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Language is a key - Books as drama prop and learning tool

Language is a key is a strategic partnership between ThaliaTeatro from Slovakia, FundacjaActiveKids from Poland, and Eduplius from Lithuania. This international project is supported by Erasmus+ and aimed at the development of the communicative skills of its participants using a variety of theatrical techniques, improvisation and non-verbal communication.

Thalia Teatro as a Slovak partner of the project carried on with organizing professional workshops aimed at the further improvement of English language skills of librarians in the Region Library of Ľudovít Štúr in Zvolen. This time, an essential part of the library was used as a drama instrument to help the participants to boost their English communicative skills, active vocabulary, and ability to express themselves. During the activity in April, the book became an object of interest, a drama prop and a learning tool.

The decision to include a book in the activity was driven by several basic concepts. First of all, books are an integral part of the environment of the library, and represent the essence of the participants’ job. Secondly, books are strictly tied with the concept of language, which made plenty of innovative and curious bilingual interactions with them possible. Last but not least, books are good for theatrical interactions as well and can be used to create landscapes or animated props. All three concepts were combined by Thalia Teatro experts and tested by the librarians in the new multifunctional creative space of the Zvolen City library.

The participants of the workshop had to animate books and create backgrounds out of them, simultaneously naming their actions and creations in English. The text in the books was to interact with as well: participants were asked to translate a Slovak book’s title or to convey a book’s message in English. Stories, descriptions, ideas and facts from authors’ biographies - the librarians have learned that all these things can be told in a foreign language, and enjoyed the process.

All in all, book occured to be a useful and versatile learning and theatrical tool. Its ability to organize theatrical space, as well as to be a source of a word, made it a great interactive instrument for the participants of the workshop to learn new words, develop speaking skills and refine the theatrical mechanics they had learned during the previous local activities.

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