“Highly intelligent play!”
Sarka R., parent, Prague, Czech Republic
Top Ten Benefits of Joining Global Kids Through Drama and English
1. Global awareness: Globalism is a defining feature of the 21st century world in which we live. Global Kids Through Drama and English intensifies children’s consciousness of the world as a whole, and inspires them to take an active part in it by learning, speaking and performing in English. For groups of children who already speak English at home, the global themes experienced in the workshops are still a huge benefit. Additionally, for such groups, there is a strong emphasis on Spanish, French, German and non-European languages as well.
2. Social communication and connection skills in English – or in the target languages internalised in the workshops. The future is brighter for bilingual children. How about the future for children who are exposed to the most widely used foreign language, so that they can quickly break social barriers ANYWHERE they go ? Be a stronger candidate for admission to university ? Be more competitive in future job interviews careers ? In future networking ? There will be many opportunities for children to develop their public speaking skills.
3. A sense of familiarity and “being at home” ANYWHERE in the world. Language associated with FUN gets results in record time. Children make friends quickly ! They ask for help in tricky situations and get it ! They can know more than their parents ! They can help their parents when traveling. They make connections quickly, even help their parents to do the same! (And feel great about themselves !)
4. GAMES WITH AIMS: If play is a child’s “work” then toys are the tools. The workshops are structured but the children have no idea that they are actually working! I am an avid collector of funny toys, many Famous People dolls, good quality, realistic toy animals , theatrical backdrops, scores of costumes (including traditional clothes from around the world), souvenirs both natural and man-made from my travels … and then there are the diverse methods I employ to make sure no one is bored and everyone is included: (music, drama and art, with a Montessori approach) and multiple resources for learning languages, geography, history and world culture. Children will have authentic, hands-on materials, as well as access to technology, for learning the continents, countries, cities, nature, climate, history, famous people, food, clothing and customs of the languages taught in this course. I have scores of costumes, hundreds of props, and lots of materials taken from real life and from many countries. My students use them all in their language games, theatre rehearsals and final performances. They love to learn through them !
5. Your child is an amazing actor! Most children look for any chance to be the centre of attention. The 2nd half of each 90 minute workshop (45 minutes) is devoted to putting together into theatre practice everything that has been learned in the first half of the workshop. Your child is shy or an introvert? Drama (and drama production) offers roles and activities for every type of child, including those who do not wish to be the centre of attention but still take part. There is the role of cameraman/camerawoman, director, scriptwriter, stage designer … During the workshop and the performance, it is impossible that this child does not also internalise the target language. Lots of choices for involvement guarantees the child’s feeling of safety and acceptance. This also guarantees that every child will “own” his or her education.
6. An experience both authentic and practical: Drama practice and performance allows languages to be taught in the context in which they will be used, which makes students aware of the languages first and foremost as a means of communication. A child will never forget the words when there is a gesture, a character and a JOKE behind them ! Every lesson includes the use of materials that have been taken from real life, including airplane tickets to use for making flight reservations, real life jackets donated from airlines, every day items from supermarkets from around the world, flyers from museums, authentic souvenirs and much, much more.
7. Speaking skills – projection, clarity and resulting confidence: Frequent theatrical performances in English or in the target language(s) for parents and friends, will cement what they have learned. Moreover, as actors and story-makers, they prove to themselves – and their families – that they can not only speak English and other languages, but also entertain in English or in other languages. Their self-confidence SOARS. Public speaking at an early age will pay dividends later in high school, college and beyond! Many of my students, now grown into successful adults, have returned to tell me how much more prepared they feel to speak in public, and the benefits that they enjoy professionally, socially and in their private lives.
8. Essential skills, disciplines and subjects are covered in the instruction, practice and performance. This includes increased literacy (children learn to make distinctions between English and Czech phonetics), visual arts, maths, sciences, geography, geology, topography, Earth history, meteorology, zoology, evolution, world history, and of course, communication skills. It’s a perfect complement to school and preparation for any child’s higher education. Children as young as first graders will already know sophisticated words that they would otherwise learn at a later age and grade.
9. While leadership thinking and skills are inspired here, the greatest foundation for success in engaging a child is LOVE, CARE and HUMOUR. Children – especially those in prestigious, “high end” schools, are often pushed to their limits, and after school, they need to feel that they are free to to play without a sense of “working” under any obligation. Here, children can push themselves intrinsically, without external rewards or punishments – but from curiosity, inspiration, engagement, and intelligent FUN. A frequent feedback which I hear is “when I ask my son what he does with you, he says he doesn’t work on anything. He says everyone just plays.” Luckily, the mother knew better than to take her son literally. Excitement and laughter are key experiences of every Global Kids Through Drama and English workshop. In the first half of each workshop, the new vocabulary – from even the most “academically serious” subjects – is introduced through theater, followed by play. The past vocabulary is reinforced in imaginative, quirky and comic ways, so that children not only remember the English words but also the concepts. Once inspired and incited to play themselves, the children practice towards a performance. The end result, per child, could be two minutes, or twenty. It is up to them. It is extremely rare that a child does not wish to perform in some way and most perform as much as possible. In any case, they learn the vocabulary, the expressions AND sophisticated topics, disciplines and ideas, in a global framework, with quirky, entertaining, real life examples from around the world. The content-rich plays and songs have a humorous twist or outcome. Guaranteed laughs, guaranteed fascination, and even for parents, a chance to learn something new from from their own children: life before the dinosaurs – so many fascinating animals preceded them; how Van Gogh lost one ear; why Da Vinci never finished the Mona Lisa; how to become a knight in modern England.
10. Drama has something for EVERYONE. Every child is unique and joins the workshop with his or her own level of language skills, experience, personality and learning style. There is a job for everyone. Drama accommodates ALL levels, learning styles and personalities !