(RE)WRITING THE SCRIPT OF SECOND LANGUAGE TEACHING/LEARNING: EXPLORING TEACHER CANDIDATES’ CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF DRAMA-BASED INSTRUCTION

Open Access
Author:
Vetere, Timothy Matthew
Graduate Program:
Curriculum and Instruction
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
April 25, 2018
Committee Members:
  • Matthew Edward Poehner, Dissertation Advisor
  • Matthew Edward Poehner, Committee Chair
  • Mari Haneda, Committee Member
  • Jamie Myers, Committee Member
  • Deryn Phillips Verity, Outside Member
Keywords:
  • Second Language Learning
  • English Language Learners
  • ELL
  • TESOL
  • ACTFL
  • Drama-Based Instruction
  • Drama
  • Education
  • Teacher Preparation
  • Teacher Education
  • Vygotsky
  • Socio-Cultural Theory
  • World Languages Education
Abstract:
This dissertation reports on a qualitative longitudinal study that explores the original conceptualization of drama-based instruction (DBI) in the L2 classroom among ten K-12 teacher-candidates in a language teacher preparation program. It gives particular attention to two case study participants as they continued to (re)conceptualize drama-based instruction in L2 teaching/learning during diverse field experiences within the United States and Sweden. The following research questions were investigated: 1) In what ways might drama-based instruction offer a basis to L2 teacher-candidates as they work to engage in playful/learning ZPD activity with learners during field experiences in US K-12 schools and abroad?; 2) What are the challenges and affordances experienced by teacher-candidates as they attempt to orient to L2 education from a perspective informed by dramatic play?; and 3) Does L2 teacher-candidates’ use of dramatic play activities impact their perceptions of their students’ L2 knowledge and development? If so, how? Analysis of participants’ written lesson plans and teaching reflections, along with researcher field notes of classroom observations and semi-structured interviews with the teachers revealed three major findings: 1) participants struggled to successfully commit to perspective of DBI, informed by Vygotskian principles, resulting in formal learning ZPD activity taking precedence over playful/learning ZPD activity during drama-based activities; 2) drama-based instruction ruptured traditional classroom dynamics which challenged participants’ emerging, and existing, pedagogical content knowledge; and 3) participant assumptions of students’ L2 skills, and the process of second language acquisition, affected methodological considerations when designing DBI for L2 instruction. The analysis highlights the need for specific teacher-education in DBI for successful mediated learning to occur in L2 classrooms, and the specific challenges of orientating to methods that support a communicative-based pedagogy for L2 teaching/learning.