Teaching literature calls for a creative approach on the part of the instructor so as to maintain the learners’ interest as well as to achieve the objectives of the learning session. Several pedagogical tools may be put to use to pass information on to students. Such tools may include discussion, lecturing, drama exercises, and more. However, these tools are not all equal in effectiveness. For example, learner-centered approaches tend to be more effective than instructor-centered ones.
Drama exercises are especially effective, as they are more learner-centered: They heavily involve the learner by participating in the whole process. Participating in dramatizing a piece of literature like La Vida es sueño Calderón de la Barca can go a long way in giving literature students an in-depth comprehension of the work and helping them appreciate the piece.
Measuring the Effectiveness of Teaching Tools:
By seeking feedback from learners about the use of drama exercises as a mode of learning and about other teaching methods, one can understand the learners’ thoughts. From the gathered opinions, it has emerged that inclusion of drama exercises as a tool for teaching literature improves the understanding of the topics being taught, maintains the learners’ interest and attention, and facilitates their interpretation of literary works.
Reasons for Incorporating Drama into Literature Teaching:
Several writers who have researched and written on the role of drama in learning, especially of literature, are of the opinion that drama encourages development in children. They suggest that drama helps nurture certain skills:
Empathy: This is a crucial skill that should be promoted in a society that upholds ethics, and is necessary for daily interaction with others. For young learners, lack of empathy may make it hard to relate to their peers and to comprehend the feelings and hardships of other people. Empathy comes in handy while reading and understanding literary works, as learners are able to identify with the characters’ sentiments. They can then make use of that knowledge in their own lives, feelings, and experiences.
Creativity: This is an important skill that learners should possess. It enables one to analyze problems and come up with unique and suitable solutions for them.
Both skills are pertinent in enabling the learner to have a wholesome and fulfilling learning experience. They help the learner to have a multi-faceted and total understanding of the literary work. The student can link the events of the piece of literature with what is happening in the real world, which establishes a connection between the imagination and reality. The learner can then analyze the real world based on some of the events encountered in the make-believe world of literature.
Using drama has benefits to all people, regardless of their age. The addition of drama activities in the learning process can be of value to learners academically and development-wise. In his write-up, Drama as Pedagogy, John O’Toole is emphatic toward using drama as a learning instrument. He indicates that when learners become involved in drama as part of their class activities, they gain new experiences since they are not doing it solely to communicate.
Participation rather than presentation is stressed for the acquisition of experience. Drama is also a great way to capture the attention of reluctant learners, especially young children or less interested students, thereby making literature real in a way that no other tool can.