Departmental Bulletin Paper Application of Improvisation to Communicative English Classrooms

Sherr, Jonathan  ,  Oshima, Kimie  ,  大島, 希巳江

38pp.1 - 22 , 2016-03-10 , 神奈川大学言語研究センター
Students often hesitate to speak out in communicative English classrooms at Japanese universities, even though they have a basicknowledge of English vocabulary and grammar. They can be out of practice, afraid of making mistakes, not actively involved, and/or just being shy. In this paper, using improvisation games in communicative English classrooms as ‘active learning’ is suggested as an effective method to allow students to ‘wear masks,’ to lessen the fear of making mistakes and to overcome shyness. In fact, it has been shown that people participate in group activities more by pretending to be someone else. That improvisation can be an effective training tool, is supported by studies of humor in education. These studies show humor increases flexibility, creativity, and thinkingoutside of the box, and that it can increase student’s self-esteem, aswell as motivation, and has been shown to decrease anxiety, stress,and help students to learn more in classrooms. In this paper, the authorsprovide some background of improvisation, its links to humor,and actual improvisation games which can be used as effective activelearning tools for the communicative English classroom.

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