience even without all the English learning benefits.
The Long List Of Benefits
The first and most obvious benefit would be to a student’s increased reading abilities. To be able to actually star in a play, even in a minor role, any student must be able to read, understand and repeat his lines. This is why this option is so versatile as an absolute beginner will learn a few phrases, words and maybe an idiom or two. He will improve his reading skill and even his accent. A more advanced student can take on a bigger part that involves more speaking. They can learn harder words and really go for an authentic accent.
Depending on whether it is a contemporary, modern play or a classic, each student can experience new expressions, slang words or archaic ones and add valuable idioms to their vocabulary.
Grammar is also an important part. While there obviously won’t be any grammar lessons, students will automatically learn dozens of correct phrases that they can later analyze and better understand from a grammatical point of view.
Say Goodbye To The Fear Of Public Speaking
Another way this method can help students is by getting them to actually conquer their fear of actually speaking the language. Some students, even advanced ones refrain from using the language for fear of being bad at it and embarrassing themselves in a social context or while talking to native speakers.
However, once a student can reproduce even the simplest of lines in front of an audience that fear and any other public speaking fear for that matter is pretty much gone, allowing students of all levels to speak confidently and use their skill as often as they can.