Language through Drama (ESL Activity)

Level: intermediate+

Practises: expression

One of the tricks to learning any language is to act it. The spoken word is only one part of all communication. If you have a dog and it comes to you to tell you that it's hungry, or in pain, what language does it use? It uses no words, yet you understand it very well.

Unspoken communication is a major part of all communication, and we can use this fact to effect by getting students to enact simple sentences to convey an intended feeling.

Below are twelve pairs of expressions, each with a feeling to convey. Students should say both expressions in each pair, each time conveying the relevant feeling. But it's no good doing this with students sitting round a table or in their normal positions. Let them get up, stand, walk around, sit on a table, lie down. Leave them free to use their bodies, their hands and arms, their feet and legs, their facial expressions - so that their body language matches the words they are uttering!

You might even award some Oscars.

Well-Being, Suffering

Seriousness, Irony

Determination, Lack of Confidence

Relief, Frustration

Anger, Calmness

Generosity, Fear

Indifference, Indignation

Pride, Humility

Bluntness, Hypocrisy

Triumph, Defeat

Astonishment, Simplicity

Encouragement, Consolation