Maximising Asian ESL Learners’ Communicative Oral English via Drama

Chamkaur Gill


This paper proposes that activities based on a variety of drama-based techniques could be valuable in giving Asian ESL learners opportunities to use communicative spoken English confidently and without restraint during their time in English-language-speaking countries. These learners often get anxious when in situations where they are required to speak in English. Fears about making errors related to grammar, fluency and clarity that might cause them to be embarrassed stand in the way of unencumbered speech output. In addition, cultural issues linked to voice-projection and body language can hinder oral interaction in English and hamper their motivation to speak. They are, therefore, deprived of much-needed speaking practice. I find that drama lets my students speak communicatively, free of the dread of constant correction, in a relaxed and enjoyable learner-centred environment that appears to help diminish their anxiety and inhibitions. As a result, their motivation to speak increases, leading to extended speech production.

Keywords: ESL, Asian students’ traits, communicative oral English, drama variations

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