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Engagement as perception-in-action in process drama for teaching and learning Italian as a second language

Journal: International Journal of Language Studies (Vol.8, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 91-116

Keywords : Process Drama; Engagement; Dramatic Tension; Perception-in-Action; Irony;

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This article takes an interdisciplinary approach, combining some core elements of drama education with sociocultural theory. It draws on the findings of a doctoral study exploring the nature of learner engagement when process drama is used to teach Italian as a second language. In particular, the article focuses on the construct of engagement as perception-in-action in improvised social interactions, in role, with adult learners at an intermediate-advanced level. The article opens with an overview of recent research on process drama for second language learning. It then provides the theoretical framework for the study, discussing process drama pedagogy and the construct of engagement. Next, the context of the study is discussed, in terms of methodology, methods, and participants. The discussion continues with an analysis of engagement as perception-in-action, first by zooming into a segment of classroom interaction, and then zooming out to three case studies. Finally, findings on engagement are discussed, in terms of agency as self-regulation in managing improvisation with language and with the elements of drama, including dramatic irony. The article concludes by pointing to dialogic interaction in process drama mediating, and being mediated by, dramatic tension, and the implications for second language learners and teachers.

Last modified: 2014-06-21 12:21:01