Transformation Through Speech, Drama, & Debate

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Philip Head, Hiroshima Shudo University; David Kluge, Nanzan University; Roy Morris, Meikai University; Gordon Rees, Yokkaichi University

The Speech, Drama, & Debate Forum featured 7 presentations on the theme of “Transformation through speech, drama, & debate” and how this relates to language learning. This paper provides a summary of 4 of the forum presentations. First, Head describes a unique and long-running community theatre production performed by foreigners in tosaben, the regional Japanese dialect of Kochi, as well as the factors that have allowed it to continue successfully for over 20 years. Kluge describes how a debate project was planned for all 2nd-year students at a Japanese junior college. Next, Morris discusses the benefits of treating not only large-scale tasks but also small-scale language performance as a mode of dramatic performance, using examples of theatre practitioners such as Johnstone (1979) and Stanislavsky (1938/2008) in his rationale. Finally, Rees provides an overview of readers theatre and how he incorporated it into his English presentation classes.